Well, NCSS2012 turned out to be a bit different than I expected. Primarily because I got food poisoning and was only able to attend one day of the conference 😦 Thankfully, I had a great AirBnB rental. If I had to be sick and stuck by myself in a city I don’t very well, this was a great place to be.
I started off with a session presented by Jenny Betz, who works for GLSEN, on crafting LGBT-inclusive lessons. She shared a couple resources, including Unheard Voices, an oral history project created in conjunction with StoryCorps and the ADL. I’m looking forward to using some of their materials in the protests and rights movements unit I do in my Upper School US History class.
I dipped into a session by StreetLaw on the upcoming Supreme Court term and got a nice one page summary of the case we’re using for our Supreme Court simulation.
Charles Hayes, who works at the Newseum as part of the First Amendment Center, shared Tony Blair’s (yes, that Tony Blair) Faith Foundation, which seeks to create inter-religious dialogue, especially among young people. The Face to Faith initiative includes resources on facilitating respectful dialogue. I imagine that these could be useful whether discussing faith or other potentially polarizing topics.
I presented a poster session on my US History blended learning class. It’s fun to talk about that class and I love sharing students’ experiences of it. While part of me was a little bummed I was accepted for a poster, rather than a presentation session, I liked the idea of the poster sessions. While I would have designed my display differently, having seen the setup, I thought it provided folks an opportunity to interact in a way that I enjoyed. Of course, the big drawbacks are that it’s hard to have a conversation with more than a couple people at once, and some folks are uncomfortable approaching people to talk to them.
I was a little disappointed there wasn’t more online energy, especially since the conference venue provided free wi-fi and plentiful wall outlets. There were a few people tweeting and using the #NCSS12 hashtag, but I wished for more, especially after I got sick.
The conference I wasn’t at….
For the past three years, this weekend I’ve been at NCTE 2012. I knew I would miss being there this year, and indeed that was the case. When Teresa tweeted a pic of Natalie Merchant, one of my top 5 favorite artists hanging out with people, it nearly killed me. The great thing about NCTE, though, is that there’s an increasingly large group of people who tweet almost non-stop during the conference, so in-between being sick, I could follow along 🙂 Always impressed by the way folks like Bud and Andrea engage people using online spaces.