Thoughts and Reflection:I am still trying to wrap my mind around the amazing time I had the last few days in Chicago at the Schoology NEXT 2015 conference, arguably bigger and better than last years conference. It is pretty amazing to me that I have become so involved with this company. It is an extrordinary feeling to actually know the people that work at Schoology on a first name basis; to feel like you are a part of something bigger and that you matter in the use of the product and even possibly its future development. And while the wifi connection wasn't the best, there was still plenty of learning and untold amounts of professionalism seen in the Schoology staff and the presenters.
To be a fly on the wall at the Schoology offices... There were a ton of very nice people that consistently came and introduced themselves. Saying that, "Their department talked about me a lot and just wanted to say hi." While slightly unnerving it is also very special, and again I have felt very embraced by this teacher platform and made to feel like my opinion matters which doesn't happen that often in education actually. Additionally, the community and relationships that have been built from the Schoology Ambassador's Beta Launch group has been a thing of beauty. Everyone is so friendly, and warmly accepting and positively uplifting about what we all bring to the table to the educational community. That piece was profoundly moving for me. In just a few short months there has been a true community developed between these amazingly passionate educators that all share a common link that is Schoology. The ladies that have helped facilitate this newest development, Bridget Heaton @ and Jen Robustelli @ , have really done a fabulous job. Not only from their organization of the group and it's activities but also their friendly and open personalities.
Lastly, my thoughts on winning the award for Schoology Ambassador of the Year... I have realized in the last couple of years that I am an Achiever in the definition of the Bartle's Taxonomy of Players:
Part of the brilliance of the Ambassador Program was asking us to complete tasks and assigning arbitrary points to go along with those tasks. First of all, when I applied to be a part of the ambassador program it was a big deal to me, and I wanted to contribute and do whatever I could to be a "good ambassador." I think had they asked me to accomplish a task with or without the points I would have, do to that "Achiever" mentality. I would have imposed the challenge on myself regardless, but the points did track what I was doing in the eyes of the Schoology people. This is important later...
A month or so ago Schoology posted in the Ambassador course, along with posts on the Schoology Educators group, as well as the Schoology Blog and application for the Educator of the Year award, as I saw this post I read it and I thought to their awards ceremony last year at Schoology NEXT 2014. The two men awarded this title last year Robert Schuetz @ and Keith Sorensen @ two more ambassadors are in a league all their own! And last years District Winners Cherry Creek School District from Colorado are people that I put on a pedestal and want to learn from and grow from.
And now on to some resources, below you can find the collaborative notes by the rest of the group of women that went with me to this conference as well as my storify of the thousands of tweets seen with the hashtag #SchoologyNEXT. Enjoy!