“Conventional wisdom”

Today, the second day of the convention, and I was almost completely acclimated to this new, different schedule. I got up before the alarm went off at 5:15, ate a quick breakfast, then got dressed and ready in record time. My colleagues and I caught the Metro at our usual station, and had an enjoyable ride on the train to downtown Phoenix. A couple of keynote speakers and a “breakout” session later, it was lunch time. We walked to Hard Rock Café, which was fine with me since I’d never been to one.

As we walked there, it struck me that Phoenix is finally growing up. It looks more like a real city than it ever has before. I won’t say it is “mature,” but there are always growing pains to any urban area. Unfortunately, our lawmakers are still embarrassing us, but one can always hope for a better, smarter future.

Ceiling of Hard Rock Café:

In the restaurant, we ordered lunch, then waited. And waited. And waited. It was almost an hour before we were served. I had unintentionally ordered an enormous sandwich, and then felt obligated to eat it, which was a mistake. I was glad for the walk back to the convention center, only for me it felt like a “waddle.” I should know better than to eat like that.

I love shooting tall buildings:

Because of the long wait for lunch, our sessions had already started. We all dispersed into various rooms, and I went to one about technology. There is always this big push for technology in education, and we eagerly embrace it, only to have it fall short when hardware and software limitations get in the way. For example, hundreds of people trying to access one website at the same time causes problems, like crashing. One of the problems with technology not being fully implemented in schools is simple logistics. If this happens when a teacher is trying to use it, he or she “loses” the kids.

The best thing about this session, though, was the conversation that I had with a man sitting next to me, who is from New York.  He said almost the exact thing that I said yesterday about these “new” ideas and presentations. There are always more hoops to jump through, and there never is enough time for us to do simple, important things, like grading. Yes, that takes time! And if we don’t get that time, we can’t get the work done and then give useful feedback and help to the students. It’s pretty simple.

After that, the group from our school re-convened, and we all decided we were “done.” We discussed more of what we’d thought about and learned during our sessions while riding the Metro back to our cars. It was a productive day.

Found this on the street as we walked to the Metro:

Amazingly, tomorrow is the last day of the convention, and I am going to miss the time spent out in the world seeking and discussing new ideas.


4 thoughts on ““Conventional wisdom”

  1. Conventions are so much fun; you get to be surrounded by people with similar interests and new ideas! I live in the downtown ASU campus and love it out here. I thought I recognized those buildings!
    Happy Travels,

  2. I think you were wise to go to the technology session. Somehow, this needs to be a key part of the new schooling environment. Kids are going to be immersed more and more in a digital world, and I wish you educators much luck and wisdom embracing it in the classroom. So tell me, did you pick up any one thing that you can do to make it more successful in your classes?

    • I agree. I wish we could all have virtual schools.

      Yes. The idea to make higher-level “non-Google-able” questions to enhance critical thinking skills.

      I am curious to know how my kids are doing on the reports they are supposed to be working on. I had a great substitute, but it still wasn’t great to be out of my classroom for three days. I guess I will see how much damage control I have to do on Monday!

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