9 Reasons to Present at the ATLIS Annual Conference

Are you thinking about writing a proposal for the ATLIS Annual Conference in Dallas? Do you find yourself hesitating for any number of reasons? Ask yourself, instead, why you SHOULD submit a proposal. Here are 9 reasons why. -- SD

[10-minute read]

psychodelic microphoneWe can all too easily tick off the excuses why we can’t -- or don’t want to -- submit a proposal to present at a conference. We feel slammed with the work we need to do to launch the school year. We think we don’t have anything new to add to the conversation about technology in schools. We are intimidated by public speaking. We’ve only just started a new project and haven't fully implemented it yet. We’re still learning -- who would want to listen to us? We’ve been around the block a few times -- and they’ve heard it all already. 

Now let all those excuses, real and imagined, float away like so many fall leaves in a burbling stream. Turn your attention to the reasons why you can -- and should -- present at an annual conference. And not just any conference, but the ATLIS Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas, next April 14-17.

  1. To share your school’s innovation story.
    Whether you have been blessed with overwhelming successes or been faced with epic failures, whether you have sustained steady progress or struggled to survive, your school’s story deserves to be told.

  2. To connect and network.
    Building and evolving your personal learning network is essential for growth. Have you been following the same people on Twitter since 2008? Presenting at a conference is an open invitation to build your PLN with the attendees of your session and even the ones who decide to go to another one and catch up with you via email or dinner later.

  3. To build community.
    Telling stories around the campfire is one way that we build community. It’s how we initiate new members and learn from our wisest colleagues.

  4. To learn from others.
    A presentation is a way to initiate a conversation about whatever is on your mind. Whether you bring together a panel of experts you want to learn from or instigate a crowd-sourced initiative in an interactive session, you can curate your own learning through a carefully designed session.

  5. To create a research or innovation framework.
    Do you have an idea for something you want to initiate at your school or research for a future project? Let your session proposal be the structure and the impetus for what you want to learn.

  6. To document your process.
    You know you need to do this, even though it may be the last item on your to-do list. Let your presentation proposal be your nagging reminder to document the important processes you work with every day.

  7. To hone your own or a colleague’s speaking skills.
    Speaking effectively for an audience of your peers will give you the needed practice for making those difficult presentation “asks” at your school. Doing this with a colleague who may be even less inclined to present helps you build your team members’ skills as well.

  8. To reflect deeply and get better at what you do.
    Writing a presentation proposal forces you to think and think again about what you do, why you do it, and how your thinking might benefit others. Delivering your presentation creates the opportunity to shape your thinking into something that can be absorbed by an audience that wants to learn with and from you. The interactions that evolve from your presentation will help you take your thinking and innovation to the next level.

  9. To give back.
    Think of how much you have learned from others in the ATLIS community. Say thank you by sharing your own experience and thoughtful leadership, by asking probing questions, and by inviting collaboration on best practices.

How does this process begin? By submitting a proposal. The ATLIS annual conference call for proposals is open now, and we want to hear from you.

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