October 20, 2012 by Brad Currie
The 2012 NJPSA Fall Conference was quite invigorating and gave educational leaders a chance to expand their Personal Learning Network (PLN) over a two day period. It took place at the beautiful Ocean Place Resort and Spa in Long Branch, NJ. The keynote speakers were Michael Fullan and David Marra. Michael Fullan provided great insight on motion leadership, while David Marra provided audience members with a powerful look at how iPads can impact the school setting. Senator Robert Menendez visited the conference and made certain of how much he supports public education and the positive impact it has on students.
There were several sessions I attended or heard were very good. Dr. Louis F. Caruso gave an inside glimpse on the micropolitics of education and provided attendees with a very thorough look at school culture. Kelly Weldon presented on the importance of embracing cell phones in the class setting. In both sessions the audience members were engaged and were truly considering how these educational topics would play out in their own schools. Eric Sheninger opened participants eyes to the notion of anywhere/anytime learning for educators. Mike Ritzius promoted and informed people about the power of Edcamps and PLCs. The #satchat crew led by Scott Rocco and Brad Currie held a session on the popular Twitter chat for current and emerging school leaders.
All in all the two day conference was a huge success and provided me with new resources and insight pertaining to educational leadership. I was also able to expand my PLN and met new people who are just as passionate as I am in terms of doing what’s best for kids on a daily basis. The NJPSA organization allowed attendees to choose from a variety of sessions dealing with a wide array of topics. The food and atmosphere were outstanding and I am already looking forward the 2013 installment. The commitment and dedication exemplified by everyone involved in this great event solidified why I do what I do as an educational leader. In closing, I will recommend three names that NJPSA should consider bringing in as keynote speakers for next year. They are Todd Whitaker, Principal El and Eric Sheninger. All three would provide a motivating experience which in turn would inspire everyone to go back to their schools and continue to implement positive change.