In no particular order, here are some of my ‘takeaways’ from NJEA Convention 2010:
- While I enjoy presenting, doing 5+ hours per day precludes me from attending interesting sessions and speakers (I was most disappointed about missing Sir Ken Robinson while he was in the same time zone as me). That has to change next year; I’m thinking about limiting myself to 2-3 hours per day so as to allow myself some time to learn as well as teach.
- When an internationally recognized educator sits down in your session, it’s like getting up to bat with Babe Ruth watching from the stands.
- In a completely unscientific study (read: my personal observations), the drop-in sessions about tools seemed far better attended than drop-in sessions about ideas. Glad to see people interested in new technology tools, but shouldn’t there also be some discussion to go along with the shiny new toys as well?
- The EdCamp model of professional development is one I really like, and it didn’t get nearly the attendance or recognition I think it deserved. Then again, I don’t know if an enormous, open convention center is the ideal place for intimate discussions to take place.
- It’s always great to meet up in person with the forward-thinking educators with whom I correspond online, and Convention was no exception. Whether it was “Stumping the Geek” with David Warlick, Mike Ritzius, and Alex Rosenwald, hanging out in between High Tech Hall sessions with Lisa Thumann, Kevin Jarrett, and Darryl Ensminger, or discussing different ways of “doing” school with Mike, Patrick Higgins, and Christine Miles, even our downtime was intellectually stimulating (as well as a lot of fun).