Sir Ken Robinson recognizes how kids lose their creativity, how that keeps them from doing what they dream of doing, and how that actually inhibits the progress of society. Ken Robinson’s Ted talk has been seen by millions, it is here. It is interesting and thought provoking with his observations on education.
Ken Robinson recognizes the value of Career and Technical Education. He recognizes that we need to provide students with opportunities to pursue careers that will provide them with a good wages, opportunities to be creative, and improve their world.
I purchased Ken Robinson’s book; Out of Minds; Learning to be Creative, I did not get his other book The Element. I went back to the ACTE bookstore and it was sold out! His website is here: http://sirkenrobinson.com/skr/ .
What I also found interesting was Dr. Roach’s presentation, Dr. Roach works for the St. Louis School District as a Principle. What she conveyed regarding what is going on in the St. Louuis School System is exciting to say the least..however I can only hope that we are giving the kids in my home state the same opportunities so that can be competitive.
Following that I went over to the exhibit hall which was filled with a mind bending number of vendors with lots of interesting things for education and things that are high tech. I can’t quite seem to take my eyes off the robots there and wondering how soon it will be until we see these guys patrolling our local malls, schools and maybe airports.
I also couldn’t take my eyes off the mobile emergency preparedness training lab, the simulated backhoe from the North Central Kansas technical college, and some HVAC stuff at another booth. Of course there are training systems like Amatrol, etc. I was on the lookout for medical training simulators but did not see a lot of that sort of thing.
I went over and took in a couple of workshops from vendors. I was impressed on the uses of Mindview software. This software allows the user to create a mind map from which you can create a document with a table of contents, headers, powerpoint, etc. it was impressive. If I thought I were going to pursue any more research this would be a worthwhile investment.
I also attended some sessions on Green Construction. One may think this is just a passing fad, but I think it’s here to stay. We will see this written into building code more frequently and as it spreads we will see the demand increase for carpenters, electricians, plumbers and HVAC with expertise in this area.
I then went to a session on legislative activities regarding CTE education at the federal level. These include Carl D. Perkins, No Child Left Behind, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Workforce Investment Act. In a nutshell until our Representatives quit fighting on the “Hill,” we will keep doing what we have always done and spending money..either effectively or ineffectively on education programs. What this has also done is pushed the responsibility for keeping the services for programs, such as some parts of Perkins, to the State level.
The specifics on the programs can be found here:
In my opinion it is ridiculous that these programs are in limbo because of the political games that occur on Capital Hill. Truth be told change needs to be made in these programs and yet educators and others are hamstrung and bound to the status quo until these programs are revised..however if they are just funded under a continuing resolution that will never happen.
If you want to see creativity in education and change in education then change needs to happen at this level.
Reading is fundamental to how we learn and that seems to be the consensus of a lot of people at this conference. I attended Jim Mile’s session on reading Strategies for Career Academies and CTE. I am interested in learning more about reading strategies and what programs we can implement to improve our students reading levels. Jim Miles is with the International Center for Leadership in Education. Here is a link to a book he has written on that subject. This book was also available in the ACTE bookstore.
This morning I attended the session presented by the open day speaker, Ray McNulty and am I glad I did. McNulty’s thoughts and observations on education are refreshing to say the least. McNulty is also with the International Center for Leadership in Education. McNulty is known for encouraging us to not just settle for the best practice but to push for the next practice. He maybe write in his assertion that we should not just settle for what is proven to work on the basis of data, but to always be innovative in seeking further opportunities in what works.
Some quotes attributed to McNulty: “Educators state we want it to better .. we don’t want it to be different.” “The future is not a place we are going to but a place we are creating.”
“Cooperation is a division of labor and collaboration is an essential skill…” We need to encourage those on our teams to not come up with the one “best answer..” but the next answer and the next answer.
I attended Mark Perna’s session on Millenials. It is my goal to get him to visit our school to provide our faculty and staff with information on tools for retention and strategies for educating millenials. HIs website is here: http://www.mt4s.com/
I attended some other sessions following this ..will try to catch up on those later!