The Keys to #NEIT2010


Alex and arvind convened NEIT 2010 on Wednesday afternoon, after a comprehensive buffet luncheon typical of the folks at Mohonk. I was careful not to stuff myself, though it cannot be said my motives were purely healthful; I simply wanted room for samplings of the many desserts. Turns out, perhaps as a non-caffeine drinker, I have become rather sensitive to the caffeine in chocolate, and now take my dessert at lunch so as not to remain awake till 1:00 in the morning. But I digress!

Alex and arvind reminded us that the conference theme was based upon Dan and Chip Heath’s book SWITCH, a compilation of short scenarios exemplifying how to make personal and organizational change a reality. The book is an easy, quick read with some thought provoking anecdotes all based around their metaphor of a Rider (the rational side) trying to cajole the Elephant (the emotional side) down a Path (that ideally both will want to pursue).

arvind reminded us via the annual tag it button to tag any posts with #NEIT2010, followed by the suggestion that we write down our goals for the conference. My hopes for the conference (besides simply enjoying it) were:

  • find out more about the use of iPads in lower school
  • compile a list of local schools (based around the use of iPads) for our LS Assistant Principal to visit
  • watch the first ever NEIT IGNITE presentations
  • find out more about schools offering online or blended learning classes
  • learn something new
  • get pumped with ideas and energy for the remainder of the school year


The opening keynote was given by Lisa Thumann. I was eager to see and hear her again, having last seen her at the Google Certified Teacher Reload in February 2009, where she emceed as well as presented. Lisa is a dynamic presenter who thinks well on her feet, shares visuals on her slides (rather than being text-only), and engages with her audience in an interactive format.

Assembling our Students’ Kit and Caboodle was Lisa’s vision of the ten items educators could focus on in a digitally connected world to help both themselves and their students move their learning forward. After giving her presentation, Lisa asked us to convene discussion groups and add our commentary to a collaborative Google Doc. She reflects and elaborates on her Keynote in this NEIT2010–Croudsourcing post.

The tools and ideas in Lisa’s kit and caboodle have sparked ideas for conversations to have with my faculty around PLNs (the topic of this past summer’s Digital Wave tech workshops) for themselves and for our students, particularly as we head towards January and National Mentoring Month. Already one of my goals for the conference was recognized: getting pumped with ideas and energy for the school year. 🙂


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