This is a guest post from Jason Menth, STEM Integrationist and Culturally Responsive Teaching Coach at Talahi Community School. Need a scholarship to attend a conference or participate in Professional Development? Apply today!
I can’t thank CMLE enough for the opportunity to attend and present at the TIES conference in Minneapolis. TIES is an educational technology conference where educators all around our nation come together to connect, develop, and share ideas to advance our students. The theme this year was “What’s Your Story?” With two powerful and impactful keynote speeches from Ken Shelton and Jennie Magiera, I got a new fire to share the story of our students. Over half of the students at Talahi are English language learners and have emigrated from other countries. With our amazing students we have such rich stories at our fingertips to share with our school and community. Educators also understand how a child’s upbringing impacts their experience at school both academically and socially. Being in the role as STEM Integrationist I have the resources to bring these stories to life while also teaching lessons on public speaking, video production, and the purpose of building community.
I also had the chance to present how we incorporate STEM activities in the classroom. My presentation took place in the “playground” area of the conference. This is a place where presenters bring their gadgets and resources they use at school for others to experience and hear how they are implemented. I was very busy with interested professionals and had a chance to create new connections, share our resources, and pick up a few new activities to try. I could go on and on but to say the least this is my favorite conference to attend because of the personality of the conference. The environment was conducive to learning, networking, and sharing knowledge. Most presenters are from our home state and understand the demographic of our schools. I know my students will feel the immediate impact of my new knowledge.