What will you learn, share, see this year at NAISAC 2015?

Welcome to the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference Online Community. This site serves as the central point for online communications surrounding this year’s conference in Boston. With our time in Boston just around the corner, it is time to get connected and start the conversations. This year’s conference theme focuses on blended learning in all its forms, innovation, 21st century learning and leadership. As you prepare yourself for this year’s experiences, what do you hope to learn? What do you look forward to each year? What new connections will you make? What will you share with others? How will you open yourself to exploring learning in truly new ways? Share your thoughts in your blog then tweet them with the tag #naisac. If you don’t have a personal blog, feel free to send them in an email to naisac15@gmail.com so they can be posted to the community site with your byline.

For those using Twitter, it is important to note the change in hashtag formats. This year, the tag is #naisac. You can use twitter aggregators such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to easily follow the online conference conversation. If writing a blog seems like too much and you want to share a few quick ideas, simply tweet them using the #naisac tag. I hope to see many of you online and even more of you in Boston in only a few weeks.

Boston Is Getting Ready!

This may all be a bit premature, but as a Bostonian I’m already getting excited about the arrival of the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference and all that this means.

Not that it hasn’t been exciting enough lately around here. Apparently a local football has been doing well, and then this past week Juno brought us more than two feet of snow and two weekdays at home for my spouse (also an independent school teacher) and myself. I wish I could say days “off,” but the enforced home-time meant we finally had to finish a couple of projects that we had been avoiding for years; going back to school was something of a relief from that. But tonight and through tomorrow they’re forecasting another foot of snow, with no sign of a thaw as far as Weather Underground can see into the future. Hopefully this will all change by the last week of the month, and in any event, it is all rather beautiful.

Boston in Winter, Shutterstock
Boston in Winter, Shutterstock

As always, I’m looking forward both to the conference program and to the camaraderie that comes with it. I’ve lived long enough now to see the evolution of the NAIS Annual Conference from a tweedy, New England-flavored festival of self-assurance, leavened with some good learning, into a real professional learning event characterized by intense curiosity about what is new and promising. Not only does NAISAC help us do our work more thoughtfully and more knowledgeably, it has also become a far more diverse gathering in every dimension.

There’s a hunger, I think, in the independent school community for more information, and more and more I encounter independent school people looking for opportunities not just for pleasant social connections (though there is still lots of space for that, thank you) but also for professional collaboration. I see and hear more schools becoming part of consortia or joining professional organizations to support their own evolution, and in my own extracurricular roles I see these groups working overtime to serve the needs of schools and of the educators who work in them.

Even with all of the challenges we face, this is an exciting time to be part of the independent school world. It might be safe to say that never have new ideas and new opportunities been so present in our working lives, and never have so many of us been so excited to share with and learn from our peers and from other professionals outside of our immediate sphere. And NAISAC 15 will be, for a few days, the nexus of this excitement.

See you in Boston in just a few weeks!

Participate in Gallery of Independent School Maker Spaces

As part of the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference, there will be an interactive Makerspace where attendees can explore aspects of this new movement in education. As part of that experience, I am assembling what I hope will be the start of a larger project- a Gallery of Independent School Maker Spaces. This Gallery will have a static presence at the conference as well as an online presence for those not able to attend. It is my hope that this will eventually become a useful resource for schools across the country as they explore what other schools are doing in the work of Making and Makerspaces.

Please follow the steps below if you would like your school included in this gallery.

  2. Take a moment to gather the information below and enter it into the Google Form linked here (http://goo.gl/forms/rNni74amTO).
  3. Take images of your space(s). Feel free to include students in those images if that is allowed by your school. Certainly take images of some of the work produced by your students. People will also be very interested in the physical space, layout and equipment you currently have in your space. Please keep your image file selection to 10 to 15 images max. The maximum file size for upload it 75MB so try to stay south of there.
  4. Place all the images into a single folder along with a school logo image (if you desire) and create a ZIP file that can be uploaded to a drop site. Check to make sure the total file size is less that 75MB.
  5. Make an index of your images by file name and provide a brief caption for each image. If you match the file name with the caption, I should be able to match things up on this end. You will enter this information in the last question of the Google Form for this project. If you have any videos of your space in action living online, feel free to include the static URL’s to those in this space on the Google Form. If possible, I will try to link them into different aspects of this project.
  6. Upload your image ZIP file (Less than 75MB) to http://dropitto.me/bigenhoc and enter Password: email naisac15@gmail.com to get the password to upload your file.

That is it. Thank you for your contribution to what I hope will grow into a very useful resource for the greater independent school community.

Preview of Survey Questions– Use to prepare your answers then copy and paste into the Google Form

School Name:
School Location (City and State):
School Website:
MakerSpace Website (If you have one):
Contact Email (This is for me to follow up if I have questions about your submission):

Description of School
Provide a brief description of your school. This may be something taken directly from your school profile as listed on your schools website. Please let us know about the structure of your school (number of students, single gender, coed, grade structures, location, philosophy of education, mission or anything else you feel paints an accurate description of your school. Try to keep description to about 250 words

Description of maker space
Write a short description of your schools makerspace(s). This should focus on the physical space(s). Please keep your description to about 350 words.

Description of program
Write a short description of your program(s) that use your maker space(s). This description should focus on the different ways the space is used, the different members of your community that use the space(s), the philosophy of the program and or how the program fits within the school. Please keep your description to about 350 words.

Examples of how the space is being used
Describe the types of projects that are being created in your space(s). This is a place to celebrate the creativity of your students and faculty. Please keep your description to about 350 words.

Future Plans
What are the school’s future plans for the makerspace(s) and programs? What do you see as the next steps for your school? Try to keep description to about 250 words

Index of Images
Please provide a brief photo caption for each image you have included in your zip file of images. Make sure you include the file name next to each caption so they can be matched.

Feel free to use this space to add any additional information you feel is helpful in understanding your space(s), school etc. Use this space to add information that does not fit in other areas on this form. This is also where you can add additional information such as additional websites, additional contact info.

NAIS 2015 Annual Conference Online Community is Now Open!

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Greetings and welcome to the NAIS 2015 Annual Conference Online Community. Today we launch another year of powerful and engaging conversations focused around topics related to the conference theme of Design the Revolution: Blending Learning, Leading, and Innovation. YOU are the focus of this community. We welcome you to another engaging year. Here are a few things for you to do to get started.

  1. ReadAbout the Community
  2. ReadHow to Participate
  3. Follow or Bookmark the FRONT DOOR  to this community https://naisac15.wordpress.com/
  4. JoinNAIS Connect Annual Conference Community
  5. SUBSCRIBE to the community twitter list
  6. USE#NAISAC hashtag for all tweets related to this year’s community and conference.
  7. Follow theTwitter Account for @naisac15
  8. Follow the Storify account for the NAISAC 2015 Online Community

The Daily Find start’s with several posts per week moving to a daily schedule as we approach the conference. During the 3 to 4 days surrounding the conference, you will likely see multiple posts as community members post their reflections and experiences. Feel free to add your post as well by sending them to naisac15@gmail.com.

You can learn more about submitting blog entries by visiting the Blog Submission Instructions link. While on the topic of blogs, you may also want to look over the list of independent school bloggers. This is an impressive list of educators sharing their experiences and ideas with the community. If you would like to add your blog to this list follow the blog submission instructions.

I am personally looking forward to a wonderful year of great conversations both online and in Boston. So, let the dialogue begin as we look to Design the Revolution.

New Home of the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference Online Community

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This is the new home of the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference Online Community. This site will be developed over the next several months as the community is constructed and will open to the public approximately 4 weeks prior to the conference. Please subscribe to this site to be notified when the community has gone live and when new content has been posted.

If you are an independent school blogger, feel free to post a comment with your name, school name and blog URL so you can be included in the blogroll for this year.

We look forward to lively conversations again this year. In the mean time, visit the main conference site to explore all of the wonderful offerings this year.

Design the revolution: Blending Learning, Leading and Innovation

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