Whether you are on the school board, a director of technology/curriculum, or an administrator; chances are that you’ve learned a thing or two at NJSBA Workshop, held annually at the AC Convention Center. This year, the New Jersey School Boards Association pulled out all of the stops to create a valuable professional development opportunity for both attendees and corporate partners. As a longtime sponsor for this conference, there were a number of amazing moments that stood out to us at at last week’s event.
Gearing Up to Get Students “Future Ready”
As to be expected, the New Jersey Department of Education was well represented at Workshop. Their team engaged K-12 staff members in the growing discussion on the nationwide Future Ready initiative. Joshua Koen, Joseph Seaman, and Anthony Fitzpatrick unveiled new details about New Jersey’s plan to prepare students for success using the "8 gears of the Future Ready Framework." As an organization that lives and breathes innovation, we were especially excited to hear that the NJDOE is committed to giving schools space to experiment, invent, and “fail forward.”
What was really special about their sessions, though, was the fact that they made time to hang out afterward and invited attendees to come up and chat one-on-one with them. We love that school districts are being asked to be partners in this collaboration, and look forward to helping support the curriculum, instruction, and assessment initiatives.
Check out the training sessions that NJSBA is hosting through the summer of 2017.
More Active Engagement on the Show Floor
This year there were tons of booths that offered highly interactive, and downright fun activities in the exhibit hall. If you were in the hall, you had the opportunity to witness a model rocket ship come to fruition one layer of filament at a time. You also had the chance to play basketball in the middle of one booth, unless you were being lured away with the aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
The OnCourse promotion invited attendees to play Halloween Quizzo in order to go home with a 3D Printer at the end of the conference. Attendees seemed to have a great time with the sponsors who went the extra mile to make the exhibit hall experience more memorable.
Showcasing of Student Talent
From local choirs bringing the house down with soulful songs, to a solitary young lady moving the audience with her voice and piano skills, the performances from New Jersey students took the cake for NJSBA Workshop 2016. It is easy for us to get wrapped up in the “what, how, and when” of school system management; however, getting a moment to reflect on the “who” all of this is for, was amazing.
It will feel like a blink of an eye until we are planning our next involvement with NJSBA Workshop. If you were not able to make it this year, we hope to see you at the OnCourse booth in 2017!
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