I've just returned from the National Association of Independent School's annual conference. It was a wonderful experience. I had the opportunity to meet face to face with many people from my online network (always the highlight of a conference), to attend several very good sessions and to learn a lot.
Throughout the conference there was a very active back channel. People tweeted from a variety of sessions and shared some great quotes. In trying to pull together my learning from the conference, I did a twitter search for the hashtag #NAIS09 I've pulled out some of the highlights from several sessions.
- Raise your hand if you have a teacher in your school who just doesn't get it
- You have to talk to the "undead" at your school.
- Change the physical space, change the team, change the responsibilities of the veteran teacher - keep them engaged.
- Culture of our society does not value age - our schools mirror these attitudes.
- We all are going to be the "senior teacher" someday.
Enhancing Team Performance
- When working with teams being a 'good listener' is not enough. One MUST contribute.
- Teams often confuse activity with results masking effectiveness.
- With teams Trust + Intimacy = Cohesion
- Discussions on teams are often considered personal. Set the expectation that it is OK to disagree.
- To avoid conflict most teams manage agreement. Take on the squeaky wheel head on!
Dan Heath's Keynote
- Sticky ideas are simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, and stories
- Dangerous situations don't come with "dangerous situation" labels, they just Happen
- The more you know about something, the harder it is for you to understand what it is like not to know about it
- Sticky ideas use concrete themes to make things tangible. Details make things tangible.
- Details cling to us
Michelle Rhee's Keynote
- If you don't like the rules - change them
- Public education should be the great equalizer, yet skin color and zipcode still dictate how we educate.
- We will continue to have brick and mortar schools, but the limits of the walls will and are dissolving through digital connectivity
Guy Kawasaki's Keynote
- No one voluntarily uses a Windows machine
- Most organizations make mission statements and quite frankly, most mission statements suck.
- We need a mantra for our school not a mission statement
- Don't be afraid to be crappy - to be wrong - to take risks.
- Do not be afraid of polarizing people. Great products do polarize people.
- To be an innovator you need to be in denial – Don't let the Bozos get you down
- Teach students how to figure out ANYTHING by themselves.
- Teach students how to explain ANYTHING in 30 seconds.
- Teach students how to do a one page report.
- Teach students how to work as a group
- Teach students how to negotiate win wins.
- Learning is a process, not an event.
The Impact of Technology on the Lives of Boys with Michael Thompson
- Girls dominate written content creation online, boys dominate video uploading.
- Parents prefer kids inside playing vid games, "safe" rather than going Outside unsupervised, "unsafe."
- Laptops are the new outdoors
- There is no evidence that video games translate into aggressive behavior.
- Boys are trying to get dates Online, Girls are trying to get friendships
- We must change how we assess and test kids rather than try and ban technology that "gives the answers
- Quit, complain or innovate. Success predictor=attendance. Get kids to want to come to school.
- Digital storytelling makes kids aware of process & product
- Product= emotion and process =experience in working w/kids and media
- Plan, Produce, Present & feedback
- Is schooling getting in the way of learning?
- New question, not "what kind of learner are you?" rather,"what kind of producer are you?"
- Value is in the verbs not the nouns. In schools we focus too much on the nouns
- What makes you an expert? Can I google everything you shared?
- Are you an expert because you collect information or because you create info?
- Experts have one right answer, others see many possibilities
- Don't ask questions you can look up
- Studio-->stage-->community is complete
- Media levels the playing field in terms of 'who's on stage'- everyone can produce
- Core values of today's workplace are collaboration, innovation not mindless repetition
- Networked = Connected; often teacher networks are tiny. Branch out and make wider connections and networks
Surviving and Thriving in Challenging Times with Robert Evans
- People can cope with all kinds of terrible things once there is predictability
- Most schools practice conflict avoidance. We are good at the nice stuff, not good at the hard stuff.
- Learning comes from loss, failure and disappointment.
Oprah's Closing Keynote
- If you are not careful, your daydreams become a reality.
- The importance of educating woman: educate a woman & change a community
- You don't have a visionary school without visionary teachers.
- You don't have a leadership school without leadership.
- The job is not only to enlarge and illuminate the lives of our girls, but also of our staff and our teachers.
- The only way to deal with a crisis is to stay in the moment.
- I want them to speak up for the rest of their lives, to speak up for their community.
- Oprah's goal for girls: "To be seated at the table where the decisions are made about the future."