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Kick-Starting Innovation

Nothing like time learning with your colleagues—something respondents on surveys rate as one of the most preferred forms of professional learning . Better yet is deciding with your colleagues what you want to learn and then teaching and learning together!
The Kansas Association of Teachers of English called it an UnConference—check it out at #KATEcon on Twitter. Teachers talked about

KATEconInteractiveNotebooksKATEconGradingKATEconteaacherburnout

Another name for this sort of learning is EdCamp and the Iowa Council of Teachers of English held their first EdCamps this past June. Yes, four EdCamps: Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Orange City, and Logan—all at the same time! In Des Moines, for example, teachers shared resources and techniques for independent reading, writers’ workshop, and using Chromebooks and talked about nonfiction, writers’ notebooks, and classroom discussion. The Cedar Rapids site worked in one session on digital writing, blogging, and independent writing; in another on common assessments, socially just classrooms, differentiation, and gamification; and ended the day with positivity, staying stress free, and handling the paper load. Track them on Facebook.IowaEdCamp

Call it what you will—learning together is smart learning, fun learning, and just the learning we need!