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Every Learner: Someday is NOW

ASCD 1Greetings from Los Angeles! Over the course of the next three days I will be blogging from the ASCD 2014 Conference. I will be reflecting on my learning and sharing content from the conference. Follow me on Twitter (@KathyPerret) for Tweets about the conference throughout the day. The conference hashtag is @ASCD14.

I have been fortunate to attend educational conferences over the last 14 years as a literacy consultant and instructional coach. For years I enjoyed the opportunity to “get away” for a few days, sit back, and learn from people I had admired from a far. Their books lined my library shelves at home. Their research was paramount in my work. I sat thirsty and gulped down every drop. My head was spinning. When I was lucky enough to travel with colleagues we would have powerful conversations.  I was satisfied.

Enter Twitter.

For the past few years I have attended professional learning opportunities every day. I have connected with the authors/researchers I once admired from only their published work in books and journals. I have been inspired by educators from all over the world. I have been changed!

Now when I have the opportunity to attend a conference I have a slightly different approach. The sound bites are not just mine – they are shared to those attending the conference in person or following the conference hashtag. They are starting points for global dialogue and connections for deeper understanding and perspectives. The conference seems more alive!

My note taking at conferences have changed as well. Paper and pen have been replaced with my iPad or laptop. Evernote is my app of choice. I have always preferred typing notes – even back in my college days when I would to back to the dorm after class and type my notes. With Evernote I am able to organize my notes and tag ideas for further reference. One feature I love is the picture-taking capabilities. Now instead of copying down all the words on a PPT slide, I snap a picture and add it to my notes. This simple task frees up my mind so that I can actually take in what the presenter is sharing.

Yet, I have to question whether conferences as a whole have changed that much? Sure, I now share my ideas and learning on a global platform.  I gain a deeper perspective of the content. I take notes more effectively and efficiently.  But I am still sitting, soaking up sound bites.

So, how will this conference be different? I plan to go at this conference not as a single learner, but as a global learner. Will I meet others that are the same?  I am going to push myself out of my comfort areas. Expand my horizons. I am anxious to see where it takes me! I am hoping to find sessions that engage me as a learner rather than just ask me to sit and listen. I am here to enjoy the learning and growing journey!

I have already met some passionate educators at the Reception. If you are looking for sessions ideas you might want to check out:

Saturday, March 15, 2014 – 8:30 – Level 2 – Room 405: Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day with the authors of the book with the same title. (Jon Bergman and Aaron Sams)

Sunday, March 16, 2014 – 3:00 – Level 2 – Room 511 C – Creating Environmental Schools: Harbor School Restoring the Ecosystem with Nathan Dudley and Murray Fisher

Signing off for now. It is an early day tomorrow. Looking forward to LEARNING and GROWING at #ASCD14.

By the way: If you read my fast post yesterday about March Madness you might be interested in knowing my #16 IOWA STATE CYCLONES have advanced another round! I’m ecstatic. It isn’t very often we are able to beat the #10 Kansas Jayhawks! A 94 to 83 win is icing on the cake! Way to go CYCLONES! 


slice-of-life_classroom-image-blackDuring March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge! More Slice of Life posts can be found on Two Writing Teachers. I am hoping this posts makes it in on time. I’m off on my time zones!