The NASSP Ignite '14 Conference in Dallas, Texas was an amazing opportunity for lead learners throughout the country to connect and learn from one another. There were so many outstanding opportunities to gain exposure to best practice ideas, that at times there were too many options. Learning from practitioners like Eric Sheninger, Dwight Carter, Derek McCoy, Daisy Dyer Duerr, Jimmy Casas, Jason Markey, Carrie Jackson, and host of others was just tremendous. One of the highlights for me personally was seeing Todd Whitaker and Annette Bureaux present together on their book The Ten Minute Inservice.
Networking and sharing were quite prevalent and allowed attendees to seek out best practices that in turn would promote the success of their students. For example, Dwight Carter shared multiple examples of how his students made school their own through beautiful artwork. He also touched upon how Gahanna Lincoln High School in Ohio takes advantage of collaborative learning spaces to ensure meaningful educational experience for students. To me, Dwight is a true leader who provides students with the autonomy to be themselves and be comfortable in their environment.
Todd Whitaker and Annette Bureaux provided a very funny and motivational talk on their recent book titled The Ten Minute Inservice. Annette brought to light the vast differences between effective and ineffective teachers. Todd passionately spoke to the importance of teachers being able to look forward to faculty meetings they truly value. A great quote by Annette really impacted everyone in the crowd: "Effective teachers blame themselves, ineffective teachers blame everyone else." Overall, their presentation and book titled The Ten Minute Inservice provides many ways that principals can engage staff in meaningful professional development.
Eric Sheninger's new book Digital Leadership debuted recently and his presentation at NASSP Ignite "14 was fantastic. He highlighted what it means to lead in the digital era. Eric provided examples of all the great things that are going at New Milford High School in New Milford, NJ. From flipped instruction to maker-spaces in the media center, Eric emphasized the importance of focusing on the pedagogy first and technology second. He also focused on leveraging the power of social media to tell your school's story. Towards the end of his presentation Eric shared a digital handout aimed at helping like-minded leaders impact schools.
To cap things off on the final day of the conference, I was fortunate enough to host a live #Satchat. Dr. Darin Jolly, Daisy Dyer Duerr, Laurie Barron, Jimmy Casas, and Eric Sheninger graciously sat on the set and shared their insight on Personal Learning Networks. The conversation was passionate and brought to light the many benefits of being connected as an educator through social media. You can find an archive of the Twitter discussion by clicking here.
All in all the NASSP Ignite '14 Conference provided hundreds of educators from around the country an opportunity to connect and learn from one another. Personally, I have so much to bring back to my school that will enhance the great things we do already on a daily basis. I will never forget the great times I had learning from and hanging out with so many outstanding human beings. There is no doubt that attendees came, shared, and conquered.