This year was the second year I was able to participate in the Keystone Technology Integrator’s Summit at Bucknell University; the first as a member of the Summit staff. My goal after last year’s Summit as an attendee was to become a member of the staff…I achieved that goal. I watched the long hours and extensive effort last year’s staff put in to make the event a success and wanted to contribute back into the system. So as soon as last year’s summit was over I began prepping to make the staff.
I presented at various conferences about tools and methods I used in my classes and listened to the feedback, good, bad, indifferent, and ugly about how the presentations went, or were perceived to have gone by the attendees. I refined and adapted materials accordingly, and kept up to date on the ever changing tools my students and I work with. Sometimes my students learned of the changes first, and our roles of learner and mentor were reversed. That’s is fine by me…in today’s world the roles need to be flexible. I learned that from my PLN, which continues to grow.
As a member of Summit staff, we had many virtual planning sessions, formal via Elluminate, informal via Skype and e-mail. The staff finally met face to face as an entire group the day before the summit. There was buzz in the air as we greeted each other and started the on-site preparations. I was expecting a long, exhausting week, that would grind me down, yet re-energize me from being surrounded with almost 100 innovators in education. My expectations were correct. Attendees and staff members alike pushed themselves over 12 hours a day in sessions, both formal and informal sharing ideas and building networks of support.
On top of all of this, my daughter needed medical attention back home. She was fine in the end, but not being there for her added tons of stress and anxiety to my life. I would like to thank the staff and attendees who helped support me through those two days. My friends all jumped in to help me get through it, like I knew they would. I also had many people who I hardly knew, or had not yet met come up to me and offer support. I can honestly say, I was not too surprised by this, because of the nature of people who attend the summit, they are there because they care and support others. Their efforts made a rough situation manageable and was I able to finish my work on staff.
We finished up the summit yesterday, Friday July 30,2010, and most if not all the people I talked with had mixed feelings. It was great to be going back home to our families, but leaving such a dynamic event, tiring as it could be, and all of the people involved was a bit of a downer.
I hope I was able to contribute helpful information and methods of teaching and learning through my presentations. I know I learned many new techniques to use in my classroom, even with tools I currently use. I also strengthened my PLN and made many new friends, whom I am sure I will keep connected too, even if only virtually. I am hoping to continue attending the KTI Summit in the future, and urge new and past KTI’s to continue their participation in the network. With so many voices in the conversation, there is no obstacle we can’t overcome to successfully transform education to meet the needs of our current students and those who we will have in the future.