The second day of the National Conference on Digital Convergence allowed attendees to step through the door of the Broadmoor exhibit hall and into a miniature version of the Falcon Zone.
For about two hours Tuesday, Feb. 7, D49 teachers demonstrated their approach to the Modern Teacher framework and personalized learning. The assignment required creating a mock-up of their classroom complete with instructional materials and lesson plans, seating arrangements and even a few of their students.
Hundreds of educators from around the country strolled the exhibit hall, making observations and posing questions to both teachers and students.
“It’s nice to not have to communicate over media, but be in a classroom seeing the same things we're seeing,” said Jenna Trank, a high school teacher visiting from J.O. Combs Unified School District Phoenix, AZ. "Falcon Zone is just ahead of my district so we’re taking back some of those ideas to push us. It’s been great."
The immersive experience put EmpowerFZ, the Falcon Zone approach to the Modern Teacher framework, in the conference spotlight. Brooke Nielson, Spanish teacher at Falcon High School and finalist for the Modern Teacher Personalized Learning Classroom Award observed attendees embracing techniques and comparing notes.
“I’m able to field questions from people. That’s been really nice,” Nielson said. "It’s been really cool to have people come up and look at the things that we have and to let us know, ‘Hey, can I take this? I really like it. Or hey, we are doing this too!’ and maybe they didn’t realize that they’re actually already doing a great job, and just feeling validated [by the experience]."
As a precursor to the closing awards gala, the FZ-on-display event offered some valuable learning for all in attendance, not to mention a final, memorable look at EmpowerFZ.
“We pulled pieces from those classrooms here to highlight the best practices of personalized learning so people can dive deeper and learn more about how to implement them,” said Brian Smith, Falcon Zone leader. “I am beyond proud of how hard the Falcon Zone team has worked to accomplish this.”