Welcome to New Orleans! The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is thrilled to be back in the Crescent City for its 74th Annual Conference, held April 5 to 7.
The conference will draw more than 7,500 attendees, exhibitors, and guests representing nearly 1,400 school districts. This conference will feature distinguished speakers as well as hundreds of workshops, presentations, and other events that will help you develop your leadership skills, boost student learning, and improve your school districts’ operations.
The Louisiana School Boards Association has taped a welcome video that shows why New Orleans is one of the world’s most unique and celebrated cities. Lee Meyer Sr. and John C. Smith, president and past president of LSBA, respectively, are tour guides and they have plenty of recommendations. “The food, music, and more is a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds,” Smith says.
Keynote speakers include New York Times columnist and bestselling author Thomas L. Friedman; basketball legend, entrepreneur, and public school advocate, Earvin “Magic” Johnson; author and technology guru Sir Ken Robinson; and leadership expert Simon Bailey.
Once again NSBA’s mobile app holds a wealth of information about the conference as well as handouts and supplementary materials. The app allows you to create a schedule, review session descriptions and locations, access handouts, and search for exhibitors right from your laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Go to m.core-apps.com/nsbace2014. You can also download the online conference planner at NSBA’s Annual Conference website.
Don’t forget to read highlights of all the day’s major events in Conference Daily, which is again available online at schoolboardnews.nsba.org and through the NSBA mobile app.
If you are using social media, the official conference hashtag is #NSBAConf. Be sure to share the knowledge you gain this weekend with your colleagues and community.
To ensure that you get credit for attending educational sessions, we are using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Wear your badge to all conference events to get credit for your attendance, then go to the Continuing Education Credit desk, located in Lobby E, for a list of all the sessions you attended. You may also access a report through the mobile app.
The conference also uses a QR code, found on page 40 of the conference program book, which will allow you to download handouts directly to your Smartphone or tablet.
The ever-popular Exhibit Hall is now the Exposition Campus. More than 260 companies will be exhibiting and there will also be dozens of “Study Hall” sessions (formerly Learning Lounge). These are interactive 30-minute mini-sessions with the latest knowledge on hot topics, led by experts and their school district clients. We’ve more than doubled the number of Study Halls held from 2013 and will offer sessions during exclusive hours. Check your conference program book for a complete schedule.
The Exhibit Hall will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
The Annual Conference even has movies this year. On Saturday and Sunday, NSBA will show The Freedom Writers Foundation’s new film, “Stories from an Undeclared War,” which tells the personal stories of the 150 at-risk students once considered unteachable who were inspired by teacher Erin Gruwell. The movie will be shown at 1 p.m. in the Lounge at the back of Hall E.
NSBA will also be holding a special screening of “12 Years A Slave” tomorrow evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel’s Versailles Ballroom. NSBA has partnered with Fox Searchlight Pictures, New Regency, Penguin Books, and the filmmakers to distribute this important film to high schools in the United States this fall.