Last year my colleagues and I traveled around the country attending conferences and workshops for mathematics educators. We also “met” thousands of teachers online when they participated in our online courses and webinars. We gave talks, hosted Ignite! events, delivered workshops, chatted to teachers who visited our booth, gave demos, encouraged people to try our learning tools for themselves, and even shared a few beers with some of you. Wherever we went the teachers we met were delighted to have the time to invest in their own professional development.
As I sit here on the last work day of the year, I realize with all the rushing around we did, we didn’t give much time to our own professional development. We squeezed a little in, especially at NCSM and some of the regional conferences, but we were kept busy organizing the various events I mention above. Time for a change in 2012!
First up will be a visit to the d. school at Stanford in early January. I may even make it a field trip for our product managers. From what I’ve read and heard from people who have taken courses at the d. school, their design thinking process is all the more interesting because of the human-centered collaborative process that lies at the heart of the work. I’m also extremely attracted to working with people from multiple disciplines to solve problems.
At the end of January, I’ll be visiting the UK to attend the Learning without Frontiers conference and festival. I love that the organizers have tagged “festival” onto the end of the name of the event. It just makes it sound even more fun. Learning without Frontiers has been described as the “Davos of the global education industry.” I’m personally very interested in hearing Noam Chomsky speak, as well as Sir Ken Robinson and Stephen Heppell. I’m traveling with a colleague and we’ve decided to make a quick trip up North to visit my family in chilly Scotland. I’m such a wimp in the cold after all these years in California.
I have my eye on some other events for 2012, but this is a pretty good start. I believe in practicing what you preach, so when I next see you and I’m encouraging you to attend one of our professional development events you now know that I’m signed up for some PD too.
All the best for the New Year!