Picture it, October 2011 at the NJPSA/FEA/NJASCD Annual Fall Conference in Monroe Township, NJ. A young administrator looks over the various options for an afternoon breakout session he would like to attend. He has it down to two options, one on your typical run of the mill topics and one on a unique look at social media and branding. The young administrator decides on the typical run of the mill session. About 10 minutes before the session starts he changes his mind for whatever reason and decides to attend the social media and branding session. This decision would be life altering for this young administrator and set him on course to do some unbelievable things in the years to come.
The presenter of the session was Eric Sheninger, who at the time was Principal at New Milford High School in New Milford, NJ. He spoke passionately about the power of social media and technology in the school setting. In particular how important it was for educators to tell their stories using tools like Twitter and expanding your PLN. I immediately took to the message that he was conveying and inspired to run back to school and start tweeting, blogging, and innovating.
Fast forward five years to the present and I am amazed at the progress I have made as an educator. The connections I have made within my PLN have been incredible. The ideas and resources I have consumed and shared have improved my practice and impacted countless students and colleagues.
As the 2016 NJPSA/FEA/NJASCD Fall Conference approaches I ask that you really take the time to figure out what sessions you would like to attend and why. And if you change your mind at the last second it's perfectly fine. The reason being is that you never know who is going to inspire you to do bigger and better things. Know, that as a presenter or attendee at any educational event, you have the opportunity to motivate or be motivated.