Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Podstock 2012

This year I officially dubbed myself the Podstock Stalker.  There is no way to really describe Podstock other than the most AMAZING conference you could ever attend.  Podstock is that conference where you walk in, and you are automatically family.  The 6 hour drive that I have made every year for the past 4 years is well worth it to be home.  To be among other educators that are making the change.  The ones that don't mind trying new things, thinking outside the box, the grassroots of education change.

This year the theme was the 80's.  So my friend Elaine Plybon and I headed to goodwill to try to find a few outfits. It is SO much fun to dress up for the theme. Do you have to dress up, no... but if you have a chance.. why not?

There were a couple of pre-conference options this year for people to attend.  I was lucky enough to attend Launch Me.  Kevin Honeycutt created Launch Me to help teachers/presenters/and other professionals to grow presentation skills, market them to move toward local, national or global audience and to develop the capacity to really connect with audiences. I am still percolating on all that I learned.  I did, however, change my presentation style up a bit.. and really watched other presentations in a different light.   This year I had 2 presentations.  One for BrainPOP (one of my favorite websites ever!)  The other one was Stump The Presenter with Elaine!
Photo taken by Nedra Isenberg

I always learn so much through this conference, but the keynote and the last session that I watched were so powerful.  Brad Flickinger was the keynote this year.  He talked about creating passion in students.  He also said that to create the passion in students there needs to be a coach available.  A student can be passionate about swimming and be willing to get to the pool to practice early in the morning or late in the evening, but there is always a coach there to make sure it happens.  A coach does not just have to be for sports.  A coach  can be that teacher that pushes and inspires students to try new things.  A coach can be the parent that supports and stands behind the student when trying new things.  A coach could be anyone.  What a great way to explain what teachers can be.  Are you an educator that ignites passion in students or others?  I hope that I am.  The keynote was amazing, and it came full circle when I attended my last session of Podstock. It was so hard to choose the last session, but I knew that I wanted to learn more about the Open World Project.  I had been following this project for almost a year.  Click on the link to find out all of the information about it.  There were several reasons that my Podstock ended on such a powerful note.  I had started the event with Brad talking about how he found his passion again because he was able to coach students to find theirs... and I ended it with 2 19 year olds talking about their idea and passion to provide a school, internet and connections in a school in Nepal.   What a full circle this ending session gave.  In the audience at the beginning of the conference I saw participants eager to learn. In the Open World Project I saw the audience realizing what our passion can do for students.

This has been a summer of ups and downs.  I loved hearing about teachers who were finding their joy in teaching and then seeing  how that could help students find their own passion was pretty awe inspiring.  I have been working on this blog for almost 3 days now.  I learned SO much more at Podstock.  This year we had a Rocking gift exchange with even more people and more stories! We also had an AWESOME photowalk that Nedra Isenberg helped give some expert photo advice on.

I am just so thankful for all of the ESSDACK crew and all of my Podstock family for all the happiness and joy that these 2 days of sessions bring me.


I am currently filling my brain with even more goodies here at DENSI2012!  Hopefully I will have a short blog up tomorrow :)  You can find a ton of information on my twitter feed of all that I am learning! @akbusybee

What conferences have you gone to this summer?  How do you make your heart happy and get ready for an upcoming school year?

1 comment:

  1. Wow Andrea, You did an amazing job with this post. I love the way you observed the full circle passion theme! While Brad is pleased to be able to be a great coach to me, the amazing thing about him is his inventiveness (is that a word?) His projects were innovative and he nailed the fact that there are so many steps for a project to be successful. He found himself in a situation where he had "permission" to innovate. However, what educators should take from this is that as long as they doing the "must dos" they too should feel inspired to innovate and show the administration how much more is possible. Passion is definitely key to getting everyone charged up though!