Model Schools Conference

So, I had hoped to engage in some live, or, at least some just-in-time, blogging from the 15th Annual Model Schools Conference in Washington, D.C.  Unfortunately, there was absolutely no wireless service at the Hilton Washington, one of the three presentation venues and the one where I seemed to have been consistently stationed.  Consequently, I have been forced to type notes to be posted at a later time.  Since I decided NOT to suck it up and pay the $9.95 for 24 hours of Internet access at the Omni, where I stayed, I had to resign myself to waiting until I was home to share with all of you.

I really enjoyed the collegial dialogue.  It seems that absolutely everyone at the conference was on the same page – my page, that is . . .  It is so validating to process the data collaboratively and listen to the affirmations of the message I have been disseminating via every possible communication medium for the past several years.  And, while much of the data is still presented in a fairly theoretical fashion, representatives from top performing schools from across the country exhibited the practical application of theory in their schools and demonstrated how thinking and learning have been enlivened as a result.

This conference provided the pedagogical, political, economic, and brain-based background and research to support revolutionary Toffler-esque (see Future School in Edutopia) systemic reform of the American education system.

I have to admit, that it was during the nightly round-table discussions and dinners with our district’s team of 18 administrators and staff development facilitators that the really significant conversation occurred.  It was great processing time and tremendously interesting to listen to the impact of the session information on our district’s leadership.  From the perspective of one who has participated in the strategic planning process on the district level, it is heartening to see that the goals articulated in our 2006-2012 strategic plan are actually being addressed.  I believe that my district is truly thinking outside the box and taking the initiative to address the growing challenges of teaching in the 21st century.  I am proud to say that I have been and will continue to be part of the process.

I have posted what I took away from the keynote and concurrent sessions both on my cliotech blog and on a wiki that I have created to archive this conference.  Unfortunately, I  only witnessed four other conference attendees who recorded their notes on a laptop.  I have invited those few to contribute additional resources to the wiki as well and hope that they feel comfortable enough doing so.

In an effort to avoid overload, I posted my thoughts and notes from the keynotes and concurrent sessions as separate posts.  Please feel free to contribute your comments, thoughts, and questions.

All keynote and workshop speakers will be posting their presentation files online at

If you are unfamiliar with the work of the International Center for Leadership in Education, the organization that puts on the Model Schools Conference, be sure to check out the resources I posted on my wiki.

By the way, I am interested in hearing back from educators who are part of the Successful Practices Network – do you find that you use the resources (liaison, online and print, etc.)?
Are the resources from SPNetwork impacting teaching and learning in your institution?


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