Reflections from SLATE-Day 1

The SLATE Conference kicked off yesterday.  In an earlier post, I wrote about the presence Discovery Education had at this first time conference.  I’m trying to wrap my head around the learning that took place on day one.  This was the first year of this conference and the attendance was over 800.   Wow.  That’s similiar to WEMTA, our state library and technology organization.  Below are a few take aways from my experience from day one, in no particular order.

  • It is incredible to be at a conference with teachers, principals, superintendents, and other school administrators.  It’s great that these groups, who don’t often attend the same meetings and conferences, were together, hearing the same message.  I hope we continue to learn together.  Perhaps more administrators will attend WEMTA in March and continue the conversations.
  • For me, the networking is still extremely important.  We can’t do this job on our own.  We need the help, suggestions, and ideas from others.  I like hearing what other schools are doing, sharing their challenges and successes.  Many schools are experiencing the same issues and having time to hear what others are doing is beneficial.
  • We need to embrace social networking.  We need to educate our teachers, administrators, students, and parents.  How we do that is still somewhat of a question for me.
  • Discovery Education and the people involved with DE are incredible.  Their generosity as this conference was great.  I’m very proud to be a member of the Wisconsin Leadership Council and work with Rachel and Rita.  I was happy to hear Hall Davidson, again.  It was an honor helping out Steve Dembo with his presentation.  I didn’t get to see Scott Kinney present, but from what I heard, it was very good.  I sincerely hope schools that subscribe to any of the Discovery products get their teachers involved with the DEN.  There is so much professional development available.  I’ve benefited so much over the past few years from the PD that has been provided by Discovery Education or from my fellow Discovery Educators.  It’s a true family looking out for our students.
  • We need to communicate.  There were four administrators from my district at the conference.  I didn’t know they were coming until I saw them walking in the hallway.  I’m glad they were here, but I wish we would have taken some time to reflect on our learning and talk about how we can use what we learned back in our district.  I think we can still have that discussion.
  • If you are using Twitter to follow the hashtag for this conference, you need to.  A lot of learning and sharing is taking place.  This is a great place to find links to some of the presentations and also a place to find out what you might have missed.
  • I love learning and coming to conferences.  If I could, I’d attend a lot more.  Based on this conference, there are over 800 others who enjoy learning as well.  There is a lot of free, online PD available to educators, much of it fantastic, but I still love face to face learning.  As much for the content, but also for the conversations with friends and colleagues.  It was great to see Tammy, John, and Naomi again.  Connecting with new educators via Twitter will only enhance my learning.

Look for a day two reflection soon.


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  1. Justin C. said:

    Great wrap up of day one. It was great hearing all the speakers and networking with like minded folk. The one thing I was surprised about were the amount of teachers who do not use Twitter. It is truly such a great development source. I think after this conference though there will be more twitter converts.

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  3. Chad Lehman said:

    Justin, I used to be surprised at that myself, but after attending many conferences over the past couple of years and looking at the teachers in my district, I still think the overall % of teachers who use Twitter is extremely low – probably single digits. They are certainly missing out.

  4. Diane Doersch said:

    I agree, SLATE 2010 had lots of great resources. For me, the most important part was networking! It is good to meet people F2F.

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