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Inspired by Miami Device

My rockstar technology teammate Inge Wassmann noticed that a theme emerged from all the sessions at Miami Device: fostering relationships and developing empathy. Miami Device is a learning event, not a technology conference. However, you can come here and learn about the newest tools and latest greatest apps… so it’s interesting to me that the things aren’t the focus here. It’s the people.

Jennie Magiera gave a talk at ISTE a few years back about talking to strangers at conferences. She vehemently encouraged everyone to get out of their comfort zone by striking up conversations with other attendees. I’m paraphrasing, but she said something to the effect of: “You might even find your Edu-soulmate!” One of the highlights of my time at Miami Device was interacting with all of the other wonderful attendees. Adam Bellow described the event as the “Oscars of Education” and I was thrilled to learn alongside so many of my heroes. As all of you probably heard by now, I’m new to Miami. This event gave me the chance to connect with so many AMAZING educators and expand my professional learning network in this region. I can’t wait to collaborate with the educators that I met in these two days. That’s the magic of meetups- it’s the start of a beautiful friendship that will be continued online and in-person for years to come.

Angela Maiers’ closing keynote had two main points that really resounded with me: being brave and #YouMatter. Angela, you’ve inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone. I just outlined what I hope will be my first Keynote speech. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, but I was never sure about what to speak about. It all came together tonight, but it started with having the courage to write it out! It’s going to be titled “How Sharing Can Change Your Life”. It’s a mix of a personal narrative about how those that shared before me inspired me to share, which lead to my students sharing, and how it came full circle to drastically alter my life trajectory. Part two focuses on the impact that our students can have on the world (and school) by sharing their ideas, and how schools can be empowered to create their own narrative by sharing.
And the catalyst for developing it was Miami Device.

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