Tag Archives: National Association of Independent Schools

3 Burning Questions to Consider at NAISAC 2015


When you pass by registration, take a moment to consider responses to these three burning questions. Then pick up a pencil and leave a response on the interactive wall. In addition, feel free to tweet your answers out using the tags associated with each image/question below.

Question 1 (Tag with #naisac and #Q1)


Question 2 (Tag with #naisac and #Q2)



Question 3 (Tag with #naisac and #Q3)


Get Connected at NAISAC 2015 in Boston

When you walk up to registration, make sure you take a moment to see how you can get connected. Then make sure you get your photo taken and post it on Twitter. Here is a preview to get you started.



You were not able to stop along the way, Look through the pictures below to get the information to get you started. Get on Twitter, Subscribe to Online Community Site (This site), Like on Facebook, Follow on G+ and play with some fun online tools. The hashtag for this years conference is #NAISAC. Please note this change.


Wednesday Winding up to the Opening of NAISC Tomorrow!

This is my second day in Boston. The day started with a beautiful cloud free morning and a great meeting (always too short) with the 21st century curriculum and technology task force. We are working on the name but that is who we are at the moment. What a great group of passionate educators! I am honored to be a member of such a group.

This year my Wednesday of the conference was very different as I am also orchestrating the construction of the NAIS interactive makerspace. This means that the rest of Wednesday was spent setting up this makerspace. It also means that I was not able to make the rounds to all of the other cool workshops that took place today. So, if you attended any of these, have pictures or want to submit a blog or reflection, please do so and send me the text or the link to your post and I will make sure we get it posted here as well. Any pictures and video would also be awesome!

The NAIS MakerSpace project has been fun to think about and it is great to see it come to life. I must make a HUGE shout out to Jonathan Schmid and Chris Lindsey from the Meadowbrook School of Weston MA for their help today and for being so gracious to supply much of the 3D printing, robotics and cool student projects. Others from Meadowbook will also be working the space over the next two days. They will be joined by individuals from other schools who are amazing educators who are passionate about the world of “making” as a way of learning. The NAIS MakerSpace will be a place you will want to visit and experience multiple times over the next two days. There is much to see and do so make sure you swing by.

Here are a few images I was able to capture during the day.


For those who missed the “Brisk Walk Through” of the Exhibit Hall, here is your chance to see what the hall looked like about 24 hours from opening. What a transformation it will be!

Out for a Walk About in Boston Pre-NAISAC

Getting settled and caught up on things related to the online community. So, I went for a little walk around the area to get acquainted with this area and find some things for the Interactive MakerSpace. The images below represent some of the scenes around the area. While the snow is piled high in placed, it is amazingly easy to walk around. Just watch out for the ice as you transition from dry areas to wet frozen ones.

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As for the makerspace, I picked up a few items at the local True Value Hardware Store, Radio Shack and a Walgreens. Combined with some of the other items I brought (shown on the table and the blue suitcase), what can you build? Come by the Interactive MakerSpace starting Thursday and explore the world of design, making, prototyping, engineering, and dreaming.

The Daily Find: February 23, 2015

The Daily Find (TDF) is a feature of the NAISAC Online Community. Content comes from features, events and themes related to this year’s conference in Boston and from the community of independent school bloggers and NAISAC 2015 Twitter Community.

Learn how you can participate in the online community for the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference in Boston. Everything you need to know is found here.


Join the MakerSpace Conversation
You are invited to join in an online conversation to answer the question: What is a Maker Space? Learn more about how to participate at MakerSpace Forum.

Check out the Tweet Archive for #NAISAC! This is an archive of all the tweets sent using the official hashtag #NAISAC and the older form of the tag. This automatically archives each tweet including all links shared. This can be an extremely valuable resource as we move through the conference and beyond. Knowing that there are a lot of resources shared through links posted to Twitter, you will be able to return to this site and capture all those “gold nuggets”. This archive is also posted on the NAISAC community site under Community Sites on the right side of your screen.

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Gallery of Independent School MakerSpaces
As you sit by the fire dreaming of warmer weather and waiting for your plane to take you to Boston for the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference, take some time and read through the 20 schools that have submitted entries for [MORE]

The Interactive MakerSpace at #NAISAC and the Maker Mindset
The Maker Movement is taking the education world by storm. In an effort to help school administrators and teachers better understand this movement, NAIS is pleased to offer the NAIS Makerspace, located in the Exhibit Hall. This space will [MORE]

Lorri Carroll
Gear Up for #NAISAC 2015 and Download the App Today!
I remember feeling overwhelmed with the program book a few years back. I had a hard time figuring out my schedule, reading through descriptions and speaker info, and getting up to date information on [MORE]

Lisa Abel-Palmieri
Girls Can make Stuff Too!
Maker education provides both boys and girls with the opportunity to learn dexterity, ideation, teamwork, and have fun while solving problems and building creative confidence.  As an independent school administrator and educator leading the [MORE]


Josie Holford
Making- the ideal complement to the life of the mind- is on its way to College
The NAIS Annual Conference – #naisac15 – is coming right up. This year schools were invited to contribute to an interactive Makerspace where attendees can explore aspects of this new movement in education…. 21st century skills it seems have a great deal in common with 17th and 18th century skills in that craft and practical application matter again. There’s been a signal switch in the kinds of skill-sets people need [MORE]

Derrick Willard
“Design the Revolution” but, please don’t talk to me about cool furniture:
Consider this scenario…a faculty member walks up to me and says “how do I get some of those rolly desks.” Yes, I’m talking about Steelcase Nodes, the super light and agile student desks. I love ‘em.  But, I do not want to have discussions about buying cool furniture.  My response is always, “tell me about your [MORE]

Jared Colley
How Innovate an English Class? Flip, Gamify, and Post Online: Some Notes from a First Time Gamer
There are 3 major ways I have re-designed the learning experience for my students to make the English class a little less traditional. Shortly put, I’ve flipped the class, gamifiedcurricular assignments, and connected students to real audiences via digital platforms such as blogger, and as result, class time is [MORE]

Marti Weston
Makerspaces Are Amazing, Yet I Remember When…
I am so energized by makerspaces, where people — children and adults — have access to all sorts of equipment to invent, try out ideas, and make things. I’ve spent some time in makerspaces at a number of conferences, and last summer I wrote about my experience at Gary Stager’s Constructing Modern Knowledge 2014[MORE]

Chris Bigenho
Shipping up to Boston” for the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference
“I’m Shipping up to Boston” for the 2015 NAIS Annual Conference- Design the Revolution: Blending Learning, Leading and Innovation. I am excited to again be packing my bags for a week of amazing work, sharing and learning with close to 5000 folks from independent schools all across the nation. [MORE]

This is an automated daily news paper that is created from the information shared by members of the NAISAC15 Twitter community. As members of the community share resources and ideas through Twitter, they are aggregated and categorized then presented as a daily paper.

The Interactive MakerSpace at #NAISAC and The Maker Mindset


Want to learn more about Making and the Maker movement? Come visit us at the Interactive Maker Space at the NAIS Annual Conference. We will be located in the exhibit hall just outside the NAIS Bookstore.

The Maker Movement is taking the education world by storm. In an effort to help school administrators and teachers better understand this movement, NAIS is pleased to offer the NAIS Makerspace, located in the Exhibit Hall. This space will provide hands-on demonstrations, information about the movement, and ways in which you can implement parts of this approach at your own school. Learn about the revolutionary 3D printer, one of the greatest new technologies you can share with your students. Imagine students at one school developing parts for a joint robotics project in another school as they simply send over files to “print.” Witness this fascinating machine in action in our demonstration area. Attendees will also have the chance to design simple circuits and learn about how to teach robotics across disciplines. You can find out more information here.
Highlights of the NAIS Makerspace include:
  • Knowledgeable independent school teachers who are already involved in maker spaces at their schools. You will be able to interact with them as they help guide you through a small sample of demonstrations of physical and electronic prototyping including 3D printing and scanning, microcontrollers and circuit boards.
  • Robots of all sizes and shapes to reach nearly any age student.
  • You can put your hands to work as you explore the basics of electronic circuitry and logic gates through some amazing tools such as Little Bits. Basics of electronics that can be used by students of all ages. This includes explorations with Little Bits, to Makey Makey to component wiring and prototyping with electronic components and breadboards.
  • Try your hand at writing code to control the actions of various robots and circuits controlled by microcontrollers.
  • “Walk through” the Gallery of Making in Independent Schools: The gallery provides tangible, visible evidence of what other schools are doing in the world of making. Many different approaches will be represented.
  • Leave with a wealth of information and resources that you can further explore long after the conference.

Making is more than “Stuff”. Come by and talk with us about the “Maker Miindset”.

Graphic by Lisa Abel-Palmieri from The Ellis School

maker mindset

Finding Gratitude

Submitted by Steve de Beer
Head of School
Friends’ School
Boulder, CO

Before leaving my Colorado home to head to Boston for the NAIS annual conference, I’ve been reading about the monstrous snow in New England.

Ironic – because the weekend before my trip, it’s the long President’s Day weekend, and I’m doing what a lot of  Denver/Boulder people do when there’s a day off school. I’m heading up to the Colorado mountains for some powder. The ski resorts here are crying out for snow. The streets of Vail and Breckenridge are dry.  There is enough snow on the slopes, some of it man-made, for a good day’s skiing, but not too much around town.  I think Boston has grabbed it all.

That’s ok with me because I’m grateful.  Grateful to be coming to Boston and to be presenting at NAIS for the first time.  Grateful to have a day off school.  Grateful to live in a place where some of the world’s best skiing is a short drive away – the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are being held in Vail this week. Grateful for the famous Colorado blue skies under which I skied this weekend.

Gratitude is something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently.  There is a growing body of research informing us that the intentional and frequent practice of gratitude makes a real difference in our lives and in the lives of our students. This is no longer considered a soft science. Leading researchers in this area, including Robert Emmons (UC Davis), Giacomo Bono (CSU Dominguez Hills) and Jeffrey Froh (Hoftstra University), have shown us that the active practice of gratitude can lead to:

  • increased self-worth
  • higher GPAs
  • improved self-regulation
  • more positive emotions
  • heightened trust in others
  • more positive relationships
  • greater desire to give back to the community
  • enhanced physical health
  • better sleep
  • improved psychological health
  • higher empathy
  • decreased aggression
  • additional resilience
  • reduced materialism and envy

At my school in Boulder, CO we spent a full-year focusing on the positive power of gratitude, something we called The Gratitude Project.

At the NAIS annual conference, I will be sharing the story of the Project and the lessons that our school community learned. (I hope you will join me – Block 2 on Thursday 26th, 12:00 – 1:00 PM in Room 206.) These lessons included far-reaching associations with the leading gratitude researchers and a school community transformed by the power of gratitude.

The Gratitude Project was a multi-faceted endeavor that spanned the breadth of my school’s community and curriculum.  Our faculty developed a gratitude curriculum and discovered many of the huge benefits listed above.

Gratitude is becoming widely accepted as one of the key ingredients to raising children of character.   That is something that independent schools have always been excellent at. We’re now learning about new ways to do an even better job of raising kids with character. And for that, I’m grateful.

Steve de Beer is the Head of School at Friends’ School in Boulder, CO.  He writes and speaks frequently on gratitude and character education. http://www.stevedebeer.com