Atlantic City: New Jersey School Boards Association – NJSBA

NJSBA is the New Jersey School Boards Association.  It’s a federation of all of the state’s local boards of education. The 4,800 local board members who comprise the membership are the largest group of elected and appointed public officials in New Jersey. The Association provides in-service training and technical assistance.  The Association also advocates the education, health and safety interests of New Jerseys public school students and school districts.  The NJSBA Special Education Task Force had conducted an exhaustive study of trends in special education programming, funding, and effective practices. During its deliberations, the Task Force consulted with more than 25 experts in special education, including representatives of higher education, key personnel in the U.S. and New Jersey Departments of Education, and special education advocates and practitioners.  So this was solid information, not just an “educated” guess…

Burbank: Barristar Beauty School Forum

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