The conference style format continued through the day today. Camp Counselor, Rita Mortenson, started our day teaching us a modified version of the electric slide, then she, Jan Abernathy, and Traci Blazosky performed a rap song about the Yellowstone trip.
Our opening keynote speaker was Paul Anderson, who was Montana Teacher of the Year in 2011. Paul delivered a TED talk entitled Classroom Game Design that caught the eye of the DEN event organizers and since he was from Bozeman, it seemed a perfect fit. Paul’s presentation was engaging and interesting, but more importantly, very honest. Paul talked about how he had turned his classroom into a game, and confessed that the test scores of his AP students did not increase after doing this, but that he felt it was a success because he had made a major change in the way his class was organized, and still his students performed the same as they had before. The things that his talk have left me to ponder are how we can help our students overcome their tendency toward instant gratification and the concept that only what is done in the classroom is “fair.”
Throughout the day, educators seemed more and more collaborative. Conversations were constant in the hallways and at the STAR bar. We finished off the day getting organized for the unconference tomorrow, followed by an ice cream social and craft activity.