Finally made it to Great! I have missed the previous three summers due to bad luck, so was delighted to be able to attend this year.
Leigh Graves Wolfe, of Michigan State University, has always welcomed her “#edchatie family” and the CESI community to visit her Master students as they finish their summer school in Ireland. This year, it was in NUIG on Thursday July 16th.
GREAT represents the best of CPD, and the best education practice – teacher sharing as they learn. These MAET teacher-scholars have spent their summer planning and developing ideas for their classrooms next year. This is their day to present and receive feedback. A good flavour of the day can be read on the Twitter timeline
The afternoon began with a tribute to our dear late Bianca Ní Ghrógáin, who was to be there…and who, in a way, was there.
Stephen Howell then gave a short but thoughtful and very powerful keynote address. He really really nailed this one. Make your portfolio. Make it show who you are. Don’t end up a bit player in your biopic. Be that teacher.
We then broke into small sessions, in which we each acted as students for two of the practicing teachers. I got to room 4 and sat in with Debbie and Rachelle. Debbie (@tech4teachers19) is supporting teachers in California in their use of tech, and she quickly had us searching and tagging in a platform called Graphite, a tool for curating peer-reviewed apps. Having worked for years in the teacher support world, I loved Debbie’s enabling and motivating way of working. Then Rachelle (@MissGalang) showed us her plan to get her 3rd grade students working on research & information fluency. I repeat – 3rd grade. Learning their geography and social subjects in a skills based setting. I almost swooned as I listened and watched Rachelle tell the way she teaches in Hawaii.
After mingling, chatting and visiting the poster session, we reconvened to get sorted for the Teachmeet. This turned out to be an Edcamp style sorting hat session – the topics were displayed, volunteers anounced which one they would lead, and we dispersed! I followed Stefanie to an Apps Slapdown, and really enjoyed it. A shared googledoc was opened, and the participants began to fill it with their favourite apps and reasons for using them. The slapdown bit, natural to the Americans, took a bit of reminding for us Irishers, but even that part was fun. Definitely a must for the next CESI Teachmeet! The doc is shared here.
We reconvened for thanks and goodbyes, and “see you next year”s. GREAT returns to NUIG next summer, and I won’t be booking anything else for that day when it is announced. Thank you to all the GREAT participants, and thank for the welcome to be part of it, Leigh.
We had a coffee and chat in 37West afterwards – a terrific café. It was good to take a little time to be together – thank you Susan, Adrienne, MaryJo, John, Mary, Catherine, and great to meet you both Annette and Carol.
Last word to Leigh…