Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tomlinson and Jacobs-Icons of my time

Being in education for twenty plus years I am thrilled to be able to sit in sessions with the familiar names I have heard and authors I have read. Carol Ann Tomlinson was one of those familiar names that I now have a face to go with the name. Her session was unfortunately plagued with audio problems which she seemed to take in stride and was eventually able to share most of her presentation. I was “jazzed” to see the author she referenced in today’s presentation was our own System’s Change Conference speaker and South Dakota native, Gary Marx. Tomlinson used Marx’s body of research from his book, Ten Trends to emphasize the importance of differentiating instruction to meet the vastly diverse population we see in our classrooms today as well as future trends for what is to come. This session was an affirmation of what Marx had shared in November with Tomlinson putting the case of diversity icing on the cake.
Heidi Hayes Jacobs is another name that goes without saying as an education icon I have wanted to hear in person for some time. I was able to attend her session on Curriculum Mapping Update: Linking School-Based Collaborations to Global Learning Communities. What I was particularly excited about as I listened to the updates she shared about curriculum mapping was the emphasis she put on technology. Up to that point, I had not heard much about technology being present in education which I know is not true, but was starting to question if this group of educators had something against it. She offered some great technology integration suggestions for teachers to start using as they plan curriculum for the 21st century, which she reminded us is almost 10 percent over. She accused educators of using Brady Bunch Curriculum with today’s students.

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