Weeks 32, 33 & 34: Sources of inspiration

As my  Fellowship year is slowly drawing to its end, I just can't find the time to write my weekly (or bi-weekly) posts. The whole year has been very busy, but now it seems to me that my day should last 48 hours if I want to complete all the things on my schedule.

The past weeks have been all about conferences. The TLT Symposium in University Park was a great event with some inspiring speakers and workshop leaders. Dr. Eric Mazur gave a great keynote on teacher education in the 21st century. He is an amazing speaker who engaged all of us in a heated discussion on a physics-related topic. Another presentation that I really liked and found very interesting and useful was One Tool Doesn't Fit All focused on Universal Design for Learning.

The highlight of all the conferences and workshops that I've had a chance to attend during my fellowship year has been the P21 Summit on 21st Century Learning in Washington DC. It was just my perfect cup of tea. The keynotes, the panels, the workshops - they were all excellent. I especially liked Fredi Lajvardi's inspirational keynote Improbable to Unstoppable about a robotics team made up of four underprivileged students from a Phoenix high school where he works as a STEM teacher. A documentary film Underwater Dreams and a Hollywood motion picture Spare Parts have been made about him and his team  and how they beat the MIT robotics and other university teams in a national robotics competition. I also liked the workshop The Critical Components of 21st Century Creativity. You can find more about it in the white paper Inspiring a Generation to Create: Critical Components of Creativity in Children that has just been released. And, BTW, at the conference, Dr Helen Soule, the CEO of The Partnership for 21st Century Skills announced the change of the name of  The Partnership into The Partnership for 21st Century Learning.

All the fellows have been working hard on their capstone projects and last Tuesday we had our poster presentation. The turnout was great and we did our best to present our projects that we're planning to implement when we return home.

I've traveled quite a bit over the past weeks, but it's not the travel itself that made these weeks so special. It was my family who was here with me, first my husband, then my kids, my sister and my nephew. I loved having them here in the US with me.  If only they could stay with me until the end of the year! (Note to future Humphrey Fellows: bring your family with you!)


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