Making the Most of Face Time

Morrison_j120x148Post submitted byASCD Scholars facilitator Jen Morrison.

Next week’s Annual Conference provides opportunities to meet and speak with educational leaders from all over the world. Who knows who you may meet—that author of your favorite book, that politician, that reporter or educational documentarian, or that guru who has influenced your work for years.

Who would you like to meet and chat with over a margarita (it is Texas after all)? What would you say? Better yet, what do you want to hear? What’s the value of face time in the age of virtual access 24/7?


  1. I am a new reader of the blog. I am very interested in this type of learning as educational leaders. However, many of the educators I work with are afraid of signing up for blogs or twitter. Is there a really easy way to get this started with relative novices in social networking? We all need to start somewhere. I firmly believe we can not continue to be excellent educators if we don’t use social technology as a form of learning. It broadens our base!
    Good luck with this at the conference.

  2. I am most excited to meet all of the ASCD Scholars, Jen and Tom. I believe the collective knowledge and experiences of this group is tremendous. I don’t know if I have so much to say, as looking forward to listening. I want to hear about everyone’s passions, successes, ideas, challenges . . . While technology is such an efficient way to communicate, nothing can beat the value of face time. Face time comes with the benefits of body language, facial expression, voice tone, . . .

  3. I want to sit and talk with Jay McTigue, Grant Wiggins, Bob Marzano, Doug Reeves and Carol Ann Tomlison about their collaborative work.

  4. Great question Jen. I think that it would (will) be fascinating to talk with widely known educational leaders (Reeves, Marzano, Wiggins, et al). We all recognize their books, read their articles, and attend their conferences. Many have transformed from individual educators to big business, marketing their expertise to the masses. Those people have so much to offer, and such valuable insight for us all.
    I think though, that I would be particularly interested in talking to those educational leaders who have perhaps not been recognized as such.
    We are surrounded in schools with so many people who may not publish articles or books, they may not blog or tweet, and they may not be hot on the lecture circuit. They do, however, work miracles with students every day, and have a wealth of information and knowledge to pass on. It is these unheralded (and often unheard from) educators who serve as true leaders every day. They represent a great untapped resource that we could all learn from.

  5. I have spent the past eighteen years in the front line of staff development associated with curriculum, instruction and assessment. It has been an interesting ride! Over the years, I have been fortunate to attend many ASCD conferences and listen and learn from many of the folks mentioned above. I think that each conference has acted to positively alter my pedagogical DNA to the point to where my professional phenotype gains the strength and stamina to continue to fight the good fight.
    I am so looking forward to the simultaneous inspirational and cathartic opportunities to be garnered by just “being in the moment” with our group. With such a broad range of experiences and perspectives, all dialogue will certainly be transforming!

  6. Getting face to face time with other educators from all over the world is always an exciting experience. Last year I had the most amazing conversation with an administrator from Denmark and was fascinated with the differences and similarities in educational systems from our countries. The conversation started with a smile and “is anyone sitting here” during a session and led to an exchange of ideas. Take a moment to say “hi” to those seated around you. You never know who you will meet!

  7. Attending the ASCD Conference is always thrilling for me because it takes me back to my root. I get to remember why I do what I do everyday and to think in new ways about curriculum and children. I would definitely enjoy chatting with “the big guys” like Marzano and McTighe, but I know I’m not the only one with this idea! As Lori said, sometimes the best information and collaboration comes from people just like me.
    As with everyone else, I’m sure, I’m eager to meet our group face-to-face. Thank you for organizing such a fascinating group!

  8. I, like Doreen, am looking forward to meeting the ASCD Scholars. Although I have not been a regular participant in blogging, the Scholars blogs have stretched my thinking in a very reflective way. Doreen also speaks of the passions. I am looking forward to seeing the face of those passions as well as having read the passion of the words. See you all in San Antonio!

  9. I am looking forward to meeting the ASCD scholars too! It was already exciting to be able to hear the voices of some of you! It was great to match a voice with a picture, so now matching a face with a voice and a picture will be wonderful! The dialogue there will be quicker and fluent. I am also thrilled to attend all the interesting conferences which are so enlightening. They are like stepping stones where I re-affirm concepts, ponder on others, recall topics that had been put in the back burner for a time, and challenge me to carry on looking for the new trends on teaching an learning.
    Hope to meet you all after my loooong trip to get there!

  10. I, too, am anxious to meet all you other scholars. I wish I had more time to attend the gatherings, and to attend more classes, but this will be a quick weekend trip for my husband and me.

  11. Every single person attending this year’s conference is an expert in one way or another. Every person that we meet will have stories to tell, advice to share, and experiences to recall.
    Yes – the famous ones will be nice to hear from, and certainly we’ll walk away with ideas to implement. But I predict the most valuable ideas I’ll take away from the conference will be those shared by others like all of us. Trading ideas and anecdotes with new friends and old – priceless!
    Looking forward to it.

  12. Thanks for all the interesting and optimistic comments. I found myself nodding in agreement when I saw the names offered in the “to meet” category (and I’m a vegetarian!).
    Seriously, these are all people I want to hear and people I want to meet. The conference attracts so much talent and insight. I was pleased, too, to see how many Scholars are looking forward to the synergy from meeting and working with others in the group. Again, me too! Also, Scott’s point about the power of the unknown person sitting next to us was very much on-target.
    Kathleen, I agree with you that the potential at our fingertips is so untapped. I don’t have an answer, but I know that this and other forms of technology will be even more relevant in the future. Making this setting, and other settings like this, comfortable and safe for all participants should be an issue for all of us.
    The Annual Conference hasn’t begun, but I know it will be over far too quickly. There is always too much to see and hear. That’s a good problem! I look forward to seeing everyone.

  13. I have continued to think about your prompt from last week and do have one meeting request which would be directly related to my presentation on Sunday. I would like to meet and chat with Janie Pollock and Jay McTighe over a margarita. I would want to hear that they would consider pursuing the possibility of joining forces to blend their models of unit and lesson design. I think the impact of their synergy would be amazing! I have worked with both Jane and Jay but have never had the opportunity to sit and chat with both at the same time. The value of having face time would be huge. The margarita could help set the mood for a relaxed and open dialogue. Is there any chance of this happening?

  14. Thinking about Dana’s last post, I have a couple thoughts. One of the things I most enjoy about ASCD and the Annual Conference is the opportunity to connect with fellow educators who represent such a vast diversity of roles, geography, ideas, and reputation.
    Both Janie Pollock and Jay McTighe are on ASCD EDge and Twitter. What stops us from making contact and extending the invitation to dialogue? Sometimes leadership and leadership development is about putting the right people together. That goes for the Scholars but also for the “big names,” and it’s one of the things that makes a networking tool like ASCD EDge fabulous. The playing field is level and ripe with opportunities for connection.
    I’ll see you this weekend in San Antonio!


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