A few days after participating in the CAIS Academic Tech Retreat, my husband and I drove to St. Michael’s, Maryland, to be part of the AIMS Tech Retreat, AIMS being the Association of Independent Maryland Schools.
A year ago, April, I had the honor of being asked to present both the opening and closing keynotes for this annual retreat, as well as facilitate a session on a topic of my choice (I chose some Google Tools). The theme of the retreat was Amaze and Inspire: Collaborating with Colleagues.
At the time of being asked, I had never given a keynote, but the theme was one that intrigued me, as it captured my interests in both professional development and adult learning – two of the bigger tag clouds on Neurons Firing. With eagerness, and only a nodding thought to the preparation awaiting me, I said thank you for asking, and yes, I’d be happy to participate.
The Retreat was energizing and exciting! One of the highlights was meeting face-to-face a number of people who I already knew from various online communities. The most curious aspect of this was the absence of the usual “getting to know you” polite conversation, as we quickly slid into the feeling of talking with old friends. I also enjoyed meeting so many teachers from the Maryland and D.C. area. The feeling of direct engagement (however fleeting) with a new community of colleagues (most appropriate given the theme of the Retreat!) was stimulating and satisfying. And, thanks to Twitter, staying in touch with a few of these folks is the final perk of participating in the Retreat.
A distinct air of southern hospitality permeated the Retreat, coupled with a less frenetic pace, and a rich set of session offerings. And while we didn’t stay awake for the entire movie, an entertainment highlight was the showing of The Matrix on a wide screen with a superb sound system, outdoors under the stars, where the Chesapeake Bay met the Harbourtowne Resort, and the outdoor popcorn machine tempted already full stomachs! (Thanks to whoever posted the pictures!)