Leadership Bootcamp Wrap Up

So yesterday was the first ever ISTE/TIE Leadership Bootcamp, an event that I was happy to get the chance to assist with.  Before it gets too far away from me, I thought it’d be useful to get a few thoughts down about the day, events like it, and what’s next.

The event itself was pretty straight forward – get a bunch of smart people together and talking with each other, as well as sharing some suggestions for how we might best move forward in our various leadership capacities.  Prime folks ahead of time and invite lots of folks to come along in various capacities.  The frame of thinking about leadership as communication I thought was a good one, although perhaps understated.

Of course, at the Leadership Bootcamp, “leader” was defined pretty broadly.  As it should be.  There were teachers in the room.  Superintendents.  IT staff.  Librarians.  Plenty of other folks.  Point being – leaders aren’t just the folks running the ship there’s plenty of leadership for all of us to be engaged in and doing, no matter our roles and/or job titles.  Jeff Piontek got the day started, but I didn’t feel like we were in high gear and rocking and rolling until the first presenters got going.1

From there, it was a non-stop roller coaster ride of content and conversation across several strands.  Of course, the best part of the day for me was the fact that twice folks were put into roundtable groups to process what they were hearing, seeing and thinking about.  I don’t think a formal “Stop.  Write.  Reflect.” component makes it into our professional learning opportunities.  But, as Chris reminded us during his lunch keynote, if you believe something’s important, but you don’t have it built into the structures and schedules of your organization, then you don’t really think it’s terribly important at all.2

The protocol for the roundtables wasn’t too complex, but it’s worth sharing.  So here it is.  Help yourself to it if you find it useful.  Here’s the graphic organizer that we used to help structure folks’ reflections.  Just a few minutes in a very busy day, but I think those were pretty important minutes.  If you were there, I’d be curious as to your take on that portion of the day, specifically.

The day ended with a panel where we were challenged, and rightly so, to figure out how to keep building momentum and moving forward to make the positive changes that we believe we should be seeing in education.  Chris even suggested that it might be time for a string of little events, Educons everywhere, as a way of keeping things moving.  I like that idea, and it’s one reason why we began Learning 2.0: A Colorado Conversation three years ago. 3

I hope that little events like the Leadership Bootcamp keep happening.  I hope that folks who attended saw that, yeah, they might could organize such events, too.4  The resources, in terms of schedule and process, are freely available.  They need only be used. 5  Again, if you were there, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the event.  There will be a follow up webinar to talk through what folks did with the day in October – I’m looking forward to that.6

Thanks to all of the presenters and facilitators and behind the scenes folks who made the day a useful one.  Special thanks to Michelle Bourgeois and Alison Saylor for co-ordinating the entire event. There were aw awful lot of really smart folks in the group. Let’s hope it, or something even better, happens again.  Lots.7

If you were there, let me know how it went and what could’ve been better.  Or tell ISTE directly – they’ve set up an evaluation survey for your feedback.

And now, on to ISTE.

  1. And, I’ve got to be honest, I still don’t understand the “I wrote a book on blogging, but I don’t find it to be valuable and so I don’t do it” position that I’ve now heard Jeff articulate a couple of times.  I hope that I can hear more from him on that at some point, not because I think everyone should have a blog, but because I think if you’re going to value something enough to write a book about it, specifically one that encourages folks to use that thing, then perhaps you should be engaged in that thing, at least from time to time.  Help me understand that if you can. []
  2. And writing as a learning tool is terribly and wonderfully important, which is why I’m sitting here writing right now rather than heading off to visit or do something else. []
  3. Maybe it’s time that event became Learning 2.0: A Colorado Educon, instead.  I’d be okay with that. []
  4. “No one is coming to save us,” Chris says.  He’s right. []
  5. Which is, of course, the hard part. []
  6. Although, I worry, as I usually do, about whether or not folks will attend.  Seems to me like as much as people say they want to engage in longitudinal PD, it doesn’t happen much.  We seem to have “one shot day” stuck in our brains, and may, by then, have moved on to other things.  Let’s do better. []
  7. And, heck, across the street was another group of really smart folks at EduBloggerCon – it was too bad that the events were held at the same time – but it was neat to see so many people moving back and forth between the two.  I was one, if only briefly. []