For the third year, I attended and facilitated sessions at the Traverse Conference, Watershed School’s Expedition to the Future of Learning (#tvrse17 on Twitter). In fact, the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation (MVIFI) has been a partner for all three years of the Traverse Conference, providing multiple teams from MVIFI to lead and present various sessions about observation methods, design thinking, expeditionary learning, and instructional rounds, just to name a few.
For a window into the three days of this year’s Traverse Conference, check out the #TVRSE17 Twitter hashtag, or enjoy the Storify Trilogy from Jim Tiffin, Jr., an invaluable member of team MVIFI.
As for the sessions that I facilitated, I co-presented with Shelley Clifford, the Head of Lower School at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. We offered two sessions dedicated to learning about and experiencing learning walks and instructional rounds. Our session description follows, as does a link to our facilitator flow, which contains links to our materials and sites used during the sessions.
Learning Walks and Instructional Rounds: Being an Explorer of Your Own School with Bo Adams and Shelley Clifford from Mount Vernon Presbyterian School
How do you study your own school community as researchers, designers and innovators? In this session, pioneers at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School will share their journey in using learning walks and instructional rounds to study the art and science of teaching and learning a their school. After laying some groundwork in our base camp, we will venture out to conduct learning walks among the other sessions at Traverse ‘17. Through experiential practice, fellow adventurers in this session will have a successful summit under their belts so that they can begin imagining and planning for future learning expeditions at their own schools upon return. [Facilitator flow and links can be found at http://bit.ly/MVLWIR_Traverse17]
What you’ll find here, in this post, is a quick resource pack for the fun work that @GrantLichtman and I were fortunate to do with NYSAIS – the New York State Association of Independent Schools. We were at Mohonk Mountain House for the annual Assistant Heads and Division Heads conference, and the group of educational leaders focused on Time, Space, and Curriculum in educational transformation and innovative schooling.
Jim Tiffin’s (@JimTiffinJr) Storify – in three parts – archiving some of the pre-conference buzz, ideas from the keynote address on Wednesday night, sessions on Thursday and Friday, etc. In the keynote, Grant and I focused on “priming the pump” for how schools can utilize and amplify human curiosity and lessons of innovation to (r)evolutionize time, space, and curriculum use in schools. Thursday and Friday, we dove deeper into those ideas with workshop formats and facilitation.
And Grant “signed me up” for an impromptu Twitter meet-up lesson at 2:45-ish on Thursday! Love that NYSAIS spontaneously used some “unconference” thinking to enlist what learners wanted and needed…and created a spontaneous session. I so enjoyed using a lot of “yes, and…” improvisational format to mine the experience among those who attended this flash-mob session when they could’ve been hiking and playing around Mohonk in different ways. It was a fun session sharing insights from one of the most powerful professional learning tools I use!
How might schools nurture curiosity, imagination, and humanity to a greater degree? It might be as “easy” as being intentional and purposeful about practicing those traits.
On Saturday, I was honored to share an Encienda presentation at EduCon 2.5. Encienda is EduCon’s version of an Ignite slide deck – 20 slides, all set to auto-advance every 15 seconds. Here’s my slide deck as a PDF with my slide notes:
The entire round of Encienda was fabulous. Unintentionally, the trend was definitely about PBL – project-based learning – and engaging learners in real-life issues and problem solving.