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K-8 Technology Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

Christopher

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Yes, the theme of entrepreneurship was present and part of the weekend. The theme of empathy was apparent in the choice of sessions. The sessions are curated, so either this was done on purpose or it reflects a larger theme in conversations around progressive, student-centered education.

I can't agree more that social-emotional learning is vital to the success and growth of all children and that standardization and test-focused classrooms do not always allow for supporting the emotional and social growth of young people.

Thanks for your insight and definitely check out Educon next year!

Social Entrepreneur - Founder and President, Enrichment Resource Group

Hello Mary Beth, Thank you

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Hello Mary Beth,
Thank you for this peek inside EduCon 2013. I've heard of the event, however have not yet investigated its offerings. Now it's back on my radar - thanks to you!

As a thriving entrepreneur previously based in NJ, 17 yrs ago I began a quest to understand human development and performance - taking a comprehensivist view and an investigative journalist approach.

My journey was prompted by a passion to learn how best to support my nephew during some of his most impressionable years. Admittedly, my intention was to enhance his capacity for lifelong well-being while nurturing his character, competencies, and communication skills - including self-esteem, self-reflection, empathy, resilience, creativity, critical thinking, ethical performance, courage & risk tolerance, inspiration, kindness, etc.

What kept showing up in my research (including 100+ video interviews with experts), and what is revealed to us through horrific news stories of troubled youth and families (bullying & shootings) - is that foundational ingredients such as empathy and relationships are undervalued in our standards based approach to education.

Why? Because social emotional intelligences remain misinterpreted, completely misunderstood - or frankly, they are just plain scary to epidemic levels of adults who have not been taught how to interpret and best navigate our strengths OR face our "emotional triggers" and shadow sides.

As a species we are biologically mismatched for the current and coming pace of change. Technology must be embraced in our schools to enhance all studies, and be leveraged to enhance social-emotional self-awareness, empathy, and collaborative learning - as translated into critical thinking skills for improved virtual and face-to-face relationships.

If we don't get THIS right soon... and by right I mean - just how pragmatic SEL & SECD are for a healthy, productive, functional, innovative, resilient society - then we and coming generations are in hot water in both quality of life expectancy and workforce readiness. (SEL history & trends https://vimeo.com/channels/ergpresents/31629063)

These 3 vital aspects which you've highlighted in this blog are foundational if we are to provide safe, healthy, robust, and innovative environments - whole school, district wide.

I'm intrigued to learn if Educon communicated a theme on these 3 topics during the event, or was it more your interpretation and experience of the event? In either case it's reason for hope, and is evidence of your attuned social-emotional antennae!

Thanks again for writing and sharing your experience with us.

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