This weeks blog post is a reflection of the #peinstitute2015. Going into the conference I was hyped up. The great Adam Llevo (@mradampe) was flying in from Saudi Arabia. I was going to pick him up at the train station and together we would drive 2 hours to Pennsylvania to pick up the notorious Nicholas Endlich (@nicholasendlich). This would start a 10 hour epic road trip that started at midnight and ended at ten in the morning. Adam slept through most of the night while Nick and I played comedy bits and our favorite songs from our library. We struggled through the night and arrived tired but full of adrenaline.
Check in did not occur until 2 pm. so we picked up the naturalized U.S. citizen Jo Bailey, and headed to Ashville for breakfast. I wanted to taste authentic Asheville cuisine so I asked the waitress to order me the best thing on the menu. She came out with fried chicken and pancakes! What a deliciously unhealthy meal to eat for breakfast. We sampled the local beverages at another establishment where Jo Bailey saw firsthand how Baggo should be played before heading back to the hotel.
Upon returning back to the hotel we went straight to the high ropes course. I started on fire. There were no obstacles holding me back. I clipped myself in and bolted as fast as I could. The course was no match for me. I quickly distanced myself from the rest of the group and was the king of the course. Then came the platform of doom. The platform was over 200 feet in the air. (ok maybe 30 feet but it felt like 200) I was frozen for 20 minutes unable to summon the courage to jump. Jo Bailey caught up to me and talked me down. She even offered to go first!! My ego wouldn’t let that happen. I would rather have two broken legs than let her go first! With Jo’s assurance and my ego I finally jumped off the ledge. The anticlimactic nature of being gently lowered to the ground was amazing! I finished the course making a complete fool of myself and having the time of my life! Check out the videos below:
Sleep finally conquered me and I woke up the next day ready to learn. Jarrod Robinson (@mrrobbo) was the opening keynote to the conference. He spoke about the power to connect and mentioned Adam, Nick, and I. What an honor it was to be in the opening keynote! Check out his slide share here. His speech was a curveball for many because it wasn’t all about tech. This was brilliant because tech is only one aspect of teaching physical education. His speech centered around 7 super powers of a great teacher. They were connection, reflection, mobile, video, outsourcing, learning, and sharing. Each one of these areas are so important for a teacher to consider when improving their pedagogy.
The next three days flew by and the learning never ceased. Wednesday came quickly and it was time for our presentation that Nick, Adam, and I had planned. The session started off super rocky. Our tech expert was flailing and things were not looking great. The room was packed and the temperature was rising from the massive amount of heat that was being generated. I was sweating profusely and was happy with my choice of headband attire. Everything finally worked and our session was off and running. We presented plickers, NLPC.US, Soyouthinkyoucanbalance, Soyouthinkyouarefit, padlet, Team Shake, and Nearpod (click nearpod link for our presentation). The feedback we received was amazing. I believe we helped some teachers with tools that will enhance their teaching. This will in turn enable students to learn better which will in turn help change the world. (this is my parade don’t rain on it)
I will leave you with my hits and misses from the #peninstitute2015. Keep the conversation going on the blog or #peinstitute2015
Hit: Jarrod Robinsons keynote avoiding just tech in physical education.
Miss: Lack of racial diversity of the keynotes in 2015 and 2016.
Hit: The diversity of the attendees. (gender, race, origin of country)
Hit: The wifi once it was rolling.
Miss: Most presenters and keynotes making people sit for 45 minutes at a physical education conference (practice what we preach?)
Hit: Hidden curriculum teaches our students via Dr. Ash Casey. Pay attention to what we aren’t saying or doing as much as what we are saying or doing.
Hit: Provocations. Tying our content to the emotional and empathetic side our students via Andy Vasily.
Hit: Free coffee at the conference center.
Hit: The basketball game on Tuesday.
Hit: Tons of free resources given out.
Hit: UBD emphasis propogated by Joey Feith.
Miss: The audio at the conference.
Hit: The dj at the hotel
Hit: The Pe Institute signs that saved the attendees money.
I left the conference feeling closer to people than ever before. My Voxer and Twitter PLN was super strong! It was great meeting the people face to face who I am in contact with all the time via social media. I highly encourage you to attend this conference whether you teach physical education or not. The passion and dedication to learning was second to none!
Q1: What is the greatest takeaway from a recent conference you have attended #slowchatpe
Q2: Do you feel that conferences are worth the time and money? Why or why not? #slowchatpe
Q3: How do we get more presenters and keynotes of racial and ethnic diversity? #slowchatpe
Q4: How do you keep the flame lit after conferences you attend? #slowchatpe
Q5: Who is someone you heard speak or present at a conference that others should know about? #slowchatpe