Friday, June 9, 2017

Fusion Take-Aways

The Hays CISD Fusion conference is always a highlight of my summer. Educators across the district gather to explore technology integration and how we can better meet the needs of the 21st century students we serve. George Couros delivered a keynote that inspired educators to innovate, celebrate, and participate in learning with their students.
Photo credit: Ashley Flores

Below are my top take-aways from Fusion 2017:
BookSnaps: Power of Sharing

Tara Martin has created a powerful, relevant way to get kiddos posting their thoughts about reading. I presented on this technique, and likened it to the sticky note teaching I first implemented after reading Strategies that Work by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis.
Reflective readers are highly metacognitive while reading: questioning, connecting, and talking back to the text. #BookSnaps takes this work and provides a digital way to not only reflect on reading, but to share those reflections with a global audience. Read more about #BookSnaps here.

Twitter: Power of a Hashtag
  I have been on Twitter professionally for about three years, and I am excited that more educators in my district are jumping on board!

Image Credit: Sylvia Duckworth

I recently got to present at Tobias Elementary and talk to their teachers about the power of developing a PLN and how to celebrate their school and their students by using Twitter. These teachers have blown up the internet with their positive celebrations! They were out in full force at Fusion and it was great to see!
Image credit: Jim Cullen
Growth Mindset: Power of Resiliency
About a year ago, I read an article by Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success that brought to light an issue with the current Growth Mindset movement. She feared that people had misinterpreted the meaning of her research and that we are all running around celebrating failure! George Couros, who keynoted the Fusion event, added weight with the idea that it's not failure we should celebrate, but resiliency after the failed attempt.

Image Credit: Sylvia Duckworth

Laughter: Power of Humor
What is it about laughter? Maybe it's because education is the most fantastically ridiculous arena of hope, learning, growth, and failure and if you don't laugh about it, you may cry. The power of the keynote was that George Couros shared sentiments and challenges that were infused with humor and humanity. Stories of education gone wrong were juxtaposed with hopeful anecdotes of students, parents, and educators that got it right. One of my favorite things he said was, "Teachers don't wake up, go to work and think...I really hope I suck today." It is our job as educators to consistently reflect, constantly learn, and consciously try every single day to innovate for our students and build relationships that will empower life-long learning. I'll leave you with one of my favorite videos of a kiddo that demonstrates the highlights of my Fusion experience: He tries, he's resilient, he celebrates, he laughs, and he connects with a broad audience.

Until next year, Fusion!