Yesterday, I spent the day traveling to the Illinois Technology Conference for Educators. While driving, I was trying to determine the number of times I have been to the conference. I came up with the number 20, as I was on the vendor floor for at least seven and as a school employed attendee the 13 of the past 14. I always enjoy my day at the conference, listening to wonderful presentations and catching up with friends, both new and old, in meet space.
Driving home last night, I was processing about all of the new information that I gathered. Each year, it ends up that there is a common theme which serendipitously emerges from the break out sessions that I choose to attend. Last year, it was wikis, blogs, podcasts, and social bookmarking tools, which I have begun to use and am beginning to gain momentum in getting the teachers in my school to begin using.
This year, the common thread was staff development and leadership. In other postings, you will read the notes I created from the presentations by Tim Wilson and Charlene Chausis. The thoughts and ideas that I am coming away with suggest that this will be the greatest area of growth for me in the upcoming year.
This year, I walked away from the conference with a more measured enthusiasm for the new ideas, compared to last year when I thought that my head was going to explode. Asking myself why this may be, I think it is because the ideas last year, while not new and while not completely off of my radar, were pushed to the forefront in ways that I could no longer ignore them. While I cannot ignore the need to be a better leader for technology and provide better, more efficient learning opportunities for all, students, teachers, staff, and parents, I realize that this will require the efforts of others to buy in which will take more time to happen, rather than last year’s revelation that, man, it is time for you to incorporate these new technologies.
I look forward to tackling these new challenges and look forward to sharing them with you via this medium.