Tuesday, December 13, 2016

NYSCATE 2016

Superheros, Escape "Rooms", Astronauts, Robots & Minecraft...All of these topics were part of this year's Annual NYSCATE Conference. This year's conference was one of the best! Each year I am amazed by what fellow Educators are doing in their classrooms. From gaming, collaborations and Google! The theme this year was "Unleash the Superhero in you". This theme was very fitting as each and every attendee is a superhero in their own way every day. We all were challenged this year to take risks and step outside of our comfort zone. This year's opening Keynote was given by the co-founder and CEO of Breakout EDU. Adam's inspirational keynote spoke the truth about some of the educational pitfalls we find ourselves dealing with on a daily basis. Adam offered multiple sessions where participants were able to experience Breakout EDU, the immersive learning games platform that is taking schools by storm. In these sessions participants played a Breakout EDU game with other attendees and using collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication to break beat the clock and break into the Breakout EDU box. These sessions filled up fast and were difficult to get into. The Keynote speaker on Monday was former astronaut, Michael Massimino. If you're a Big Bang Theory fan, like I am, you may have seen Mike Massimino play the role of, himself. He shared his story, which highlighted the perseverance he had to achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut. After being turned down three times, he continued to persevere, and it payed off when he was accepted on his fourth application to NASA. He shared pictures, experiences and stories that made me want to be an astronaut! The plethora of sessions offered never disappoints at NYSCATE. From virtual worlds, gamification, Google, Coffee Breakout, EDU Breakout, etc. The options offered by so many innovative, risk taking educators is beyond what anyone could be looking for. I found myself, more than once, having to choose between too many good sessions to go to. If only I could attend them all!

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