I recently returned from an excellent TABS ( The Association of Boarding Schools) conference where Courtney and I presented Health Services Management: A Model for Small Independent Schools. As always, I left TABS feeling inspired, invigorated and more connected to the vast network of Boarding School educators out there. Face to face conferences are wonderful opportunities to better connect and share with those who work in our unique industry. They are reminders of how much more we have to learn, and how many excellent schools are out there leading change initiatives at this pivotal time. I enjoyed meeting and spending time with too many people to properly shout out to all of them here, but i do want to say thank you to all who inspired me and made the weekend meaningful.
If I have one criticism of the conference it is that I am surprised by how little social media engagement I found there. I expected that more of our colleagues would share their opinions, experience, and perspective via the hashtag #tabs12. While TABS did a good job of setting the stage for this level of engagement, it was the attendees who were less active. In fact, when you search #tabs12, you’ll find a few heavy users and not much more. I hope that things like the initiative to create #tabschat, a boarding school centered Twitter chat which resulted from the collaboration of Scott MacClintic (@Smacclintic) and others, will help more boarding school educators understand and harness the use of Twitter for both connecting with each other and for ongoing PD.
To steal a quote from Dan Love (@danielwlove) and Hans Mundahl’s (@hmundahl) presentation on innovation in schools, Twitter is a key element to “DIY PD.” I could not agree more and am happy to say that Hillside School Faculty understand and use Twitter to share and learn on a regular basis and in a self directed way.
If you doubt me about the efficacy of Twitter to create both engagement with boarding school and education specific topics, take the 3 minute challenge. Go to Twitter and search out a hashtag in your subject specific area. I guarantee you’ll find amazing resources that will provoke your thinking, inspire you to learn more, or even reinforce something you already believe. Give it a try and I know you will not be disappointed!
I hope to see you on #tabschat on Wed. and that the traffic on #TABS13 will be even more robust!