I recently returned from the annual North American Jewish Day School Conference, held this year in Washington, D.C. It was a wonderful experience, and you can click here for links to the conference. You can click here (even if you do not have a Twitter account) to see tweets from and about the conference.
There were many wonderful keynotes and sessions. I had occasion to do lots of productive networking and project-planning. And it was wonderful to reconnect with colleagues and friends from years past.
Whenever I return from a conference, my temptation is to push as much information about my experience as possible out onto my blog. I have done so using words, Wordle’s, screen shots of tweets, pictures of graphic organizers, etc., etc. And if you want to see examples of all those kinds of retro-diaries of prior conferences I have attended, please feel free to click here, here, here, here, and here.
But not this one.
No, in this blog post I simply wish to present one photo which, to me, represents everything I believe about education as it came to life before my very eyes. What you see in this picture is the theory of 21st century learning (or as we now like to call it in 2013 – “learning”) in practice.
These are middle school students at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School in Jacksonville, Florida participating through a back-channel (TodaysMeet) as part of a crowd-sourcing dvar Torah that I was giving (that’s me in the foreground on the screen) in Washington, D.C. by way of introducing Heidi Hayes Jacobs (that’s her in the chair in the background on the screen) at the North American Jewish Day School Conference.
It is all there. The reaction of the conference attendees was priceless and my pride was boundless. Not for me. (Although it was pretty cool introducing Heidi and leading the activity…but that wasn’t it.) Looking at what our teachers and students have accomplished over the last couple of years amazes and astounds. I am proud to be at a school where a picture like that and others just like it can be taken on a daily basis.
It is not a picture of the future of education. The future of education is happening now. And it is happening here each day.