I was fortunate to be able to lead a session at the Mobile Literacy Boot Camp workshop on June 12 and 13 for administrators here in southwest Wisconsin. The school district of Sparta was a great host for the workshop. Thanks to Naomi Harm for organizing the whole thing and asking me to be a presenter/facilitator. I was also fortunate enough to have the almighty Jamie Stoeckly attend my session. Not only is he an enthusiastic educator, he’s also the instructional technologist for Sparta schools. The internet behaved itself quite well under Jamie’s watch.
All of the educators (mostly admins in my group) had just finished school only a few days before the workshop, so I applaud their willingness to attend the conference and the energy they brought with them. We talked a lot about connected learning through technology and how important it is for school leaders to understand it and model it for their staff and students. In addition to the philosophical side of digital learning, we also jumped in to building a PLN through Twitter, sharing positive culture through Facebook and YouTube, and how to be more efficient through the use of Google Docs. I was facilitating the group, but I learned a lot from them. We can’t know everything, but we should have a good idea on who/how to ask when we don’t know.
Aside from my group of attendees, it was also fun to interact with the other presenters. There are a lot of motivated and smart educators in the world, and I’m glad to be able to rub elbows with them at events like this. We learned a lot during the sessions, but I know just as much was gained during breakfast, lunch, and social hour on the first night.
So what’s the big idea from this post? My point is that one can learn a lot by presenting what you know to other professionals. The preparation for the event solidifies your knowledge of what you’ll share, but you’ll also benefit greatly from those fine folks who are attending your presentation. They’ll have new knowledge and skill to share with you, but will also make you think when they have questions you’ve never considered. Don’t wait to become an expert (it’ll never happen) to jump into the world of professional development at conferences. Think about what you know and are passionate about, and then find the right venue to share with others.
Here’s the opening presentation I used with my group to help them understand digital learning.