EdTech Event: ASCD Annual Conference

By Monica Burns 05.05.2016 blog

Earlier this spring I had the opportunity to learn and share at the ASCD Annual Conference in Atlanta. It was an action-packed event attracting educators from around the world. It included keynote addresses and sessions full of presenters sharing stories from their schools, districts and work in the field.

Big Ideas and Actionable Practices

In addition to finding inspiration from big ideas, the ASCD Annual Conference included speakers who offered actionable practices to take back to your classroom. One of the highlights of the event was hearing Heidi Hayes Jacob speak about curriculum planning. She spoke about the three tiers of curriculum planning: macro, instructional and micro levels, but placed her discussion in the context of real world learning environments. One of the terms she used to describe the roles of new learners was media critic. This definitely connected to other presentations over the course of the conference that highlighted how important it is to cultivate digital skills among students of all ages.

Inspiring Thinkers

Another inspiring big thinker at the ASCD Annual Conference was Carol Dweck. Her keynote address focused on growth mindset and the misconceptions behind this notion. This discussion made a clear case for the importance of emphasizing growth mindset during teachable moments. Carol Dweck’s work has gained popularity across industries, and it was wonderful to hear her speak about this topic in person.

Community Connections

As is true with many educational conferences, the ASCD Annual Conference was an opportunity to connect with like-minded educators. Tammy Musiowsky, a former colleague who now teaches abroad in Singapore, introduced me to her cohort of ASCD Emerging Leaders — an inspiring group of educators from across the country. I had the pleasure of sitting in for part of their gameboard-themed session on cultivating relationships in schools.

Books Galore

I’ve attended many educational conferences and the ASCD Annual Conference really placed professional resources front and center. In the middle of the massive exhibition hall, publishers featured their books on a wide range of topics. My book was featured at the Corwin Press booth, and I also received a copy of 140 Twitter Tips for Educators directly from one of the authors.

Embracing the City

It was wonderful to see how much the ASCD Annual Conference embraced the city of Atlanta and showed off sights to attendees. I had the chance to attend two events at the Georgia Aquarium. When attending conferences in different cities it can be difficult to make the most of a short trip. When a conference takes on the role of tour guide, it’s a fantastic opportunity to see the sights will sharing and learning.

Learn more about the ASCD Annual Conference on their website.

Monica Burns is an Author, Speaker, EdTech & Curriculum Consultant and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.


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