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ISTE Take Away!

It was quite the week in San Antonio at the ISTE conference. I really had a blast this year! Loved the location of the conference and met so many great people along the way. If I had to boil it all down to what I will take away from the experience I guess I would have to refer to a slide Sylvia Martinez had yesterday that said Detour: The Real World! What was that all about? Pretty much my thoughts on much of what we do in education. You see her point was that many things we do in education we claim are preparation for the real world, but the real world doesn’t work the way we make it look in classrooms. She talked about the Scientific Method and how real engineers, scientists, programmers, etc, don’t work that way. They tinker with things! I love this and honestly believe that not all students process information in the nicely packaged way we insist upon in traditional classrooms. I guess what I am saying is that if we are preparing students for the real world, we probably better step outside our school walls and really take a look at what “real people” are doing. Right now, what skills are the most important? What tools, resources, and options do students need to be real people? This makes me excited and nervous all at the same time. I’m not saying throw out everything we do, but take off our teacher glasses for a minute and put on real world goggles to take in the the possibilities that are out there in the real world!

Side note: I just purchased Sylvia’s new book Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom about a week ago. I saw it on Amazon and loved the title. I had not even read any of it when I came across her session in the program guide. What a lovely coincidence. It just makes so much sense to me to realize that Tinkering is a problem solving strategy. I can relate to this probably because I do believe that is how I have become the Accidental Techie! Seriously! I tinker with webtools, apps, etc. all the time until I figure it out. Can’t sleep, don’t eat, just tinker for days when I am on a mission. So, thank you Sylvia for spotlighting this idea and sharing it with others!

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