This morning I had the pleasure of presenting a session at the summer conference for the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics. I know a few people in the organization and in a twitter conversation with Bob Lochel (@bobloch) I was encouraged to submit a speaker proposal. I wrote up a proposal for a session called Escaping the Tyranny of the Textbook. As my loyal readers know I spent the summer of 2014 writing a Geometry text for use at our school (you can find the 2nd Edition here) and I wanted to talk about the relative ease (compared to 10 or even 5 years ago) of putting together your own curriculum. I was not there to advise that people write their own books, just to point out the wealth of resources available on the web and through twitter. I was fortunate enough to have my proposal accepted and I was originally slotted to lead a small roundtable conversation for about 30 minutes. Well, about a week ago Bob reached out and asked if I was willing/able to move to a 50 minute time slot. I agreed but figured that this required a bit more advance planning on my part. I sent out a call for help and received numerous helpful tweets and I put together this Power Point slide show. I had a group of about twenty people in the room and we had a lovely conversation. People asked some great questions, they seemed to appreciate the resources I organized with the help of the MTBoS tribe, and I have already had folks reach out to me via email. The common theme that emerged was a desire on the part of the participants to have support in navigating the world of resources available. A few people told tales of schools giving them technology tools but no PD support to help them use those tools. It is clear from my experiences, and from the voices in this room, that this is a long process. Finding trustworthy connections both in your building and out in the wide world, takes time, energy, and support. I positioned myself as a cheerleader for MTBoS and for collaboration – both virtual and face to face. I am optimistic that I will strike up a correspondence with some of the folks in the room this morning and that some of them will take the jump this year to reaching out of their classroom and tapping in to the world of resources available to them.
Another Lovely Learning Day
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