DENSI 2014 – Sunday Update

Saturday morning warm up!

Leadership Council (LC) members arrived on Friday. Principals from 50 schools across North America had already been here for a couple of days.  On Friday evening and Saturday the two groups had the opportunity to mix, share and network.

Saturday’s unconference sessions were attended by both groups, each of which brought wonderful insight and perspective to the discussions.

The day started with a “keynote” in four parts representing four different perspectives:

Terra-Lee Gratton moved each of us with her DEN story of connections and support both personal and professional.  Delsia Easley captured everyone’s thoughts…

David Tchozewski spoke from the point of view of an Educational Technology Director.  Some of David’s comments about PLNs and networking were captured by Cheryl Lykowski

Tim Childers is currently an assistant principal, but has only come to education relatively recently.  It’s obvious to anyone who has learned from Tim that he’s in the right career now.  Lance Rougeux Tweeted…

Delsia Easley provided insight as a principal and had many valuable messages  including this one Tweeted by Rex Ferguson-Baird

After this great opening, everyone went off to attend a wide variety of unconference sessions.  As anyone who has attended an unconference knows, the problem with them is that since the sessions are created out of the needs of participants, there are usually more great sessions than there is time available to attend them all!  Today’s unconference was no different!

One great thing about an unconference is that there is something for everyone and everyone has a different “take away”.  Amy Dent is happy with her take away, “Do you want to start an unconference at your school? I love the concept of an unconference; the conversations, the personalization, the spark of ideas, but how can I explain this concept to my admin…..(enter Tracy Carpenter and DENis Grice). In an impromptu meeting outside a room today, I learned about EdCamp.  EdCamp has everything you need to understand, organize, and implement an unconference in your own school or district. Visit for more information.”

After a very brief chat Sandy MacDougall and Delsia Easley are excited about connecting classrooms from Halifax, Nova Scotia and Gadsden, Alabama. Even during their brief chat Delsia Tweeted the opportunity to some of her teachers and had a reply within minutes!  What will a connection between eastern Canadian students and southern US students look like?  Only time will tell!

First time DEN-S-I attendee, Dee Read, wrapped up the day feeling quite positive, “Saturday was amazing. As a newbie I wasn’t sure what to expect  but I met so many wonderful, knowledgeable people that made me feel welcome. The message I took from today was…relationships are key.  With our professional community, with our schools, and with our students.”

What a great way to wrap up a great day!!

Neene Shields provides an excellent summary of the day, “DENSI2014’s second day dawned with a beautiful day in Nashville. It was exciting to see such “Happiness” come from both DENLC members and the administrators that were joining us this year. I witnessed first hand administrators sharing contact information so that they could continue their conversations after #DENSI2014. The DEN is about community. It is those connections we create together that are so very powerful. These connections help us feel #DENlove even from a distance.  That love was also demonstrated during the Unconference. For those unfamiliar with the Unconference format it is an audience generated topic based conference platform. Each session I attended (including one I started) involved great discussion, positive debate and problem solving strategies. The #DENlove was in full effect. The official day ended with Jannita reminding us to find the love in our own home positions. What small steps can we take to be a light for others and to grow our own light again. May the galaxy of DEN stars continue to shine brightly.”

Can YOU see the theme that ran throughout the day?

Isn’t it amazing?!




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