Growth is about Connections
I had the opportunity this last week to attend the North Carolina Technology Innovation in Education Society (NCTIES) Conference for the first time. It was an amazing conference with fantastic renowned speakers like Brad Gustafson (@GustafsonBrad), George Couros (@gcouros), Richard Byrne (@rmbyrne), and Jennie Mageria (@MsMagiera) and that’s not including all my North Carolina eduheroes that presented. As the conference ended and I walked out of the Raleigh Convention Center, I felt energized and ready to conqueror the world. It was partly due to the new ideas that fueled my thinking but it had more to do with the amazing educators I that I had the opportunity to dialogue with over the course of the last three days. In a previous post, I talked about surrounding yourself with people who help spark your potential and ignite your greatness. NCTIES was like being in a furnace.
Every session was not just an opportunity to engage with the presenter but to learn from the other educators in the room. It was positively amazing to be surrounded by educators who were excited about what they do and how they support our students.
David Weinberger in his book Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room says, “As knowledge becomes networked, the smartest person in the room isn’t the person standing at the front lecturing us, and isn’t the collective wisdom of those in the room.” The smartest person in the room is the room itself: the network that joins the people and ideas in the room, and connects to those outside of it… Knowledge is becoming inextricable from – literally unthinkable without – the network that enables it.”
George Couros referenced this idea in his closing keynote. We have an amazing opportunity to connect with other educators through face-to-face “edventures” like the NCTIES conference but the internet affords us an amazing opportunity to connect with educators around the world. With this unfiltered access to new information, professional growth becomes more about our ability and willingness to connect. It becomes about the people we surround ourselves with and whether they enrich our lives.