Ready to Bloom
As we step into the new year, my favorite season is officially upon us - conference season, of course! In just a few days, I’ll be packing my bags, traveling across the country, and joining the thousands-upon-thousands of district stakeholders gearing up to share, learn, and connect at the 40th-Anniversary of the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in Miami, Florida. And if being present simply wasn't enough, by some divine intervention I’ve been blessed to present and share my ideas along the way. Ideas of which have bloomed from the creative synergy produced in my fourth-grade classroom at the McCabe Union Elementary School District.
The fact that I’ve gained access to this remarkable learning network to showcase my original ideas is both empowering as it is humbling. Needless to say, flying across the country to speak in front of complete strangers hasn’t always been an easy process. But the outcome of engaging in such anomalous behavior has proven itself beneficial with long-lasting and rich dividends that pay off for my entire community. Not to mention, I also get to contribute to the global community of practice and help push education forward through my perspective. An idea that stemmed from my thoughts and experiences can bloom into a district initiative that has a positive effect for multiple stakeholders, miles-and-miles away. Likewise, something I learned about, can have the same type of impact on my students. And that’s exactly why I can’t wait for #FETC20!
Catch Me If You Can
My first session, Design Thinking in the Game-Infused Classroom, will take place on Tuesday from 10:30 A.M. - 12:30 P.M. in room 203. During this workshop, I’ll highlight my passion as I discuss the intersection between all-things games (e.g., gamification, game-based learning, etc.), the design thinking process, and the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Moreover, I’ll walk attendees through a simple process I've created to merge these principles into learning experiences that students absolutely love. I’ve also gamified the actual workshop, so we’ll be learning and playing student-created games at the same time. Expect some friendly competition! If this session doesn’t work out for your schedule, you can find me on Thursday from 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M. in room 219-221, co-presenting with a stellar lineup of “EdTechies” (e.g., Dr. Jennifer Williams, Michelle Moore, Jeff Glade, Audrey O’Clair, and David Lockart) in 6 EdTechies Share Favorite Tools, Tips, and Tricks for 2020. This will be a fast-paced session where we unload some of our favorite tips and tricks to support students and teachers. You truly don’t want to miss this one!
What I’m Excited For
With all the amazing things happening and being unveiled at #FETC, it’s difficult to pinpoint one area that I’m the most excited for. However, I’m currently in the process of launching my district’s first-ever esports program. As you can imagine, there are so many details to consider when rolling out new initiatives (e.g., equity factors, scalability, etc.). But I’m hoping our program sets a precedent within my county, and that it inspires other local districts to also hit “play”. Luckily for me, FETC has partnered with the National Association of Esports Coaches and Directors (NAECAD). This means there will be plenty of sessions and live demos to ensure that all my questions get answered. I’ll be spending my fair share of time checking out the esports-track, learning from other successful programs, and definitely playing some games!