Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hello Again: Reflections from C-Span Educator's Conference

Hello!  It's been um, awhile, since I've posted.  This past week I had the opportunity to attend an amazing education conference for social studies teachers in Washington D.C.  Every time I attend a conference, I am very eager to get back to the classroom to try out some new ideas.  Since it's summer I have to wait another month, so I figured a reflection post was the best way to summarize my experience. The CSPAN Summer Educator's Conference is a two day conference held at CSPAN headquarters on Capitol Hill.

I applied for the conference back in January, and was fortunate to be included with some amazing educator's from around the country.  I also received some nice publicity for my attendance at this conference, which I greatly appreciate!
-Lincoln Journal Star Article
-Norris School District Announcement

While at the conference run by CSPAN's education department, 31 teacher's from around the United States engaged in professional development based around utilizing C-SPAN programming and web resources to benefit our classrooms and students.  We were treated to discussions with several of CSPAN's executive directors, programming directors, CSPAN Teacher Fellows, and the three person team dedicated to serving teachers.  It was amazing to me that as a company CSPAN employs under 300 people, and only 3 in the education department!  The first day was focused on familiarizing ourselves with the wealth of resources provided by C-SPAN not only to teachers, but to the general public as well.  Day 1 wrapped up with an amazing discussion with CSPAN's Political Editor, Senior Executive VP, and host Steve Scully.  Steve discussed the 2016 election and gave some reflections on elections of the past, it was extremely interesting to say the least!

Day two was more of a workshop setting, giving us time to use the tools we learned about on day one.  We focused on clipping pieces of video that could be utilized in our classrooms for lesson plans.  We also heard from the three teacher fellows for 2015, who described how they utilized the tools we were learning about in the previous year.

It's impossible to summarize how grateful I am to have engaged in this opportunity.  I always walk away from conferences saying that if I take away one thing that's useful, it was worth it.  I took away dozens of ideas from this conference, and more importantly, networked with some of the best and brightest teacher's from around the country.  I have a great deal of respect for CSPAN and what they do for the general public, but more specifically what they do for educator's.  I highly recommend the PD opportunities they provide and hope to participate once again someday.  I can not wait to return to the classroom this fall and utilized these ideas for the benefit of my students!

In conclusion, here are a few photo's from my trip.  You can't go to Washington DC and not visit the amazing array of monuments, museums, and in general historic sites!  The city is amazing, and no matter how many times you have been there, you see, and learn something new each and every time.  Thanks for reading!