I returned this evening from the NCSS in Washington D.C. The conference was well worth my time for multiple reasons. I always learn things from other teachers. I especially like listening to other high school teachers since I have that common bond with them. I did sit in a great session about race and marriage in the United States. I gathered some good information and thoughts to use in my Sociology course. I also sat in a couple of sessions about technology and gaming in the classroom. One session was very basic about the use of blogs, podcasts, and Wikis. It was good information but I should have picked a different session due to its beginner level approach. I also sat in a session about “games” in the classroom. The speaker was from Colonial Williamsburg. He was very good but the “games” he should from their website were probably good for elementary or early Junior High. But probably not much there for me and my high schoolers.
I also got to meet up with Nick deKanter from Muzzy Lane who was in attendance at the conference. It was good to talk with him about games like Making History, our kids, football, life, and a good piece of meat.
After the recent USA Today article about games in the classroom. I recieved some communication from The Radio Ritas. They are based in New York City and are doing a morning radio show from 6-9AM Eastern Time. Someone on their staff saw the article and they contacted me for an interview. So I will be on their show tomorrow morning at 6:30AM EDT.
And finally and probably the most important thought for tonight. I visited a lot of the “tourist” sites in DC. By far my favorite was Arlington National Cemetery. Steve Tuttle, my department chair, and I went early in the morning so we could get back for the conference. The morning was cool and sunny with very little visitors when we were there. I saw most of the major gravesites that a first time visitor would probably go see. But the highlight of the morning was watching the men of the Old Guard guard the Tomb of the Unknown. We of course saw the changing of the guard and we were lucky enough to see the wreath ceremony. There were only 30-40 people there. The ceremony, the honor, the pride, the humbleness, the sadness, and the patriotism I felt was incredible. I could have spent the entire day at Arlington. To the men of the Old Guard–Thank You for your service and the pride you take in your job. I was deeply moved by my time at Arlington. What an incredible experience.