Saturday, May 5, 2018

Aspen 2018 Summit Reflections

Last weekend, I was happily in Aspen, CO, attending the #EdTechTeam Summit! Here are a handful of my key takeaways:
  1. It is so important to spend time with people who are positive, hopeful, and optimistic about education! This was my #1 takeaway! The current climate, both nationally and locally, has not been overly positive about teaching, education, and especially the role of technology in education. I know that not everyone feels this way, but sometimes it seems like it - and it wasn't until I had the chance to step out of it to realize how far I had gotten sucked into the negativity. I walked away from the summit feeling refreshed and re-energized for my job!

    Adults enjoy having fun too - #makered is always a hit!

  2. Reaching out, relationally, is awesome. I attended the Colorado Summit in November, and it was huge! While that was really fun, the sheer number of people there meant that running into the same person twice was far less likely! Additionally, it was in my district, so I knew a ton of people there. At this (much smaller) summit, I feel like I really had the opportunity to reach out and have some good conversations with others. I always love hearing how things are going in different parts of the state and country, because it gets me out of my own little world, and I learn so much!

    It wouldn't be a summit without some #BreakoutEDU fun!

  3. Share, share away! One of my favorite things about summits is how willing everyone is to share their materials and resources. Sometimes, I get discouraged when other educators are hesitant to share what they have created - we are all teaching kids, right? I've never wanted to force anyone else to reinvent the wheel if I have already done the work! Seeing people freely share and encourage others to steal, copy, iterate, and improve upon resources was like a breath of fresh air.

    Fresh air like my pre-summit walks both mornings -
    how could I not spend some time outside in this beautiful place?

  4. It's nice to be a learner. In my role as an Ed Tech Specialist, I lead a lot of PD...and I love it! But I can't remember the last time I attended an event purely as a learner. I did present a couple of sessions at this summit, but I didn't feel the pressure of "being in charge". I didn't have to make sure all of the logistics were taken care of, look around the room to make sure everyone had a seat, check on the food, find the custodian, take pictures, be "on call", or think about setup/cleanup. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy hosting PD, but it was downright relaxing to be able to just attend the event and not have to worry about the other details! Thanks to all of the Aspen crew who did do this - I know how much work it is!

    Our beautiful facility for the summit!

I am so grateful for the weekend - I didn't know it at the time, but it was exactly what I needed! As usual, #EdTechTeam Summits do not disappoint. Bonus: it gave me some great inspiration for my #GoogleEI application! I may have come home physically tired (a 4-hour drive will do that to you), but mentally & emotionally, it was so worth it!

It was awesome to spend time with my friend & coworker
(& driving companion) @staceyduval5!

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