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Vision 2020 – Tuesday

June 11, 2012

Tuesday at Vision 2020 is where the real fun begins. The Cox Center will be chock full of learning opportunities for the 4,500 reported registrants. And according to the multiple emails I received today, parking – in spite of the NBA Finals being across the street for the first time ever – will be in abundance.

Meanwhile, with a quick review of the program, I see several high-quality keynote speakers and breakout sessions. Featured presenters Bill Daggett and Cathy Seely are always worth hearing. Also, our state’s obsession with all things Florida and reading continues. And the K-20 Center is well-represented as always. Three sessions in particular, though, really caught my eye.

At 1:45, you could attend “The Marriage of Mr. Social Studies and Ms. Common Core: Introducing the Newly Adopted Oklahoma C3 Standards for the Social Studies.” Getting past the ridiculous name, this session promises to focus on “the role of citizenship literacy and development” and explain how the standards were designed. If you go to this one, you might want to ask the presenter why Oklahoma participated in the development of national standards for Mathematics and English/Language Arts, but opted out of national standards development for Social Studies and Science. It seems contrary to the narrative that has been woven across the last two administrations about the need to conform to national standards in education.

Another workshop at the same time that makes me smile is “Congratulations! You’re a Grandparent! A Genetic Look at Traits.” Unlike the Social Studies workshop, this one is just funny for the name. The description itself actually sounds like a pretty good lesson plan that would be engaging for students – which is always a good thing.

Not to make your selection even harder, but my other favorite workshop is yet again in the same time slot: “Party Like a ROCKST★R?” This workshop decries the increased use of caffeine by students and promises to give participants “the real bull on Red Bull.” Seriously. That’s what it says. It’s not clear, however, if the presenters will discuss the connection between increased stress caused by new graduation requirements that come with free abdication of privacy for any appellants.

If you aren’t afraid of the Thunder traffic and can stick around long enough to attend the 2:45-4:30 sessions, the workshop presented by two SDE staffers on “Using the New State Grade Card System” might be interesting. If you do, be sure to ask question one from my conference primer. They’ll love that.

Most importantly, enjoy the conference, and try to learn something. This is likely the only significant professional development opportunity the SDE will provide until this time next year.

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