Opportunities Are Everywhere (and dependency needs to be ushered out)

One of the biggest problems students face after school are lack of jobs, or career opportunities. Many of the jobs that they will apply for did not exist when they were in high school, or college. But what role does high school play in preparing them for a career that doesn’t exist yet? In this session Don argues that one of the most vital “lessons” that is not taught is having students being able to find or create his/her own opportunities. Networking, both in person and through social media will be discussed. The “old days” of apprenticeships will also be examined in light of the high costs of college. Teaching our students how to find their opportunities and not depend on someone else to do it needs to be encouraged now! Through examples of student success, coupled with real data from our economy, the audience will want to take action immediately!

Ferris Bueller’s Day of Education

“Bueller? Bueller?”
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was a John Huges classic 80s movie that audiences loved, including teachers, even though the movie depicts the “school” as an exercise in boredom. However, Ferris escapes the shackles of school bondage, and gets a lesson in life. Life moves pretty fast, you know. This fun and lighthearted session turns serious when Don walks the audience through the journey of Mr. Ferris Bueller and answers the question: Does school get in the way of great learning? Student led and project based learning are among the many items examined in this session. Also, The audience will both laugh, and question whether to change…. Anyone? Anyone? ….. School. The answer was school.

Innovation in Education: Genius Hour/ 20% Time Explained (and why Innovation needs more than one hour a week)

You’ve heard about Genius Hour, but you want to make the leap and dedicate more time to being innovative. You’re also are unsure if providing “freedom” to students is a great idea.
This passionate, but straight forward session will make the case of why it is essential to provide student innovation and creativity training. More importantly, Don will discuss how to avoid the pitfalls of providing a solution to the roadblock of “I don’t know what I want to work on” complaint from the students. Mentors, partnerships, and truly authentic assessment will be covered in this session. Also, for the administrators in the audience, compelling reasons why providing curriculum time and space is a great idea, and the stories of student success that is changing the world.

Don’t tolerate social media, embrace it!

Some schools ban it, others just tolerate it. But what does social media have to do with learning and authentic assessment? Can Twitter be a good teacher, and why should a LinkedIn connection mean more than an “A” on a poster board?  This session will inspire teachers, and just as importantly administrators, the power of leveraging social media tools into the classroom. While teaching digital citizenship and what NOT to do on social media is important, Don will demonstrate what students CAN and SHOULD do on social media, and how it can accelerate the students’ success, and give them an advantage over every other teen. . Everyone will leave with specific tasks they can implement immediately into their class environment to get started. Don will also point out why teachers need to share, steal, and guide others on social media as well, and help you get started immediately. So, whether you’re on social media now or not, Don will inspire the hawks, crows, or owls to engage and help transform education, 140 characters at a time. Lol. #EdChat

Building a Culture of Innovation

Innovation is a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot. But what does innovation mean for a school? Do teachers just throw students in a room and say “be innovative” and it happens magically?
This session answers the question on how you get your group innovative¬- by taking the first step- building a culture of innovation and creativity. Everyone will leave with specific things then can implement immediately into their class environment, and how to avoid the trap of compliance and limitations for your students.   We will be reminded why we go back to these old habits of “the traditional classroom,” and how we can get school administrators to buy in. With a combination of humor, audience participation, and energizing examples of student work, Don will demonstrate how to build a culture of innovation and creativity.