The NAIS annual conference has been in Chicago this past Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. While I have not had the chance to physically attend this conference, it doesn’t mean that I cannot access the ideas and information shared by other attendees.
For the second year, NAIS has had designated “official’ bloggers for the conference. This year there are three:
KaTrina Wentzel, an English teacher from Mounds Park Academy, Blog – http://blogs.moundsparkacademy.org/nais2009/
Jonathan Martin, the Head-Elect of St. Gregory College Preparatory School Blog – http://21k12blog.net/
Michael Obel-Omia, Director of the Upper School at the University School in Cleveland, OH. Blog – http://publiusrex.wordpress.com/
This year, they have done a phenomenal job covering both the pre-conference global summit on Wednesday and the various sessions on Thursday and Friday.
In addition the sanctioned bloggers, there are many other bloggers who have been covering the conference. Two of them have been live blogging If you are reading this after NAIS is over, you can view the contents of their live blogs by reading the posts as they occurred. The two live bloggers are:
Sarah Hanawald – Greenboro Day School Blog – http://gdsmstech.blogspot.com/
Jason Ramsdon – Blog – http://www.jasonramsden.com/home/index.php/liveblogs
One other way to connect to attendees is via Twitter. Since may not know about Twitter or don’t understand Twitter, there is an easy way to search all of the information without having to create an account. If you go to the following web site on Summize.com and enter in the search term, #nais09, (please include the numeral sign, also called a hash tag), or click on the following link, http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23nais09, you will be able to see all of the announcements, comments from sessions, and links from conference attendees who are sharing via Twitter.
I have found the conference to be rich and full of information. I have made new friends in which I am exchanging ideas and different practices. I have been given access to handouts and other resources from these members of my professional learning network.
I enjoy attending conferences, but there are sometimes that it is impossible to attend. Attending virtually is the next best thing.