The Big Day, at IL-TCE

flickr image from the IL-TCE conferenceIt’s 5:47 AM and I’ve been up for a few hours. It’s always like this before a keynote address, especially when I’m presenting at a conference of this size (IL-TCE) — and I haven’t delivered this presentation very many times. The real problem is going to come from the fact that I’ve rearranged some of the slides, and I’m sure that I am not going to remember it, once I get on the stage. You’ve got to laugh 😉

I went out last night with my personal steak trainer, Dave Jakes. He’s taken me under his wing and has set out to educate me on the nuances of the mid-western steak. Last night, it was Za Za’s, in downtown St. Charles. We both got twin fillets, smothered in something that included the word port and lots of sauteed mushrooms. With the first bite, I had to close my eyes and hold onto the table. Exquisite 🙂

David, who is the Director of Instructional Technology for the High Schools of Downers Grove, told me about a PE and Health teacher, who had approached him one day in the hall. He’d told David that he was tired of teaching health the way that he had for years. He wanted his students to learn in a new way.

Jakes told me about a project that resulted, where the health students were asked to do research on many aspects of their backgrounds, include their family health history, and to identify any specific health risks that they face. Then the students were assigned to research those risks and to learn as much about them as they could.

After making themselves experts, the students had to learn what kinds of habits and behaviors they should be engaged in now, as preventative measures to their facing these health risks in the future, and to write up a plan.

Finally, the students had to create a compelling presentation about what they had learned, and deliver the presentation to the rest of the class.

This project is perfect on so many levels. Perhaps its best quality was, as David jakes said, that what the students were learning applied to them personally, and that the skills that they were developing, applied to their information world.

An amazing project that I simply had to share.

Wish me luck on the keynote?

2¢ Worth…

4 thoughts on “The Big Day, at IL-TCE”

  1. That is great Dave!! The kind of thing that I love to see in any learning enviroment…. Making learning apply to students personally!!

    Best of luck with your keynote. I would have enjoyed hearing it. One day maybe!!


  2. I think you did a “fine” job!! It was very inspiring, — I especially liked your definition of a compelling story… it must fit the market place and fit the future (a “calculator” is not a compelling story). Do you think perhaps that sometimes the future can only been recognized by looking backwards?

  3. I just wanted to thank you for taking an important part in a conference that has served to re-energize me during a difficult 1st year as a teacher. I got your book right after the keynote today, and I can’t wait to get into it. I started my own blog, Teachers as Learners, this afternoon when I got home. I have tried blogging before, but I am going to make a real effort to do it this time!
    Thanks so much for getting me excited about teaching again. I can’t wait to get back to school next week….

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