As always I've gotten completely caught up in life and not taken time to reflect on the wonder that was Educon (it's really pathetic because we're on our fourth snow day in a row, so I have no good excuse).
For me the overwhelming take-away from Educon was passion. The importance and value of that word and idea started for me at the panel on Friday night at The Franklin Institute. The panelists, a fabulous, diverse group, were asked to answer the question, "What is smart?"
Initially the answer that struck me least was the one from Loren Brichter. He spoke about helping students get motivated to find their passion. The more I thought about the different responses the more this struck me as critically important. However, I think students find their passion just fine. We need to figure out how, as educators, to get out of their way.
The idea of passion continued to resonate with me throughout the sessions on Saturday and Sunday. Even if the word was never mentioned, the idea was there. These presenters were there, leading discussion, because of their passion around education and a specific question or issue (the value of play, technology and teacher education, leadership, etc.).
I think that is the power of Educon. Everyone is there because of their shared passion for improving education. There has been much talk since the conference about action. Many folks are concerned that we are doing a lot of talking but not making any change. Those concerns are valid. But I'm grateful for the conversations and for the opportunity to see so many passionate educators gathered together. It gives me hope.
If you are interested in others' thoughts post-Educon, Shelley has collected many here.