ASCD Reflection Sunday

I’m not sure how to describe today. My first session was about Inquiry-based learning design. Sounds good. Not so much. The room was probably ¾ full when it began. When I left, about 50 minutes in, about half the people remained. There was a pretty steady flow of people exiting the room, I felt bad for the presenter. Maybe her best stuff was yet to come, but I was getting nothing besides a very general description of inquiry learning. Are my expectations too high? Am I picking poor sessions? Am I just a snob?

Maya Angelou is amazing. Plain and simple. She didn’t give a lecture, she told a story and today I really understand the stark difference between the two. She is truly an orator, which I think is a dying art. She is an inspiring speaker and definitely one of the high points of ASCD.  It was a nice gift for St. Patrick's Day. 

Disappointment struck after lunch when I couldn’t get in Common-Core related Performance Assessments. I love performance assessments, but the McCormick staff member stopped me in my tracks and wouldn’t let me enter, lest I break the fire code. I slipped into Using Common Core to Enable 21st Century Learning. BORING. I sincerely apologize. Really. I don’t know if a full belly and late night last night had something to do with it, but this session nearly put me to sleep. There was one really great slide with about 10 good ideas on it, but many of the slides were very wordy rubrics or screenshots of documents with fonts too small to read. The last speaker of the trio had a novel idea: provide the documents to the audience so we can actually read them and have a legitimate takeaway besides the awkward sounds of yawning and the door closing as people walk out. The final speaker of this session focused on problem solving and his handout was actually very useful, but 10 minutes into his speaking he lost my attention.

The last session of the day that I wanted to attend was full and my backup was cancelled so I called it a day. I’m still disappointed in the organization of the conference. They are cancelling sessions without updating the app they provided, or I can’t figure out how to access it. Hopefully Monday will provide some redemption. I also want to apologize for my lack of careful editing as I am trying to put this out as fast as possible.

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