Boulder Valley School District Innovation Days

I had the pleasure of participating in Boulder Valley School District's Innovation Days at Monarch High from June 8th-June 9th. I was incredibly impressed by the @BVSDedtech team and learned about their progress in the past five years and so much more. #InnovateBVSD

Here are some take-aways:

 

It's true, desks are out for the #innovationclassroom. New classrooms might remind you of Starbucks, the Apple store, Galvanize, or any other "creative" spaces that are aesthetically pleasing and welcoming that lend to collaboration and students wanting to be in that space. There was a myriad of furniture companies showcasing at BVSD Innovate Days and just about everything was in-line with making those changes. I began reflecting on my own journey as an educator and started wondering where in others journeys' they encountered studying environmental prototyping? We strive to make well-informed, research-based choices to improve the lives of our children, but even when it comes to furniture shopping and spending the budget I did not observe the level of critical thought that I expected. I felt the process of #designthinking skip over the chords of my heartstrings as I listened in to "Advantages vs. Disadvantages" debates over desk shapes. Nonetheless, I was truly impressed overall by the direction most companies were headed with new school furniture: moveable on-wheels, foldable, light, & comfortable.

The Sessions

I attended several sessions lead by teachers and members of the @BVSDedtech team that covered using social media, twitter, and flipped classrooms. Most of the technology integration talks emphasized many objectives I took away from ALTEC's foreign language technology program. The stand-out? I was truly amazed and by @KJSain's talk on the history of the BVSD team and the hard work they have put in towards the mission for BVSD to become 1-1. Their program for getting edtech leaders in more schools is a move in the right direction for helping bring our schools into the Innovation Age and I could not be more thankful for their work. (The tweet below is from the team's presence at #ISTE2016)

Idea-Slam

This was a riot. It was so cute. They ended the conference mimicking with an event that reminded me of Friday night pitches at a StartUpWeekendEdu event. Teachers got up and shared how to integrate technology (albeit they had 5 minutes) with mini-demos. I attempted to pitch Slack for internal school communication as an alternative to more email, but I got a lot of blank stares. Hurray...

BVSD Innovate Days 2017

Next year I am absolutely going to build a coalition to get more of my colleagues to go with me to BVSD Innovate Days! Upon reflecting on the experience overall I am feeling grateful to the team for everything they did to put on the event and all of my colleagues from the area who came out to learn together.

lxd, k12, designTara Gilboa