Boston: Campus Technology CT Education Technology Conference

Campus Technology 2014 aimed to explore compelling and revolutionary technologies for higher education — cloud computing, mobile integration, collaborative environments and so on.  The delegate list made up a community comprised of hundreds of highly motivated technology professionals working at large universities, small colleges and education institutions in-between, from across the country and around the world, but with a concentration of attendees from the eastern United States.  Campus Technology conferences were designed to offer attendees the opportunity to learn about the technologies that drive student success and educational advancement both in and out of the classroom, and help place campuses on the leading edge of 21st century education, enterprise and infrastructure technology.  The common goal is professional growth, with an emphasis on sharing solutions to specific technology challenges.  Oh, hey, there’s an app for that….  #CampusTech

Seattle: National Association of College/Univ. Business Officers – NACUBO

The NACUBO acronym designates the National Association of College and University Business Officers, a membership organization representing more than 2,500 colleges, universities, and higher education service providers across the country and around the world. NACUBO specifically represents chief business and financial officers through advocacy efforts, community service, and professional development activities.  Sessions included Tips for Business Partners Working with Higher Education Institutions, Achieving Institutional Effectiveness through Data-Driven Decision-Making, Academic Medical Centers in a Rapidly-Changing Environment, and… wait, what’s this?  Yup, an opener session entitled What Is This Thing Called Higher Education?  Hmmm…. that’s a little like offering a special tutorial for those who attended the NACUBO Golf Tournament, entitled What Is This Thing Called A Golf Ball?  Hey, we’re just saying…

Las Vegas: American Library Association Annual Conference

Las Vegas: American Library Association Annual Conference

ALA is the American Library Association, and its annual conference in Vegas covered key issues such as innovation and transformation, ebook lending and usability, digital content, community engagement, leadership, the impact and potential of new technologies, books and awards, copyright, outreach, privacy, services for makers, library advocacy, core values, career development, teaching and learning, and best practices on a range of library-related concerns.  Phew!  That’s already pretty much a library-full of topics right there.  Actor, producer and country songster Jeff Bridges shared a slot with twice-over Newbery Medal winner Lois Lowry at the ALA President’s Program, and stand-up comic, writer and TV star B.J. Novak had something to say at the Closing General Session.  Oh, you wanted ACTIVITIES?  They we would have seen you at the Think-Fit “Power Flow” yoga class.  Okay, everyone, lotus position….

 

Nashville: National Association of Elementary School Principals – NAESP

NAESP  is the National Association of Elementary School Principals.  School principals, superintendents, teachers, and decision-makers from around the country gathered in Nashville  to learn about the latest ideas and best practices.  A misconception exists that raising standards will improve student achievement, we were told. However, raising expectations through standards without addressing instructional practices will only widen the existing achievement gap.  A keynoter presented structures that can ensure every student acquires common core skill sets, communications, collaboration, and critical thinking.  Other well-attended sessions looked at Challenges and Opportunities — Why Poverty Matters and What Schools Must Do, and Flipping Professional Learning to Impact Student Achievement.  Serious stuff.  Except that the “flipping” thing sounds a little… well… flippant, no?  #naesp14

Atlanta: ISTE – International Society for Technology in Education – NECC

ISTE is the International Society for Technology in Education, and the conference took as its theme the idea of “connected learning, connected world”.  ISTE 2014 featured sessions in several different formats to accommodate a variety of learning styles. Professional learning sessions focused on the development of leaders and training in leadership among teachers.  There were further sessions focusing on the technology, resources and policies necessary to build the infrastructure for effective teaching, learning and administration, plus original research papers investigating the use of technology to enhance education.  Among keynoters was the comely actress and activist Ashley Judd, who, we heard, has visited grassroots programs around the world carrying a message of empowerment and equality to heads of state, donors, the private sector and the media. Unlike a certain ex-president, Ms. Judd did NOT ask “Is our children learning?”… #ISTE2014

Las Vegas: National Charter Schools Conference – NCSC

Charter schools, we heard, are “unique public schools that are allowed the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement”.  The core of the charter school model is the belief that public schools should be accountable for student learning.  NCSC is the National Charter Schools Conference, and it is the largest gathering of the charter school movement. The stated mission is to lead public education to new levels of academic achievement for all students, by fostering a strong charter sector. The National Alliance provides assistance to state charter school associations and resource centers, develops and advocates for improved public policies, and serves as the united voice for this large and diverse movement.   4,000 participants from around the country came to learn, connect and share ideas on education.  What they learned was an education in itself…  #NCSC14