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Posted by on in Conferences

surfing

I’m writing from the glorious D-terminal in Hartsfield-Jackson airport. I was lucky enough to find a plug by my gate, so why not tap a vein for a bit.

Conference season for education professionals is upon us. Almost every week, there is a conference dedicated to educational pedagogy, technology, practice, or all aforementioned. Don’t be fooled, the first year of conferences is fun and exciting; going around the country, trying new foods, seeing new things. But after the second year, it gets old. Quick.

This will be my 5th year of crossing the country for various conferences. Some I look forward to, some I don’t. They are long, long days filled with meetings, workshops, salesman shoving things down your throat, and lots of food and beverages. I can’t even do the food and beverages anymore since my bypass surgery.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m very thankful and fortunate to do what I do, see what I see, and meet who I meet. However, many people don’t see the negatives of this; time away from home. Flying is still a royal pain, your hotel bed is not your bed, and seeing your kids via FaceTime is not the same as hugging your kids.

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Posted by on in Conferences

Model Schools Conference Orlando 2016 Math Solutions

Currently I’m sitting at the Orlando International Airport, about three hours away from boarding one of my two flights home from the Model Schools Conference. Originally I had planned to instead attend ISTE in Denver, but this past February I was presented with the opportunity to go to and present at Model Schools. So, I decided to make the switch and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

Here’s a look at some of the presentations/keynotes I attended, as well as overall conference highlights.

Eric Sheninger, keynote: Eric’s keynote was based on the importance of bringing awe into our schools and classrooms (as opposed to operating traditionally while excitement, authentic learning experiences, meaningful technology integration, etc. only take place outside the school day). As usual, Eric expressed himself with a great deal of intensity. As someone who has seem him speak a few times prior, I appreciate the manner in which his style continues to evolve, as he incorporated impactful images, videos, jokes, and sentimental moments to “tug at the heart strings” and make his narrative that much more impactful. My main takeway was the idea that we shouldn’t hesitate to leverage the interests of our students to make learning relevant…For more, make sure to take a look at Eric’s latest book, Uncommon Learning.

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Posted by on in Conferences

map of orlando fl

On June 25 I’ll be headed down to Orlando, Florida for the Model Schools Conference, which is the brainchild of Bill Daggett and the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE). Last October I was thoroughly impressed by a Daggett presentation, and now I’m even more excited to experience what is one of the most highly regarded conferences of the year.

Here are five specific reasons why June 25 can’t come soon enough:

1. Concurrent Sessions

The conference features over 100 concurrent sessions (plus a whole lot more) over three days. And, the focal point of these sessions isn’t “the stuff” (technology), but rather what “works” and what “doesn’t work” to undeniably move schools forward for the benefit of our students. As the brochure says, “At this year’s MSC [Model Schools Conference], we aim to encourage you to seize this opportunity and, with lessons learned from the nation’s most rapidly improving and trailblazing schools and districts…”

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Posted by on in Conferences

SOFTSKILLS

Last Sunday, I attended the Tony Sinanis (@TonySinanis) pre-conference keynote for my state’s annual educational technology conference, PETE & C (Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo & Conference). The topic/title of the presentation was “Telling Your School Story.” In general, the focus was school/district branding, communicating with stakeholders, and a look at how social media is changing education.

Anyone who is a part of my Personal Learning Network (PLN) knows Tony, the principal of Cantiague Elementary School in Long Island, is a good friend of mine. However, prior to Sunday I had yet to see him deliver a formal conference presentation…To say I was blown away would be an understatement.

If you would like to dive deeper into the content related to the keynote, I encourage you to take a look at the book written by Tony and Joe Sanfelippo (@Joesanfelippofc), The Power of Branding

For the purpose of this post, let’s focus on five soft skills that made the session memorable. (And, for the record, soft skills can be defined as “the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, interpersonal skills, managing people, leadership, etc. that characterize relationships with other people.”)

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Posted by on in Conferences

Authentic

An LIRR commute. A subway ride uptown during rush hour and the quiet auditorium of Columbia University awaits expectantly with the almost hum of high school journalists.

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association

(CSPA) as well as other scholastic press associations

hold their annual spring conventions around this time of year offering a wealthy opportunity for learning and networking across county and state lines.

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