Monday, August 18, 2014

H.e.a.r. Chicago Talk August 6 Recap

The theme for the H.e.a.r. Chicago Talk Summer 2014 is Art+Data=Communication. Each speaker prompted us to ponder an element in this equation.

Art: Rena Grosser had been pondering the question, "What is a classroom?" To begin to answer, she and fellow artist Ariela Robinson created a traveling installation of school desks in outdoor settings. The experience was galvanizing for them: Rena's ending question was "Where should we take this (installation idea) next?"

Data: Dr. John Gasko asked if noncognitive factors matter for academic success, a question he and his colleagues at UChicago Impact have been pondering for a while. The data, definitions, and processes he provided to answer the question were fascinating, each slide offering more chewy food for thought. John's ending question was, "How can we change the non-cognitive factors in the classroom?"

Communication: J.D. Van Slyke was recording the event for a new podcast, RefreshED, that he is launching with colleague Amanda Kilibarda Gutierrez. He spoke about his wish to capture and share the stories of the brilliantly energetic, creative, and caring educators and social service providers he'd met throughout Chicago.

Thank you, August speakers, for uwittingly creating my new favorite way to capture the concept of idea conveyance!

The audience questions are always my favorite part. I just love hearing the diversity of mindsets and experiences captured in the questions. Among my favorite questions this time around were:
  • How are you recording the lessons that surfaced in your mobile classrooms? How will you share? (for Rena)
  • How do you transfer non-cognitive factors (grit, perseverance) learned on the street to those same factors applied in the classroom? (for John)
  • What do you mean by "radically re-imagine" and how can a podcast promote this? (for J.D.)
Everyone has a chance to discuss any question of interest after the presentations in a more casual setting than a formal Q&A--though I think at some events that happens more than others. I'd like to figure out a way to ensure people do get the chance to discuss the ideas they want to.

And on that note, I'd like to get some feedback on the event. Now is the time for it to grow in depth, strength, and reach. If you've been to one of the H.e.a.r. Chicago Talk events, please take this survey.

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