This is a guest post from Brad Scherer, Instructional Technology Specialist at Sartell Middle School. Need a scholarship to attend a conference or participate in Professional Development? Apply today!
The theme of TIES this year was “Tell Your Story” and it really resonated with me. I think as educators we let others tell our story too often. The stories they tell are at best incomplete storylines and at worst, untrue versions of a story we live everyday. My favorite takeaway from the conference was seeing Dave Burgess (author of Teach Like a Pirate) present and his message of how we need to bring passion and lots of various hooks to draw our students into learning, which will make school something special for our learners! This session completely motivated me to come to school with the intention of making the learning experience for my students something extraordinary.
As a result of attending TIES, I know two immediate takeaways that I will use in our Makerspace (The HUB), our library, and school. The first is getting started using MinecraftEDU. We plan to implement this in a language arts classroom very soon and then see how else we can leverage it to improve student learning. The second takeaway is helping our teachers, students, and district tell their stories better. I feel like this might be more important than we even know since our students are currently curating their lives using social media. I think if we as a staff and a district can lead by example for our students, it may help our students grow into better people, which is more important to me than mastering content and specific state standards!