Earlier this spring I had the opportunity to attend and present a master class at the BOOST Conference in Palm Springs, California. BOOST, which stands for “best out of school time,” focuses on educators working with students outside of school hours and attracts educators from across the United States and Canada.
BOOST, like many conferences these days, included a film festival to showcase subject-specific independent movies. Moderators led discussions after each film viewing, which provided a great model for leading discussions with young people while introducing context for serious conversations.
Makerspaces can bring creativity and structure to out-of-school educational programs. The BOOST conference included a makerspace for educators to explore. Attendees heard from teachers who are incorporating robotics, scannable technology and 3D printers into their out-of-school programs.
The BOOST conference focused particularly on how best to meet the needs of specific populations and reach certain age groups. It was powerful to see the emphasis placed on specific populations that are often lumped into a larger narrative at some events. Attendees had plenty of opportunities to zero in on sessions that aligned with the specific needs of their programs.
In addition to presenting on scannable technology at the BOOST conference, I also had the opportunity to participate in a Meet the Authors sessions. Large conferences can feel overwhelming, so these informal settings allow attendees to connect with authors and educators who have similar interests. The BOOST conference included a range of authors who address issues related to out-of-school programming. You can see the list of participating authors here.
If you are an out-of-school educator examining trends in educational programing, you’re sure to find ideas and inspiration at this type of event. Whether a new way to think about technology integration for a makerspace or a chance to meet like-minded educators from across the country, the benefits are endless!
Monica Burns is an Author, Speaker, Curriculum & EdTech Consultant and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.
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