My name is Matt Miller, and I’m a self-proclaimed education conference junkie.
I’ve been to dozens and dozens of them. A lot of them are the same …
- There’s a lot of sitting and listening.
- It can be hard to connect with others at the conference — and sometimes, meeting and sharing with others is the best part!
- There’s tons of content, so it feels like drinking from a firehose.
- Often, you leave with lots of new ideas but not much time to process them to make them happen.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for something different.
I’m ready to DITCH THAT CONFERENCE.
So I’m putting my own conference on.
It’ll be on September 8, 2017, at Turkey Run State Park in Marshall, Indiana.
(Not nearby? That’s OK, there’s an economical virtual option, too. Stay tuned …)
Here’s how it’s going to be different:
- Best practices, not “all about tech.” I’ve been to so many sessions that are glorified tutorials on tech tools. Tech can be a game changer, but you need solid fundamental teaching in place first. Sessions will be focused on best practices in education with a focus on “how can tech support this”. Just like it should be.
- Engaging session formats. Conference sessions can be 45- to 60-minute lectures. That can be a drag for kids — and adults, too! Sessions will be evenly divided with presentation of new ideas, participant ideas/questions and collaboration time. You’ll be actively engaged!
- An emphasis on sharing and reflection. We’re better together. Why not approach a conference that way? In each session, everyone will be encouraged to share their most important takeaway ideas. At the end of the conference, we’ll take time to debrief and process our best ideas and how we’re going to implement them. No leaving more overwhelmed than when you arrived.
- Top-notch presenters. I’m calling in favors with some fantastic speakers I’ve come to know from all over the United States to make this an event that’ll equip and inspire you.
- Online sessions for life. Ever wish you could revisit a particularly good conference session — or sit in on the ones you couldn’t attend? Sessions will be recorded and uploaded to a members-only site that you’ll have lifetime access to.
VIRTUAL TICKET — Can’t make it in person? That’s OK. Did you notice the “online sessions for life” section right above?
Register for a virtual ticket to Ditch That Conference and you’ll have lifetime access to videos of all of the sessions at the conference and resources the presenters share.
Oh, and we won’t be providing Internet/WiFi at the conference. Did I mention that yet?
“An analog conference for a digital world.” I know. It sounds crazy. But hear me out …
- In the BEST sessions I’ve attended at conferences, I’m so engaged in the session that I often don’t think about my tech.
- These presentations will be so focused on collaboration that you may not even miss having a solid WiFi connection.
- Admit it. When you have Internet access, your attention is fragmented. You check other stuff. This gives you TOTAL FOCUS.
- Brain research shows benefits in internalizing new information when working through ideas on paper.
The reality is that our location for the conference actually DOES offer free WiFi, but there’s NO way it’ll be able to keep up with all the people at our event. You can always try to get cellular Internet on your phone, but our location is pretty remote and it can be tough to get a signal.
If you count on not having it, you won’t be disappointed. (And be honest … the Internet at many conferences is so spotty you can’t hardly use it anyway!)
It’s an experiment. I think you’ll love it. At the end of the event, I’ll be asking you, “Should it stay or should it go?” about the “no WiFi” feature.
KEYNOTE PRESENTATION — I’ll be delivering the morning keynote speech. If you follow my blog or my social media accounts, you may be familiar with me. If not, here are some details:
- I’m a career public school teacher.
- I wrote Ditch That Textbook: Free Your Teaching and Revolutionize Your Classroom. It’s about ditching our “textbook” teaching practices and mindsets to provide the kind of modern, relevant education our kids need.
- Tens of thousands of educators around the world follow me on social media and get my email newsletters (at DitchThatTextbook.com).
- I’m a Google Certified Innovator and was named one of the top 10 influencers in educational technology.
- Since I left the classroom almost two years ago, I’ve keynoted and presented to thousands of teachers all over the United States and beyond. (The photo above was in Australia!)
- I’m a family guy with a wife and three kids, and we live minutes away from the site of Ditch That Conference.
THE VENUE — Turkey Run State Park is one of the most-visited state parks in Indiana. It’s known for its rugged beauty and its impressive series of trails through woods and sandstone ravines.
We’ll be at the Turkey Run Inn, a rustic venue nestled in the trees and vast beauty of the state park. Here’s how you can get the most of this gorgeous location while at Ditch That Conference:
- We’re planning for at least one outdoor session per presentation time slot.
- During each presentation time slot, a “Walk and Talk” session will be available. Bring people you already know or meet someone new. You’ll be guided to nearby trails, where you can collaborate about your big ideas or new ones you’ve learned about at the conference.
- A coordinated hike of Turkey Run’s trails is being planned for the Thursday before the conference.
READY TO REGISTER?
The sooner the better! Claim a discounted early-bird rate before August 1. There’s a limited number of tickets, so once they’re gone, registration is closed. Don’t miss out!