It is hard to make something better each year and yet, somehow, as I reflect on the Education Elements Personalized Learning Summit 2018, it feels like we have done it. It’s five days since the Summit ended and I am still energized by the energy and passion of every one of the 750 people who attended. I am still excited about the ideas I heard and looking forward to talking more to the people I met. I am still amazed that we pulled it off. 750 people is a lot of people for a conference that four years ago had less than 150!
We started the PL Summit by sharing a few guiding principles and told participants that it would be:
Inclusive: wide range of people and ideas shaping the future
Interactive: all sessions are fully engaging for participants
Personalized: authentic choice in how and what you learn
We also asked everyone to set an intention for the Summit, write it down and remember it, and to shout it out as a way to publicly hold themselves accountable for doing it. My sincere hope is that as a team Ed Elements was successful in designing an event that was inline with those principles, and that we helped each attendee achieve their intention
Forty-eight hours later, I closed out the PL Summit with a few reflections on what we accomplished in the time we spent together, and I wanted to share those here:
We went on 16 tech tours to companies like Google, Twitter, IDEO, Stitchfix, Twitch, and Lyft where we saw what the future of the world and work will look like
We listened to keynotes by George Couros and Sarah Jones where we were inspired to approach the work of shaping the future
We went on runs and participated in a HIIT class where we made sure we’d be around for the future
We played with giant Legos and LiteBrites, for some nostalgia and a blast from the past
We dressed up in costumes and danced and forgot that in the future we had to get up for breakfast and sessions
We had a book signing where people bought Anthony Kim’s new book, The NEW School Rules which would hopefully change how they approach their work in the future
We participated in workshops, breakouts, roundtables, design challenges, simulations and coaching sessions where we mapped out a new future for educators and learners
My biggest hope coming out of the Summit is that even though the event is over officially, the discussions, learning, and collaboration continue. I hope that everyone who attended and took home ideas begins to implement them. I hope that everyone who made a new connection or friend sends that email or text, and keeps it going. I hope that the promises we made to students are ones that we keep, and that we stay strong on our commitment to work together, with each other, and with the students we serve, to shape the future.
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About Amy Jenkins
Amy is a Managing Partner, COO and optimist. A former teacher, she wants to help every student, teacher and district succeed.