It's Great to Be Back!
TECHSPO®’20: January 30 and 31, 2020 – The last best NJASA professional development opportunity before everything changed. We had heard of the CORONAVIRUS and we were somewhat curious about it, but never in most of our wildest dreams did we ever foresee that it would transform into COVID and control our lives both inside and outside of our school districts for two years.
TECHSPO®’22: January 26, 27, and 28, 2022 – An in-person, top-notch, professional development opportunity for school leaders to experience NJASA’s Premier Educational Technology Training and Exhibition Conference.
One of the greatest values in attending TECHSPO®’22 was the involvement of each and every one of you. Thank you for contributing your presence, knowledge and expertise in making this a first-class learning occasion for everyone.
The ability to reconnect with colleagues and expand our resource base through networking was priceless. We discovered ways to uncover opportunities that exist in school districts by exchanging ideas with our peers and leading technology and educational experts. This discussion of ideas is the foundation for us as school leaders to utilize and develop new leadership skills that will assist us in taking our districts to the next level.
The opening general session on Wednesday addressed “Lessons Learned from a Ransomware Attack,” an unbelievable story by Hillsborough Township Public Schools representatives - Director of Technology Joel Handler and Technology Integration Coordinator Todd MacDonald. They shared second-by-second instructions about how to know if your district is experiencing a ransomware attack and what to do about it. I was in awe of how their tech team handled this and only hoped I would never have to use the good advice they offered.
The keynote presentations were extraordinary. On Thursday, we heard the keynote by Chris Lehmann, CEO of the Science Leadership Academy and Science Leadership Academy Schools network in Philadelphia. It was amazing to hear about and see his initiatives as the pioneer of the Schools 2.0 Movement both nationally and internationally.
Finally, Friday’s TECHSPO® keynote presentation was by Sean Wybrant who shared his incredible story of how students in his programs eagerly create augmented and virtual reality simulations, explore live action motion capture and are immersed in other technologies. I was transfixed by his enthusiasm, energy, and ability to awaken the genius in all students, and I was particularly impressed when he called one of his students in Colorado to provide assistance to the presentation. That's great stuff!
The 80+ workshops presented at TECHSPO®’s three days of learning and growth were exhilarating! Last, but not least, attendees connected with like-minded leaders who are successfully pioneering ideas in their districts.
A special shout out to our TECHSPO®’22 exhibitors. The conference attendees appreciated the opportunity to chat with you, and touch, explore, and road-test the latest technology and educational tools and resources.
We finally found our way back together again. The bumps and bruises we all endured during the pandemic were still there and will forever frame our view of the past two years, but hope, expectation, energy, and excitement prevailed on January 26-28 at TECHSPO®’22.
Again, thank you for being there and being part of the amazing experience. To Rich, Judy, Mary, Frank, and the entire NJASA Team, our heartfelt thanks for pulling off so seamlessly the first conference most of us have gone to in two years. We are grateful for the professional growth, rejuvenation, and memories you gave to us.
See you all at NJASA/NJAPSA Spring Leadership Conference on May 18th-20th! It’s great to be back!
Dr. Janet L. Fike