Friday, August 2, 2013

10 Aha! Moments I Experienced at the EdtechRI Technology Un-conference (Spoiler alert: None of them have anything to do with technology!)

Today was a very special day.  No, it wasn’t my birthday or anniversary and it wasn’t even the start of a long weekend.  No, it was special because I was part in an amazing learning community.  I’ll save you the trouble of looking at the date, it is August 2 and it is summer vacation.  This was not a district mandated professional development and no money or course credits were exchanged.  Nevertheless, nearly 60 educators from over 12 districts in 2 states descended upon the Barrington High School Library to learn about technology…from each other.  No presenter, no agenda, no assignments, no rules.  The tablets, smart phones, laptops, and netbooks were aplenty and much technology was shared.  For this list however, I am choosing to focus on a few other things I learned today.
  • It’s important to broaden our professional learning networks to individuals outside our own districts
  • When learners are given choices they are active and engaged (even adults!)
  • When you are given permission to “not know everything”, you relax and become a better learner
  • Teachers think about school in the summer…they really do
  • Teachers embody the phrase “life-long learner”
  • Educators of all grade levels and any content areas can and should learn together
  • Shared leadership is a wonderful thing
  • Collaboration is vital to success (for more on this check out
  • We all have something to contribute
  • Stepping outside your comfort zone can get pretty comfortable

Special thanks to and


Melanie Roy said...

My favorite list yet! Terrific, Gino.

Tra said...

It was a truly inspirational morning! Thanks for recapping what really made it special.

Alicia said...

I agree with all 10! The power of collaborating across districts is really amazing to me. It felt like such a party to see my colleagues from my district collaborating with people I've been dying for them to meet from other districts... not to mention all of the brand new educators I met. Thanks for this list, Gino- it's perfect!

Brian Fernandes said...

A great deal of learning and growing together as a community of life-long learners as we learn to integrate content with technology. Sharing my knowledge with others confirmed for me how much I've grown technology wise. Once you learn it, use it, you can share with others. Take the risk. In the end its so worth it.

Anonymous said...

Wish I could have gone!!!

Carroll Garland said...

Gino, Alicia, and Liz, what an incredible conference. Love the concept of "UN-conference". Shows how you trusted leaders to surface in each group. What a great experience for learners like me the the sharers! Thanks. Look forward to the next one.