Thursday, January 16, 2014

Buyers and Sellers at edTech Conferences

Reflecting back on the TIES 2013 conference in Minneapolis, I noticed two different camps of people: those who were looking to grow their teams and bring new people in, and those who were looking for a new community of thinkers and learners to join.  The Byron crew fell into the first camp.  As a team, we talked to tons of people, and more often than not we would slip in a "it would be great to have you to Byron" comment.  I also met other people who made similar comments to me and our team -- "if you ever find yourself living up the cities, let me know".  On the other end, there were some awesome people who seemed isolated and lacking a team to move forward with.  They were the ones that seemed to respond with "it would be great to have a team of like-minded thinkers", or similar comments, in a tone that implied they actually might be interested in moving districts.

It reminded me a lot of the buyers and sellers in baseball near the trade deadline.  Some teams think they have a good thing going and try to buy up all the talent they can to make a run for the pennant.  Other teams feel like there isn't much to play for and try to get expensive players off the roster.  Translated back to education, those are the districts that have some incredible teachers but do little to keep them excited and let them run with their passion.  I feel really fortunate to be in a district that feels like a buyer -- providing me a lot of autonomy, support, and connecting me with PLC and DLC (Digital Learning Coach) teams that keep me energized and moving in a purposeful direction.  Now we just need to work on the multi-million dollar signing bonuses.

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