Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Passion Driven Learning

I am excited and honored to have been asked to deliver the keynote address on August 7  at the 9th annual Games in Education Symposium at Tech Valley High School in Albany, NY.  This has grown to become one of my favorite conferences to attend.  The conference is free for educators and brings together a dynamic group of presenters who are doing amazing things in the Game-Based Learning space.  

For my keynote, I will be talking about the power of passion driven learning.  Personally, I am extremely passionate about creating learning opportunities for my students and learning with them.  Over my career I have been fortunate enough to receive the support I have needed to develop a Game Design and Development program at William Annin Middle School in Basking Ridge, NJ.  I love my job!  One of the most exciting things about what I do relates to the fact that it draws so well on student passion.  Kids spend a lot of time playing games.  When given the opportunity to create their own games and have choice in their learning path they certainly thrive.  

My favorite quote, by William Butler Yeats, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire" speaks directly to my mission as an educator.  My goal is to help students find their passion and take ownership of their learning.  

I am passionate about Passion Driven Learning.  As I have been on my journey I have been inspired by so many people in my learning network.  Being a connected educator has put me in touch with so many amazing people and the common thread is that they all bring their passion to their work (and life) and seek to bring out the passion in their students.  

My feeling is such that large scale educational reform seems daunting, but we all have the ability to lead with and encourage passion driven learning.  We can provide opportunities for our students to find what truly excites them and use that to drive learning.  

My approach to this presentation is to bring in the great work of all those that inspire me and embody this idea of passion driven learning.  I would like to crowd-source my presentation and share the wonderful work you and your students are passionate about.  So, here's my challenge to you!

Please share information that I can include in order to represent your wonderful work in my presentation.  This could include quotes, images, short video clips, student work, etc.  I will include what I can by providing a slide dedicated to you and / or your students.  I definitely want student and teacher voice to be at the forefront of my session.  Feel free to add your ideas as comments here, email them to me ( or better yet, tweet them with the hashtag #PassionEDU.  Here is a chance for us to celebrate the wonderful work we do and the ways we truly impact student learning through choice and encouraging students to find their way.