ISAS teachers, Independent School Association of the Southwest, are invited and encouraged to attend this year’s biennial Teacher’s Conference, Teaching Matters.   This is an outstanding conference, remarkable for its national caliber speakers presenting at our regional event.   The opportunity to learn and be inspired, challenged, informed and perhaps transformed by thought-leaders like Michael Horn, Jane McGonigal, Heidi Hayes Jacob, Pat Bassett, and David Eagleman is not to be missed and may have a life and career length impact.  Be sure to view the slides above, all 7 of them, to see the quality of the program.

But don’t just come and listen: Come and Engage!  A group of us at ISAS are making a special effort to welcome and encourage attendees to become fuller participants via the engaging power of social media.   Become yourself a “voice” by the use of Web 2.0 tools.   We are hoping that teachers and educators in attendance will attend, laptops and smart phones in hand, and connect, comment, and contribute to the intellectual discourse by the use of facebook, twitter, and blogging.   Those of you who have experienced conference attendance in what I think of as the “third dimension” know already how stimulating and growth oriented it is to participate via Social Media, and those of you who have not– this is the ideal time to start.

I extend this invitation in my capacity as Program and Professional Development Chair for the ISAS Southwest Association.    (Please note my full disclosure that this and other forthcoming blog posts about the ISAS conference are less than entirely independent, but potentially biased by my leadership role in the association. )   I will be attending the conference myself, as one among several “official bloggers” for the event and as an introducer for one of the speakers.

Most of all, however, it is my intent as blogger and professional development chair to add value for this conference by enhancing its success and the engagement of its attendees by encouraging others to blog and tweet.   I am delighted that the event venue has FREE WIFI for all attendees, which is a huge advantage over what is very often the case at other conferences– those hosted by hotels or conference centers often have very limited or expensive WiFI.

A conference is a great time to begin blogging or tweeting.   My blogging began at a conference, when I was in the audience at the Urban School in San Francisco, CA, and the conference organizer called out to the 150 of us in attendance for a volunteer to be the “official” blogger.  A conference is a great time to start a blog because there is so much content immediately available upon and for which to share, report, reflect, consider the implications, and begin to envision applications.

If you are also not already on twitter, a conference is an excellent time to start tweeting.   By using the conference hashtag, in this case #isastc, you can be immediately plugged into the real-time conversation among attendees about the presentations and the implications of various ideas; fellow tweeters will also share and post links to the resources presenters make reference to and provide insights into other comparable ideas.

What are the ISAS Teacher Conference Social Media Venues?

Twitter:  Follow the conference conversation which will be happening throughout the event at Hashtag #ISASTC.   It is quiet now, but come February 2, it will heat up, to be sure.   Start your twitter account at, follow me @JonathanEMartin (#shameless) , read, listen and lurk for just a little bit, and then join the conversation.

We also hope to have a projection screen available at the conference which will display, some of the time, scrolling #ISASTC tweets.   Imagine the delight of seeing your photo or avatar projected on the screen before all 1000+ attendees as you share your thoughts and observations about the conference program.

For more on using Twitter at conferences, read my post: A Great Time to Begin, or Expand, Your Use of Twitter

Facebook:  ISAS will soon launch a facebook fan page, which I will link to here, and which attendees can “Like” and then use as an ongoing resource and opportunity to comment upon the conference.    More information coming soon.

Blogging: Take it to the next level beyond Twitter and Facebook by blogging the conference, writing your reactions and impressions, and making the link from theory to practice by drawing the pertinent implications and applications from each speaker-presenter.   Consider the multiple advantages of this: the learning will be that much more (dramatically more) lasting by your having written your reflections about it, and your ability to share the valuable ideas generated by the speaker-presenters with your colleagues back at school immensely enhanced.    Start your blog today by visiting or any of a number of other blog platforms.

For more on the enormous and multifaceted value of blogging, you might read my post: Why I Blog.

Whether your blog is brand new or ancient, be sure to share your blog address with me (, ISAS staff member Heather Junker (, or Chris Bigenho ( in order to ensure your blog will be part of our exciting ISASTC social media “feed” web-page,  a one stop site on which visitors can read and follow all the various SM streams: facebook, twitter, and blogs.

The new SM feed website can be found here:

Already educational bloggers are volunteering to participate at the conference this way, including my ISASTC Social Media Co-Chair Chris Bigenho: Life in the Rennaissance;  and

Join the conversation online: attend AND engage at the ISAS Teachers Conference.