ASCD 2012 – Saturday

Today was the first day of the ASCD conference in my hometown of Philadelphia, and I had the opportunity to attend a number of interesting sessions…

It’s Not About the Bling – Technology Through an Instructional Lens

This presentation was by the Multimedia User Group from San Juan, California, where they have embraced  technology as enhancing and transforming instruction:

technology allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable.

The group discussed the need to move to a re-difinition level, where high tech and high pedagogy are married.  Many districts, like mine, probably hover at the augmentation level, where high tech are matched with low to middle pedagogy practice.

The “It’s Not About the Bling” acronym provides a framework for student-centered technology integration.  Goals are focused on the student:

Interactions – Non-linguistic represntations – Assessments – Thinking Skills – Build

Teachers in the MMUG meet for 3 Saturdays each year for a day of sharing, collaboration and development.  The message is that it’s not about pretty background and slide transitions, but effective message delivery.

General session – Reed Timmer.  Discovery Education.  Stormchaser

Thanks to Discovery Education for sponsoring Reed’s inspirational speech, which included exciting videos of his adventures.  I was amazed by Reed’s story, and his transformation of chase videos from and old Buick to the chase mobiles he uses today.


I was most interested in the unique data collection methods, which take place in relative chaos…parachutes launched from potato guns attached to hulls of vehicles.  Parachutes open and follow spirals of tornadoes, which collect data on speed and temperature every 5 seconds.  Later, my boss and curriculum director noted “It’s like the guys from Jackass melded with science”.  He’s probably not all that far off…..

Thanks to Janeeta for her gracious invitation to the Discovery Ed dinner, and best wishes to Pat, as he moves on from the teaching ranks to his exciting new job with Discovery!

Differentiated Math Strategies for Addressing the Common Core

This session included a few interesting nuggets for challenging student thought and discussion: Example for defending reasoning: Does .9 repeating equal 1? Discuss and defend.

One colleague noted…We agree that 1/3 = .3 repeating, and that 2/3 = .6 repeating…therefore .9 = 3/3 or 1

There was a intriguing response from the group which I appreciated: “if two numbers are not equal, there must be some other number between them.  What number lies between .9 repeating and 1?”

Finally, thanks to the ASCD crew for the great fun at the tweet-up this evening!  Look me up at @bobloch

Looking forward to tomorrow!


By Bob Lochel

HS Math Teacher. Hatboro-Horsham School District, Horsham, PA.

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