#CUERockstar Admin Camp Day 1 – 2am Reflection

red-pill-rockstar-admin

I think we say Technology is just a tool so as not to scare people away from it but the truth is, technology is a powerful disrupter of the status quo and the idea of disturbing the status quo is very scary to a lot of people. As Jon Corippo said to me recently, if we as educators are merely content delivery systems, then replacing us with technology will only get easier and easier. Anyone can deliver content, even (and especially) an Internet connected computer. As Educators, the art and the craft of our profession is in designing the learning experiences in our schools and classrooms. In the age of ubiquitous access to content, we are responsible for more than just access to the what, we are, now more than ever, responsible for the how of learning. The challenge is to effectively utilize the transformative powers of technology to engage, inspire and connect kids to their own learning, to build a compelling how for all students.

The highlight of my Rockstar Admin Camp Day 1 was hearing from Joe Sanfelippo about how his district is using technology to connect his community and his students to share their stories. It’s an amazing example of how technology can be used to build transformative cultures that support student learning. #gocrickets.

Having attended the first two Rockstar Teacher Camps (20102011), I’ve been a fan of the Rockstar experience since the beginning. While the content is great, it’s not particularly unique to Rockstar (don’t tell anyone I told you so). It’s the structure of the event (the how!) that really makes Rockstar the powerful professional development learning experience it is. Longer sessions, longer (collaborative) lunch, time to meet new people, time to meet the Rockstar Faculty, just enough session choice to allow for differentiation without being totally overwhelming. The learning environment at a Rockstar camp is no accident, it’s by design.

What reinforced that idea for me again on day 1 of Rockstar Admin Camp was browsing through all of the session content. Because at Rockstar, it doesn’t matter what session you physically chose to go to on Day 1, you will have access to all of the content online. Which tells me, learning at a Rockstar Camp isn’t about shoveling stuff at me in powerpoint slide decks, or showing off the latest and greatest tech tool (although AudioBoom is pretty cool). It’s about building an environment, The Rockstar Camp Experience, where learning happens and content is just another resource in the room.

To wrap things up, Corippo came out with a great session title a while back, “HOW to do Common Core – we already know the WHY”. In my head somehow I’ve managed to subvert that into, “HOW to do Common Core, we already know the WHAT.” Because at the end of the day, standards are standards, it’s the how we teach that really matters to kids and Rockstar is all about the how.

That would be my 2am, can’t stop thinking about Day 1 attempt to explain the power of a Rockstar Camp but really, you should experience one for yourself.

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