Three things to do before heading to #NAISAC 2017

img_4135I love the excitement and anticipation before attending a conference, especially NAIS. Whether it’s your first time at Annual Conference or if you are a frequent participant, here’s some advice before you head to Baltimore:

#1 Download the app!  Seriously, do it right now. You won’t regret it.

  • Familiarizing yourself with the app ahead of time will help you to get a handle on all that the conference has to offer.
  • Each year the app gets better. I see myself using tools such as “My Schedule,” “Workshops,” “Speakers,” “What’s on Now,” “Exhibitors,” and “Downloads.”  And there’s more, too! Check it out. Now.

#2 Plan ahead. Now that you downloaded the app, USE IT

  • Spend some time planning your days BEFORE you arrive. You can browse the workshops “by day,” “by track,” and “by type.” How convenient is that?
  • Plan multiple options for each time slot. This way, if a img_4137session is not meeting your needs, you have a backup plan. Attending EdCamps helped me realize my time is too precious at conferences like this to waste them in a session that is not meeting my needs.
  • Read up on the Keynote speakers ahead of time and if you are extra ambitious, maybe even do a little research about them. Personally, I am looking forward to Sir Ken Robinson on Friday morning!
  • Browse the exhibitors to see who will be there. Identify the vendors that you want to make sure you visit. You can view these “by category” or “by location.” Great, again! Exhibition Hall can be super overwhelming if you don’t have a focus.

#3 Follow #NAISAC on Twitter. And if you are not on Twitter, join today*. 

  • The conversations tagged with #NAISAC enrich the conference experience on so img_4136many levels.
  • Discussions are continued beyond the finite time within a workshop or keynote.
  • It’s easy to make connections with others and continue them long after the conference is over. So many amazing independent school educators will be at your fingertips through the #NAISAC hashtag.
  • Because you can’t be in two places at once, following #NAISAC can help you learn from people in other sessions.
  • If you are social media shy, the NAISAC app will allow you to see what people are talking about on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and YouTube through the “Social Media” link.
  • If you are comfortable, share what you are learning as you go. I use twitter as a way to take notes. It keeps them short, sweet, and to the point. (140 characters or less!) And others can benefit from what I am learning and add to them.

*(Note: Here, here, and here are some resources on Twitter for educators.)

A little time invested now will pay off in the long run, making #NAISAC 2017 the best yet. See you in Baltimore!

P.S. If you have additional tips and advice, please leave a comment. 

Advertisements

Great conference… and a few more wishes for NAIS 2017!

NAIS 2016 Annual Conference Online Community

For NAISAC 2016,  I wished for:

  • more opportunities for conversations 

This wish came true in an informal way as a result of the wonderful venue at Moscone and the Marriott. Common spaces to gather between sessions were plentiful, which made it easier to talk and make connections. Setting up the “face to face” #isedchat was easy (massive lobby bar helped) and the conversations were rich and full of big ideas and lots of laughs. 

  • less PowerPoints

This wish came true for me because I chose my sessions very carefully.  The one-hour sessions I attended were specifically panel-oriented and had some conversation or participation of the attendees involved. I vowed to use the “law of two feet” if I felt trapped in a massive slide deck. No “death by PowerPoint” for me!  This year’s general sessions I attended were amazing (Bryan Stevenson brought me to tears, Marcus Buckingham was fabulous, and…

View original post 414 more words

My Story from NAIS 2016

NAIS 2016 Annual Conference Online Community

IMG_6972It was every intention of mine to blog during the conference, however, I never seemed to be able to catch my breath. I didn’t want to miss opportunities to attend sessions or  to meet up with fellow independent school colleagues from all over the country. Enjoying the beautiful weather and taking in everything possible on my first visit to San Francisco didn’t help. And, the time zone change kicked my butt, too. I tried to make up for this by tweeting every chance I got! Here is a storify collecting all of them.

The conference began with a loving tribute to John Chubb, and I was inspired and motivated by several of the general sessions. I didn’t get to as many one-hour sessions as I would have liked but there was so much to do and see. The venue  (Moscone Conference Center) was easy to navigate (my favorite of the…

View original post 411 more words

Will my wishes come true?

NAIS 2016 Annual Conference Online Community

At the conclusion of #NAISAC 2015, I reflected on the conference in this post.

494108764_e00178af6e_n

Here were my wishes for #NAISAC 2016. Will they come true?

For NAISAC 2016,  I wish for:

  • more opportunities for conversations
  • less PowerPoints
  • ways to connect with people in similar positions
  • ways to be an active participant in sessions, instead of being a passive receiver of information.
  • a live twitter stream during speakers so participant’s questions can be answered.

We will see soon enough.

Here’s to a great conference for all!

CC Image credit

View original post

It’s almost time…

NAIS 2016 Annual Conference Online Community

There’s always a feeling of excitement surrounding the NAIS Annual Conference each year- lots of preparation to leave school for a few days, and the anticipation of all the new ideas and energy the conference will bring is invigorating.

If this is your first time, here are a few tips that may help:

  1. Download the conference app TODAY!IMG_6899
  2. Spend some time on the app AHEAD of time. Browse each time slot and select 2 or 3 sessions that interest you. The app will give you a warning that you already have selected a session during that time. It’s OK. You have to have options! If one doesn’t work out, you can scoot out and catch another.
    IMG_6930
  3. If you are not on Twitter, join today!Here’s a link to a Twitter for Educators Beginner’s Guide. You will want to participate in all the conversations (a.k.a. backchanneling) that are happening during the…

View original post 254 more words

My Top Takeaways from #naisac 2015…and wishes for #naisac 2016

NAIS Annual Conference 2015

01619482f096a67c9a3f66e52346bdaa3c9795872dSince I take public notes on twitter, my top takeaways will be my tweets or retweets of others. These are the things that will hopefully stick with me long after NAISAC 2015.

View original post 351 more words

#naisac 2015 Admin Unplugged: Choice is a good thing!

When noon came on Thursday, it didn’t take long to get over the fact that our Admin Unplugged session was in the immense Grand Ballroom B. Participants trickled in and began to write session topics (or vote for others) on the easels at the entrance.

After about 10 minutes, Liz facilitated an icebreaker so participates could meet and introduce themselves to three different people. While that was happening, Justine and I were tallying the votes and setting up the 5 different discussion tables.

01d53300faca9288a17d9cc21ffe330de5c4324da7

The of topics of Scheduling, Teacher Evaluation, Head of School relationship with Admin Teams, Open Gradebooks, and Leadership Training were announced. We explained that attendees would choose one of the tables and have a 20-minute discussion surrounding that topic. It wasn’t long before everyone was seated and the conversations were off and running. At the end of 20 minutes, participants could choose another table and have a conversation surrounding a different topic or stay at the table and continue with the discussion.

The hour flew by, and participants seemed comfortable sharing their knowledge and passions with each other. Choice is a good thing!