Takeaways from the Celebration of Teaching and Learning

On March 17th, I was “lucky” enough to attend the Celebration of Teaching and Learning in New York City.  With the sounds of the rowdy St. Patrick’s Day parade crowd outside, we were busy celebrating teachers inside. It was refreshing and exciting to be among so many professionals gathered specifically for the sole purpose of inspiring teachers to continue the hard work that they do every day.  The conference was very diverse, with speakers from Henry Winkler to Henry Louis Gates. Here’s a few conference takeaways:

Adobe Youth Voices. One of my favorite sessions was about Adobe Youth Voices, the global signature philanthropy program of the Adobe Foundation.  Adobe Youth Voices aims to empower youth in underserved communities around the globe with real-world experiences and 21st century tools to communication their ideas, exhibit their potential, and take action in their communities. They accomplish these goals through the use of media tools (surprise!) like Adobe Premiere Elements. Students who participate in the program learn how to transform creative writing into music videos or tell a meaningful story with documentary films. All of the educational resources are offered free on the website, along with inspired student video creations. If you haven’t heard of the program, I encourage you to go check them out: https://www.adobe.com/corporate-responsibility/youth-creativity.html.

National Geographic Education. Recently National Geographic redesigned their website to focus on real-world inquiry and provide educational resources for blended learning. A great resource for teachers: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/

Henry Winkler is a hoot. He could recite the phone book and still find a way to make it entertaining. Unfortunately, his childhood education experience was a source of frustration and embarrassment. Now, he speaks for awareness and support of organizations that help students with dyslexia and other special needs. For more info: http://dyslexia.yale.edu/story/henry-winkler/  

Rising to the Challenge. I attended an extremely interesting session by John Herrington, a NASA astronaut who struggled his first year in college but overcame many challenges before he was given the opportunity to travel to the International Space Station. For him, teachers made all the difference. Their vision for John was greater than he could have imagined, and their mentorship changed the course of his life. Very inspiring, just a reminder of the important work that teachers do every day!