NETA Conference & an Excellence Challenge

Last week I attended the Nebraska Educational Technology Association Fall Conference in Kearney, NE.

Located in the Younes Conference Center, literally steps away from the hotel - Younes was a beautiful center for this conference.

Key noting and providing multiple breakout sessions for the fall conference, was Jimmy Casas. Jimmy alone made this trip worth the 3.5 hours of driving.

Here is the rundown of the sessions that I attended:
Welcome & Keynote - Start. Right. Now. - Moving Beyond the Status Quo
Cultivating a Culture of Excellence
What Connected Educators do Differently
Teaching and Leading for Excellence: From Beliefs to Behaviors
Beyond the Fine Print: Legal Issues for School Tech Officials
'If You Build It, They will Come...but Only if They can Help Build It Too.'
Twitter…Is It Really a Game Changer?
If you would like to see all of the conference handouts - you can access those here.

Here were my big takeaways:

  • It starts with a mindset
  • Everyone has the capacity to lead
  • Live excellence
    • What we model is what we get.
    • Don’t just talk about excellence - live it.
  • We often forget why we do what we do.
    • We will not be able to sustain excellence - be average at best.
    • We need to remind - why (joy) in what we do.
  • Don’t say it unless you really believe it.
  • Trust and relationships - keys to excellence
    • 3 tiers of relationships
  • Live your "core" every day.
    • Model the behaviors you want to see repeated
    • Push, empathize, expect excellence
    • You have to live your excellence to bring excellence out in others.
  • The world is full of aversage
    • What does average look like in your organization?
    • What are we going to do about it?
    • Process. Framework. Systems
  • Bring your best everyday
    • Don’t let failure define you
    • Don't be an awefulizer
  • Excellence -- Leadership Matters
    • Leadership is a messy process
    • See yourself as a coach not an evaluator
  • 8 key characteristics of connected educators
    • Invest in a P2LN - personal learning network
      • personal and professional
    • Learn when, what and how they want
      • community
    • Embrace the 3 c’s
      • Communication, Collaboration, and Community
    • They give, take and give more
      • Why are we afraid of lifting each other up and our profession?
    • Strive to be
    • Know it’s about the 3 R’s
      • relationships, relationships, relationships
    • Model the Way
      • Don’t ask people to do what you are not willing to do
    • Know when to Unplug
Maybe the biggest take away - Live Excellence
I have to admit that I have been average. And if I am really honest, I have at times been an "awfulizer". I don't want to be average and live averageness. I need to "". And this blog is step one. Model the behavior, live my core, coach, invest,


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