In a strange way, I benefitted from the horrible ice storm that hit Texas the week earlier. The conference was filled with travel stories, each more arduous than the last. My first session was scheduled to be with Uri Treisman, professor of mathematics and of public affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. He is also the founder and director of the University's Charles A. Dana Center, which is playing a large role in writing assessment questions for the PARCC exam. We are using quite a bit of the materials coming out of the Dana Center to transform our math program, and I was looking forward to hearing Dr. Treisman. Unfortunately, Texas residents seemed to have to hardest time getting to Dallas, and his session was canceled.
While I regret the missed opportunity to hear Dr. Treisman speak, I was lucky enough to sneak into Jim Knight's all-day session outlining his model of High Impact Instruction. While I have a copy of Knight's "Unmistakable Impact", I hadn't honestly dug into it as much as I now know I should have.
Dr. Knight's upcoming book is all about the use of video in the classroom to improve instruction. I anxiously await this, as I believe the use of video is the next natural step for teacher professional growth.