Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Building Learning Communities Conference More Than Lives Up To Its Name

Source: ASIDE 2018

Source: November Learning
This year’s Building Learning Communities - Education Conference 2018 more than lived up to its goal of fostering dialogues between talented, dedicated educators. Sponsored by November Learning (@NLearning), the BLC18 conference took place from Tuesday, July 24, to Friday, July 28, 2018, in the beautiful and perfectly situated Boston Park Plaza Hotel. The industry-leading keynote speakers and the expert presenters were all chosen personally by Alan November (@globalearner).

We don’t think we have ever been to an educational get-together, whether formal or informal, that created as true a sense of community as this past week's conference. The engaged, committed educators were all open and candid in sharing ideas and dilemmas, and the tone of the conference was set early by Alan November to encourage conversation among every voice in the room.

Source: Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence; Lafayette PTA

The opening keynote address by Dr. Marc A. Brackett, PhD, (@marcbrackett, @YaleEmotion) stressed the importance of emotional intelligence, as he introduced the audience to Yale’s RULER approach and mood meter. The closing keynote provided a fitting bookend to this message as Ted Dintersmith (@dintersmith) author of Most Likely To Succeed and What School Could Be, as well as the film "Most Likely To Succeed," talked passionately about how schools can reinvent themselves to better serve today's learners.

Source: Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
As non-computer programmers, we were somewhat bewildered by Stephen Wolfram's (@stephen_wolfram) talk on Thursday afternoon. We were amazed, however, by the potential of his WolframAlpha search engine, which seems ready to upend modern information-gathering. Its “smart” algorithm coalesces data and far-flung facts on any topic (or combination of topics) to make most traditional homework assignments obsolete.

All of the presenters were clearly prepared and heartfelt in offering a good balance between practical teaching tools and theoretical learning frameworks. Some of our favorite sessions included:



We would like to thank all of the collaborative teachers and administrators who attended both of our sessions: "Where Learning Meets Design: Taking Control Of The Visual Classroom" and "Student Videos: Empower Creativity And Visual Journalism." We would also like to thank everyone for generously returning after the hotel fire alarm interrupted the first presentation. We greatly appreciate the range of questions and ideas that were shared during the talks, and we are grateful for the kind feedback we received.


We were also honored to be interviewed by Bob Greenberg (@bobgreenberg) for his Brainwaves Anthology series on YouTube. His videos celebrate teachers who make an impact, and his interviews with international thought-leaders highlight many of the progressive ideas changing traditional models of learning.


Finally, we would like to thank the tremendous conference organizers who staged such an incredibly smooth and well-run week of professional development. They fed us extremely well, with a full breakfast every morning, a welcoming dinner for presenters, drinks and snacks throughout, evening cocktail receptions, and, of course, the favorite dessert dance on Thursday.


If you are in the Back Bay area of Boston, Erbaluce is a charming little Italian restaurant two blocks from the hotel, and Lucca is an absolutely delicious extension near the Prudential Center of the popular North End establishment.

We look forward to seeing everyone at BLC19!

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    Emotional intelligence is an a confusing expression, an expression to additionally decay the dialect into shallow and negligible articulations as portrayed by Daniel Goleman and Richard E. Boyatzis in the article Emotional Intelligence Has 12 Elements. Emotion is a human feeling, insight springs from rationale and reason, and they are two inverse and complimentary characteristics of human experience. Both are critical to being human, yet passionate insight as well as emotional intelligence are ironic expressions much in the manner in which wise feelings would be a paradoxical expression.
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