technology

All I can say is: Wow!

Guest post by Brad Currie:

The NASSP Ignite ’13 Conference was an unbelievable opportunity for lead learners from around the world to come together in one place with the sole purpose of improving our craft. Never in my life did I make so many connections with innovating, like-minded educators who truly cared about seeing kids succeed.

Twitter played a powerful role leading up to, during, and after the actual conference. I think I am speaking for many who attended when I say this was the first time that I went into a conference knowing many of the people who were going. This was made possible by the connections I had made on Twitter since the fall of 2011. The sessions and keynotes were excellent and allowed participants to really think about the innovative impact they could have on their schools.

The learning sessions were absolutely amazing. Being able to interact with and learn from people such as Todd Whitaker, Eric Sheninger, Jimmy Casas, Daisy Dyer Duerr, Carrie Jackson, and Leslie Esneault was truly amazing. The streaming live #Satchat discussion on “Igniting Your Passion as a School Leader” was an experience I will never forget. Kudos to the NASSP Ignite ’13 organizing team for putting on a great conference and leveraging the power of social media to engage participants near and far. In case you missed out on all the great things shared via the #nassp13 hashtag, here is the link.

The keynote from Scott Klososky was tremendous and gave everyone much for food for thought, especially about how Google Glass will transform education. Seeing Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in person was a special treat. Thanks to Carrie Jackson, one of three NASSP Digital Principals of the Year, I was able to ask him a question via Twitter.

I was truly honored to connect with like-minded educators such as 2013 National Middle School Principal of the Year Laurie Barron and 2013 National High School Principal of the Year Trevor Greene.

I am definitely a better lead learner thanks to all of the experiences I was exposed to during the NASSP Ignite ’13 Conference. My extended PLN family has influenced me for the better and will enable me to do bigger and better things in months and years to come.

Originally posted on March 2, 2013 from Brad Currie’s blog, Engaged and Relevant, after he attended Ignite 2013.

Brad Currie (@bcurrie5) is Vice Principal at Black River Middle School in Chester, New Jersey and co-founder and co-moderator of #Satchat, a weekly Twitter discussion for current and emerging school leaders.

The Power of a Chosen PLN

Guest post by Laurie Barron:

Why do I need Twitter? I certainly don’t care about when Lindsay Lohan is back in court, Justin Bieber is in trouble with the paparazzi, or Miley Cyrus is twerking (whatever that may mean). And what is a hashtag? It just didn’t sound like something that was appropriate to be talking about in conjunction with my professional learning.

Imagine my delight upon realizing that I could use Twitter to choose to learn from those I do care about hearing from and use hashtags to follow topics I find professionally rewarding!

I admit it: Twitter was slow to grow on me. I also admit that I now can’t believe how much I have grown as a professional as a result of learning from a customized professional learning network that occurs when and where I want it. (And, if I get bored, I can leave without worrying about that awkward moment that seems so disrespectful when people walk out of a presentation.)

Through my professional learning network on Twitter, I have learned from some of the most effective educational leaders from across the country: leaders who have defied the odds; leaders who have done what many say is not possible; leaders who believe in students whom, unfortunately, many have given up on; leaders who realize that, while students may come from a home that struggles economically, this economic disadvantage does not define a student; leaders who understand that our job as educators is not to judge students for their status in life but instead to ensure that status isn’t an impediment to their education. I have been amazed by people who have challenged me to grow, learn, and stretch myself, all as a result of sharing knowledge with educators from across the nation, most of whom I’ve never even met.

And so, no matter which day of the week you may be reading this, I offer a longer-than-normal #FF for some of those who probably have no idea the impact they have had on my career, Twitter friends and colleagues such as @TrevorLTGreene, @casas_jimmy, @NASSP, @MarkWilsonGA, @SlatonJessica, @NMHS_Principal, @patrickmlarkin, @RickWormeli, @ToddWhitaker, @dpk933, @bcurrie5, @Joe_Mazza, @mwdegner, @BUCSlead, @Jennifer_Hogan, @jackson_carrie, @charlesdumais, @DaisyDyerDuerr, @DruTomlin_AMLE, @blocht574, @d_mulder, and @aschmuhl.

Through the incredible world of Twitter, I have found myself surrounded by people who inspire me, people who help me build relationships, people who have similar goals and aspirations. I am certainly looking forward to NASSP Ignite ’14 to learn with my Twitter PLN in person!

New to Twitter? Jump start your engagement and build your professional learning network by attending the Tweetorial Friday morning, February 7 to start your Ignite ’14 experience. You can also check out this simple guide for educators on Tweeting.

Laurie Barron (@LaurieBarron) is the 2013 MetLife/NASSP National Middle Level Principal of the Year. She will present at the Ignite 2014. For more information and to register visit www.nasspconference.org.