I am surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Banff Alberta Canada. This alone is probably enough. But no, there is more. I am surrounded by 1100 educator innovators from literally around the world. Yet still more. I am also able to experience the profound knowledge of educational thinkers who have dedicated their lives to deepening the learning for students in our world. Top this off with great food and the occasional glass of wine, makes this conference, ‘uLead 2016’ (www.ulead.ca) one of the best.
It is energizing to listen to Dr. William Rankin (Director of Learning at Apple) inviting us to ‘give a brain a problem and it will light up!’ He also said ‘If you can do your educational innovation on paper, you should. It is cheaper!’ He invites us to: “Wrap community, context and content around all the student learning challenges we present to students.” and “This is NOT ABOUT gatekeeping and control!!!”
I am profoundly moved when I hear this last comment, since it has always been my mantra. We must get way past the days of educational control (neat and tidy boxes) and truly allow the freedom of learning to exist in every single classroom for every child.
Dr. Rankin also highly recommended we read the book ‘The End of Average‘ by Todd Rose. I have already purchased and started the book on my iPad. Why read it? We must stop teaching to the average, because the average does not exist. It is not the service our students require to be life long learners. Crack open our curriculum and get beyond ‘average’. I think this book deserves to be on our staff book study list.
Regardless of your take on uLead2016, I am thinking of the power of leadership and how we can make a difference in the learning of all students. As one talk title states, we are called to ‘world class learning’. I want to be part of a lead learning team whose sole purpose is to provide world class learning for every single child where the word ‘average’ is not part of the curriculum.