Let them Soar!

NYSCATE - Leading the Transformation of Teaching and Learning through Technology
Let them Soar!
NYSCATE11 is just around the corner and I, along with the conference committee, anticipate another worthwhile conference.  I’ve been to a number of conferences for various organizations (state, national and international) and this conference is always the most special.  I’m not just saying that because I volunteer on the committee.  There is something about it that makes you want it to last.
It has a lot to do with our membership. There is such diversity at NYSCATE’s Annual Conference that in one moment you can speak with someone from just about every walk of education.   I love it when I can join in conversations with superintendents, technology directors, principals, teachers (from all levels and content areas) and students while they gather in the foyer to chat, discuss, debate and suggest solutions to current issues in education today. It’s also about being okay with walking around with BBQ stain on your shirt following a hearty lunch at the ‘Saur. Everyone understands.
From being inspired by the innovative educators at the grants and awards dinner to social events with members, NYSCATE is about people.  We hope you will also be enlightened by Diana LaufenbergHall DavidsonSteve Dembo and Kevin Honeycutt who will speak during the keynote sessions.
Don’t miss out on the hands-on, minds-on Pre-Conference sessions that often go unnoticed because they happen before the official kickoff.   Check out the list of Pre-Conference sessions here and register today!
If you absolutely cannot make it, be sure to follow from the #nyscate11 tag.  You can also friend NYSCATE on Facebook and join over 1000 NYSCATE members in our NYSCATE Network.

Students Wanted

11/12/2008 Update: We’ve decided to take a more grassroots approach and slowly grow interest in a student conference.

I’ve debated whether to put this out here in the great wide open because it’s really an experiment in the making.  New at NYSCATE is a student symposium where students will attend (hopefully), share (double hopefully) and learn (triple hopefully) with each other. Additionally, they’ll be trying to give back in some way, shape or form.

Reading Stories Wanted at The Stellar Cafe today convinced me that I was not doing what I want of the students who attend this event.  I wasn’t sharing, being transparent or seeking advice/help.

The experience begins by accepting the challenge, sometimes bravely, and making it real.

Right now, we’ve got students working to promote and poised to plan the event.  The goal is to include them in as many facets of the planning and implementation as possible.  There are students working on graphics for the event, writing, editing and recording radio spots for WBER 90.5 (listen now), directing and producing videos for distribution through YouTube and morning shows. We’ve even got Facebook and MySpace groups started to help promote the event. NOTE: we’re encouraging students to join these groups and educators, unless they are directly working with the event. As you can see, we’re pretty good in the promotion/marketing department, but what we don’t have is a set line-up of students to lead discussions and topics for sessions.

I believe I have one of the greatest jobs in education, however, the downside is that I don’t have direct contact with students everyday, so I need to rely on others… this is where you come in.

So in making it real, this is an all call for students and topics that they’d like to learn about, share about and lead about.  Ask your students what they are doing with technology that you might not be aware about (obviously I’m talking about the constructive stuff here) and learn something from them. Then, if you would, share it back here.

A small team of students will be planning out how this event will pan out on November 23rd at the annual NYSCATE Conference.  They’ll appreciate the help, and so will I.