Misfits in Your Classroom: Who's to Blame?
No two students learn in the same way. No two teachers teach the same way. No two schools function in the same way. We, as dedicated professionals, now these facts to be true.
Yet, for some unexplainable reason, we seem determined to treat all students, teachers, and schools as though they were exactly like all other students, teachers, and schools. We seem reluctant to make allowances for the special “gifts” that creative learners bring to the instructional experience.
This very highly popular and successful presentation illuminates real-life examples that show clearly why we should be aware of—and alert for—learners who possess one or more of the multiple intelligences identified in the highly-respected research conducted by Dr. Howard Gardner.
Of all the keynote and breakout sessions given by Dr. Anderson, this is clearly the most popular. It is engaging, participatory, and shows the acute importance of seeing the “misfits” not so much as obstructions to learning/teaching, but rather as a strong resource to the entire educational enterprise.
[Note: While the description of this presentation seems targeted solely toward schools, as an educational entity, it has been used quite effectively in multiple other venues—business, community, government, military, religion, and public affairs.]
The ABCs of Improving Student Achievement
This presentation lays out a series of simple steps—a walk-through of processes that are doable and that have been proven successful in leading schools. Research findings illuminate the propositions that result in both myth and truth. Faculty and administrators who adopt the principles highlighted in this presentation will enhance the conditions in which students succeed. And...if students succeed, the entire school—and community—will succeed, as well.
Building Learning Communities—Raising Student Achievement
A great deal of emphasis is being placed upon 21st Century Skills and the admonition that schools leave no stone unturned in ensuring that students are equipped with these skills. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has just released the new iteration of NETS-S (National Educational Technology Skills-Student Version). Two of the leading 21st Century Skills being promoted are creativity and innovation. Woven through all the recommended skill set is the concept of a learning community. Students throughout the world are constructing their own Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) and are amazing us with the high-caliber work they are performing. Thus, an essential component of the learning landscape in a successful school is the existence of a robust learning community. When students, faculty, administrators, and the community are linked in a vital learning environment, students find greater authenticity in the learning of which they are a part. The result? Enhance student achievement. This presentation focus upon the strategies that should be adopted to build, then sustain, learning communities.
Integrating Technologies: The Easy Path to Better Learning
Some purported experts have suggested that integrating technology into the curriculum is the panacea for which we educators have all be searching. Not so, though. A much more realistic approach is to focus upon integrating students into technology!
This presentation will focus upon a multitude of successful strategies that have resulted in improved learning environments. Of course, the use of technology is highlighted, because students today gravitate naturally to the engaging technologies that surround every part of their lives. In this exciting presentation, many examples of students using technology to accomplish amazing learning feats will be shown. Also, we will examine "the other side of the coin"—what happens if/when a school culture refuses to allow students the freedom to explore and advance their learning via technologies.
Leadership: A Team Sport
Far too often, classroom instructors don’t see themselves as institutional leaders. Quite to the contrary, they are crucial elements who contribute to the overall success of a venture. In this session, we illuminate key principles that demonstrate the essential nature inherent in the “teacher as leader” concept. Through the use of numerous examples, case studies, scenarios, and even team role playing, we learn how to understand our leadership potential, to nurture it, to apply it properly in circumstances that face us, and to use it in a collegial fashion to advance the institution’s success.
A broad array of historical and contemporary literature is used to identify paths and patterns that work effectively to apply winning leadership principles to any worthwhile endeavor. Attendees in this session are called upon to mention (and, given sufficient time, to discuss) books or other leadership materials that have contributed significantly to their success in leadership and team building.
We employ the metaphor of sports—a concept everyone can understand—to draw parallels between roles performed by athletes, their coaches, and the team concept and roles performed by members of an educational community. A summative objective is that all attendees see themselves, afresh, as winners on the “Leadership Team.”