In just over two weeks, I'm off to the 2011 ASCD Annual Conference. I've gone to a lot of conferences in the past year---I believe that this one will be #8---and while all of them are work-related, this is the only one that is completely paid for out of my own pocket.Why bother? Because it is the best place for me to get some professional development. Don't get me wrong---I learn tons from the other conferences I attend around the state, but it's learning for a different purpose. When I go to those events, I'm really there to wear a very specific hat and listen to what the field wants and needs me to do. I'm there to find out how they need me to serve them better. At ASCD? I get to be selfish---it's all about me at that conference. I'm there to learn whatever I can so that I have something more to offer and share. For me, this is worth every penny I've been scrimping and saving for months---even my 89-year old grandmother kicked in $100.
Last year, I unofficially blogged for ASCD at the conference (see posts here, here, here, here, and here). This year, I will officially be cranking out posts on their behalf, as well as several other bloggers/tweeters. You can see the list here and follow the tweets here. Even if you can't get to the conference, we'll do our best to bring the conference to you. Have questions you want us to answer? An expert you would like interviewed? A specific session you want covered? Let me know and I will do my best.
My presentation this year is on data visualization for educators---lots of things that I've posted about here over the last couple of years. I'm in the process of overhauling the materials. ASCD deserves something extra special...and I have learned a lot since I first rolled out this presentation. Besides, I gotta make grandma proud, right?