We aren’t in Kansas Anymore…We are at NCCAT!

Like Dorthy on the Yellow Brick Road, my mind is being blown at NCCAT this week (July 20th).

Our week began with a bang! Eric Rowles from Leading To Change gave us an amazing introduction to STEAM, and how to incorporate STEAM in our interdisciplinary classrooms. Eric spoke to my “teacher soul”, reminding me of why I chose to work in one of the most difficult professions…teaching. As a dynamic speaker he gave us so many amazing websites and technology tools that will help me in my classroom this coming year. I really look forward to using his online DJ resources to help mix up my classroom.

DJ Earworm – Free mashed up music. Relevant music – no bad language.

Bootie Mashup – Free mashed up music. Mix up old and new school. Free music.

HIdden Beach Recordings – Old school hip hop music beats without lyrics. Free music.

Our introduction on Monday was a bit overwhelming to most of us new Fellows, but as the week progressed I learned to take on a new approach. As teachers, we are already juggling so many tasks and worries, but like our students we have to make priorities.

During many of our breakout sessions we were introduced to many ideas. I felt as if the blog and twitter sessions were not what I was expecting. I was hoping that we as “students” would get our hands dirty in our accounts with guidance from our instructor…I wanted to learn how to “get-her-done.”

Most PD sessions I have previously attended have included many presenters who are not teachers. This Kenan Fellow NCCAT experience had many teachers as presenters, and that allowed us to share real…current applications that they currently use in their classroom and can explain how we can do it too!

Paul presented a great session on BYOD, and provided us Fellows with some awesome resources. In his session he mentioned that he uses Classcraft as a form of classroom management, accountability, gaming, and group work. I am hoping to use Classcraft in my classroom this year.

We had so much fun at Nantahala Outdoor Center, learning how to raft down the river and work with people that were strangers just a couple of days before. Many of us were adventuring outside of our comfort zones, in one way or another. This was a great way to remind us teachers how uncomfortable new schools, new groups, and new tasks can be for our students.

Our session on Why Culture Matters was interesting. During the session when we discussed high context and low context cultures, and I believed this was very applicable to how we communicate in our communities. This would be great to bring back to the staff at my school to help with parent conferences. I loved discussing localization with McDonalds. “McDonalization”  is an amazing example of how a company must change their products from one country to another in order to profitably sell their product.

I think all staff should have a Meyers-Briggs experience like we did at NCCAT. Very eye opening! To know that I am NSFJ allows me to better understand myself and explain myself to others. I’m Dobby!

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