Friday, December 05, 2014

#aesa2014 Work Life: Friday General Session

Today's general session opened with the Helix Charter High School Pipe Band. Very entertaining group of young folks!



Brian Talbott Award handed out to Grant Wood agency technology team.

Grant Wood Area Education Agency Technology Team
Cedar Rapids, IA

AESA annually recognizes outstanding accomplishments and contributions to education and AESA.

Congratulations to the Grant Wood Area Education Agency Technology Team, winner of the 2014 Brian L. Talbott Award which recognizes contributions in the area of technological innovation and support to local districts and educational service agencies. Grant Wood AEA is one of nine AEAs in Iowa. The some 500 GWAEA employees combine their efforts to support 32 school districts and 22 accredited nonpublic schools.



Among their efforts in technology are:
• a model classroom (Student Centered Learning with Upside- Down Pedagogy) that highlights a technology enriched, agile learning environment
• an innovative collaboration for personalized learning which this year will focus on blended learning
• a 21st Century Learning Institute to develop and enhance the technology skills of educators
• meeting the needs of school aged children with disabilities
• providing Innovative Technology support to business and back- office functions in their LEAs

Listen to comments from the LEAs that they serve:
“Our student achievement has increased significantly over the last few years.”
“I give a great deal of the credit to the Grant Wood AEA.”
“As a result of the 21st Century Learning Institute, my confidence is much stronger.”
“Grant Wood AEA makes our school district a better place”
and the comment that says it all: “We are simply thankful beyond words for their support with our technology needs”

Keynote Speaker: Russell Quaglia



"What's going to make a difference in American education?"
Staff and students work together
Schools that value community
Use technology driven by experiential learning
...Want to improve? Start injecting common sense!
"Just be normal - asking kids what they think. Work in a collaborative atmosphere. That's not special. That's NORMAL!"

Student Voice and Aspirations - study of a million students

Students are the potential, not the problem
Students have something to teach us
Working together is the only way forward.

Aspirations - Ability to dream about the future but be inspired in the present to reach those dreams.

Low dreaming, low doing - untapped potential, just there (Hibernation)
High dreaming, low doing - Imagination
Low dreaming, high doing - perspiration state - hard workers now, but don't know what they are doing down the road
High dreaming, High doing - Aspirations

You must DO in addition to DREAM!

How do we move to aspiration?

Self-worth - critical to who we are and what we are about. We are crushing this is kids in school. How do we create this? Make sure they feel like they belong (not looking the same, etc; part of the community without losing individuality) Become heroes to our students. You are a hero: are you a good one or a bad one? What do we do to become a good one? Be honest, let them know they matter. We have expectation gap, relationship gap - fix those, and achievement gap will disappear. Let teachers know they matter; students know they matter; staff know they matter. Recognize students for social interaction, citizenship - caring for others (pick up paper not yours; collect food every week, etc)
46% of students say I am valued member of my school community
51% of students say teachers care if I am absent
60% of students are proud of their school

Engagement - Balance between teacher, content and students. Being curious, creative. What are you curious and creative about? Spirit of adventure - not be afraid of trying something and succeeding. Kids are afraid to succeed. We have not made it cool to be successful in school.
Make learning fun! Lose track of time and space.
43% say school is boring - this should bother us!
44% say school helps me understand everyday life - worse over time, longer in school, the less they know why they're there
34% of teachers know my hopes and dreams

Purpose - Guiding principle that moves our kids to aspiration. Biggest issue? Teacher expectations are lower than the kids expectations of themselves. Tell kids to stand up for something.
93% believe they can be successful
76% say teachers believe they can be successful
71% believe they can make a difference

Student Voice
What are you doing with the data you get back?
47% say they have a voice in decision making in school
52% teachers willing to learn from students
50% know what goals the school is working on this year

What your students say about your school and their experiences?

Impact on motivation:
Self-worth 5x
Engagement 16x
Purpose 18x

Student Voice 7x

Challenges:
- Have an attitude - what I do matters, makes a difference
- take time to reflect
- never stop listening and learning from students
- never forget kids need heroes, role models
- be normal
- embrace every possibility ahead
- do something once  aweek that scares the hell out of you
- talk to kids about where they are going, not where they are from
- dream big
- have a bowl of ice cream and feel good about it
- believe and never forget that wonderful surprises are waiting to happen.


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