Monday, March 24, 2014

Amazing Stories and Amazing people #20toWatch Washington DC

By: Brad Waid

Tuesday night I boarded a plane for Washington DC.  I was flying out for the National School Board Association's 20 to Watch ceremony.  After landing in DC and getting a little rest, I was ready for the whirlwind of scheduled events that were to begin the next day.

First up, was the "Round Table Discussion" in the Northwest room at the Washington Hilton.  This is where the 20 of us, the organizers and the sponsors gathered to discuss what each of us were doing with technology and share our stories.  Upon arriving at the room, a few of us early birds, quickly struck it up and started making ourselves comfortable.  Matt Meyers a fellow teacher and CEO of a edtech company started taking pictures of everyone with their name card as they walked in......he did this while I wrestled with my broken chair.
Once everyone had arrived and the organizers said their welcome, TechSmith showed us the latest updates on their screen casting product. It was incredible.  Next, were the stories.  Everyone went around the room and shared their stories and it seemed like every other person called was "Brad".  It must be a good year for Brad's in Educational Technology as there were 3 of us named Brad there.  I can't share all the stories, but I did do a play-by-play on twitter  using #20towatch.  There were some amazing stories and some amazing things that are being done all around the country like; Performance Based Education, Redesigning Student Workspaces, Innovative Professional Development, PBL, Flipped, Maker Movement and more!  I was in a room with such amazing, incredible and innovative people.

Me and BH School Supt. Rob Glass
Next up was the "Recognition Ceremony" being held in the Lincoln East Room.  After our round table discussion we went downstairs to another reception room for the recognition ceremony. After everyone was settled in, the representatives from the NSBA spoke about their vision and the 20 to Watch program.  Then NSBA's own Ann Flynn started the recognition process.  One by one she called our names, read a bio about what each of us were doing and we proceed to the front to get our award and have our pictures taken.
After everyone had received their award, they did the closing and we all went up to take pictures together.
Group Photo

Now during the two days, each of us were required to schedule a time slot for our individual interview with Tom Lapping from JDL Horizons who directing interviews for the National School Board Association.  Mine was right after the Recognition Ceremony, so I was off to another room.

Me and Brian
Upon arriving at the interview room, I met Tom, who was directing the interviews and Brian Sterling who was shooting the interviews.  Tom is a great guy who is great at getting you to share your story, in a way, that will have the biggest impact on the viewer.  Brian is from England and he formerly worked for the BBC.  He and I quickly hit it off talking about Manchester United and English Football.  After sitting for the interview and coming away feeling like a celebrity it was back to the room for a few minutes and then off to dinner.

The 20 of us and our guest walked about 3 blocks from the hotel to La Tomate where we went upstairs to the loft area for our group to have dinner.  This dinner was another chance for us to chat with our fellow 20toWatchers and this is where the "Selfie" out break happened!  Ok, it may have just been me! We as a group took an "Ellen-style" selfie and I took one with most everyone there. This is the collage of "20toWatch selfies".  After a good meal, good conversation and great pics.  It was time to retire and start again in the morning.

The next morning it was time for our breakfast with The Center for Digital Education at the District Line Restaurant at the Hilton.  When I got into the room, I saw Tanya Rascorla a reporter for the Center who did a story on Drew and I at ISTE in San Antonio last year.  The Center spoke about their mission and what they were looking at for the 2014 calendar.  While we were enjoying great food, all of us spoke again about what we were doing with students and educational technology and sharing our stories with The CDE.  After breakfast, some of us were off to the airport, some were off to the CoSN conference so we all said our good byes and exchanged contact information.

After a whirlwind two days, the 20 of us were now a group that would be forever linked together....and I am truly grateful to be a part of such an amazing group of people doing amazing things.


1 comment:

  1. Greetings Brad !!!
    First of all, its a bunch of real cool selfies...Its always a pleasure to meet some new people. Such time also came in my life when I meet my friend after a long time. He is a whole changed person now and I can admit that I learnt a lot from him. We talked about our life and new challenges. Then the time came that we decided to work together at a blog to provide authentic news to the eager students. Board exams are just over and many bloggers try to make fool of students by promoting fake news. We have some connections and are going to use them all to make this project bigger and helpful.