Dr. Lisa Spiro began our Symposium with a session on ‘Ideation’, a new concept for many of us. She led us through exercises to examine our ways of leading our learners. How can we bring fresh ideas into our teaching to connect with our learners.
Dr. William Rankin of Abilene Christian University helped us realize that technology to us is viewed as an extension of our students. Our learners expect to use their devices to learn because they communicate with and through their devices. He inspired us with new ways of looking at our technology.
Dr. Bryan Alexander gave us a look at immersive learning techniques and resources. Virtual worlds and augmented reality are only two of the ways we need to learn about to keep up with the world of our learners.
Day 2 of the Symposium was field trip day to experience how space and learning are connected. We spent the day visiting sites that are embracing change as the norm. Our first stop was Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) in the Blue Valley School District. CAPS is an interesting study in how student led space configurations play a major role in some extraordinary learning experiences for high school students. Next we visited a corporate site, Cerner Innovations Center. Thoughtful consideration has been given to every aspect of how workers interact with their work space. We were given a glimpse to how space can increase productivity and worker satisfaction. Not being adverse to changes in spaces and working conditions has helped make Cerner a major player in the local economy.
Dr. Dan Garvey gave our keynote on Thursday evening. His ideas helped bring the previous sessions and experiences together. Our learners are wanting us to move forward with fresh thinking and experiences.
We took our two day ‘immersion’ into practice on Day 3. We spread out around campus to examine how our classrooms, hallways, green spaces could be rethought into learning spaces. We came back with a new lens on our tasks ahead.
As we move beyond our Symposium, I am hoping for these new ways of thinking to stir some private contemplation and percolate some conversations between colleagues. We have exciting times ahead to embrace as refreshing challenges. Change is not comfortable, but it can be invigorating.