NMC Summer Conference Day 1 Highlights

Day 1: Highlights

Opening Keynote: Innovation in Open Networks

What a great first day at the NMC Summer Conference! The Opening Keynote: Innovation in Open Networks by Joichi Ito was an inspiring way to kick off the day! Here are my major takeaways from Joichi Ito:

  • Taking risks and asking questions are imperative to discovering new things.
  • Peripheral vision is key to serendipity. Serendipity can lead us to opportunity and luck, to which Ito attributes much of his success.
  • Focus on agility over strategy because by the time you figure out the strategy, the world has changed.

Check out my first Posters, Interactives, and Art Show

One of the highlights for me was getting to experience the “Interactives.” Many educational conferences have “Expos” or “Poster Galleries,” but I often find myself wondering how a 2-D poster can best describe a hands-on tech project. What I liked about the NMC’s Posters, Interactives and Art Show exhibit was actually interactive. Individuals and groups set up projects that were connected to projectors, laptops, ipads, mobile devices, etc. The guests were able to learn about each project by trying it out, and isn’t Learning by Doing what we’re all about?

As for the projects, I was most moved by: “Theatre of the Digital Classroom: Multi-modal Performance for Stage and Screen,” a project by Marlon Kuzmick and Elise Morrison of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University. This project prepares graduate students and faculty members to teach in flipped classrooms.















Challenge Based Learning:

Strong teachers know that presenting a problem and asking students to work on finding a solution can yield extremely high engagement for students. Creating units that offer these experiences for our students is extraordinarily time consuming…when making up the problems. In today’s session: Challenge Based Learning: Take Action and Make a Difference we pondered why teachers create problems that don’t exist? Aren’t there enough real problems in our homes and schools that we can begin to try to solve together?

Challenge based learning is a framework that can be adapted or differentiated to work in  the K-12 space, Higher Education, or even a business setting. Challenge Based Learning (CBL) is engaging for students because during a CBL unit they are treated like adults (which they love!) When presented with a challenge and asked to take action to impact others, our youth will rise to the occasion. CBL taps into our youth’s innate desire to help others and make change.

Want to learn more about CBL? Here is a great place to get started!


Emerging Leaders

Today’s closing session featured six young individuals from around the world identified by the NMC as Emerging Leaders to watch. Too often, we look at who is changing our world today, but this last session encouraged us to take a look at the individuals who will change our world over the next five or ten years.

With only 6 minutes, each individual had an opportunity to share about their project. Each speaker was unique and special, but something about Ignacio Rodriguez really struck me. Perhaps it was his dedication to supporting students who live in environments that don’t allow for learning. His project to help public school students build math skills is geared specifically toward students living in communities where violence, crime and poor teaching conditions are dominant. Somehow, these students are missing from so many of our conversations, so it was refreshing to hear about a project built upon this missing community. He began his talk with the word “vulnerability” and he captivated me from the start.

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