This has been one of the most enriching and educationally productive weeks I have had the opportunity to experience in a quite a long time. To the institute staff, if you didn't hear it from me before, please know that I sincerely appreciate all you have coordinated and put together for us this week. Putting together a meaningful experience for a diverse group of educators is a large task and you did it exceptionally well and always with patience and a smile. Every single session you planned had many new ideas, contacts, links, information, etc. that I was directed toward. You put together a diverse group of educators to work with during the week and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to have met some of the brightest and most innovative educators from around the country. Because of all the close interaction that was required during our participation in the institute I will feel much more at ease in all of our future work that will be done electronically and remotely from our home schools. I'm also excited to see what the final products of our student's research will look like. It will be a great deal of hard work but there is nothing more exciting than seeing how proud students will be of all they've learned and what they have accomplished.
Personally, I really enjoyed the great variety of presentations we had the opportunity to participate in. Although I've Skyped before, I am now much more confident of using it as a teaching tool with my students. I was also excited about the career presentations that were made using AdobeConnect. That seems like a really powerful way to connect scarce resources with a large audience. I also appreciated the opportunity to ask questions face-to-face about GLOBE protocols that I had always wanted answers to. In addition, I really appreciated the assistance I received in directing some of my additional questions to scientists who could answer them.
So, what are some of the final things I am taking away from this project? I now feel like I am an important part of a much larger whole and that what my students research really counts towards helping scientists to understand all of the complex interactions of the planet we live on. The collaboration of each of us in the the L2R project will go a long way in helping students to be inspired to ask their own questions and to seek their answers. I feel more appreciated for my work with students. I also felt really "warm" watching the new GLOBE video that highlights the role of teachers in inspiring the students of today and tomorrow. Thanks for the chance to be a part of a phenomenal project and thanks to all of the participants who reached out this week to share freely of their time and expertise. It has been a memorable week and it will be a great 2012-2013 school year!