Hi Classroom 2.0 and beyond! I'm seeking some ideas for the staff
opening day of our middle school in August. If you have any ideas,
activities, links, videos, websites, etc., could you please share? It'd
be great to share our collective knowledge and help make the kickoff to
the 2010-2011 school the best one so far! Thanks for your help in
responding and spreading the word.

Two ideas so far:

5th Grader's Speech from Dallas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZm0BfXYvFg

Shift Happens (2010): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZjRJeWfVtY

Tags: 2010-2011, August, development, kickoff, opening, professional

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100 Best Online Lectures for Educators (thanks @roseannesessa): http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/2010/07/05/100-excellent-onl...
We Think, by Charles Leadbeater: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiP79vYsfbo
How about a TED Talk? There are lots of inspiring talks to choose from. I would recommend "What Adults Can Learn From Kids" by 12 year old Adora Svitak. It's great!

Awesome, John, thanks!
I've made a blog post with links to some videos I think are worthwhile: http://sguditus.blogspot.com/2010/07/school-opening-kickoff-videos-...

Please share and RT!
I would suggest that it not be a sit and get! Even the best video should be short and used to spark conversation. Over the past two back to school inservices, we have divided the entire staff into small "classes" of 25 or so. Each "class" moved through a schedule much like the kids have to do. However, unlike the kid's classes, each of our sectionals were connected to the overall theme of the day! When we did this the first time, the theme was engaging students with 21st Century Skills. We asked the guidance counselors to run a session on Problem Solving. We asked the Physical Education teachers to run a session on Cooperation. We asked the art teachers to run a session on Creativity. We asked the tech resource staff to run a session on Critical Thinking, and to top it all off, the Music Teachers taught everyone a song! When everyone had rotated through their 5 "Classes", we all came back together again in the PAC. After remarks from the Superintendent, the session was closed with everyone singing the song!

You can imagine that for some, this event was right up their alley and for others it was terrible. However, we heard comments like - "Now I know what it feels like for the kids to go from class to class all day long. I will remember this and be more sympathetic." From another we heard - "At first I was angry because I couldn't spend the morning with my friends but then I understood what you were trying to do and I just relaxed and enjoyed the morning."

We ran a similar session this year in January when the theme was gathering feedback on multiple topics! It was amazing how much we were able to hear and from the whole staff not just a few!

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