Momentum: FLVS World Symposium Recap

Momentum Cover
If you have ever wondered how much fun 2,000+ educators could have at once, just attend the annual Momentum: FLVS World Symposium held in Orlando each fall. Yes, there is a ton of learning going on, and educators find that pretty thrilling. It is in their DNA! One educator summarized day one of this year’s conference as follows: “Awesome conference so far. Only one day and I already feel equipped!”

Educators across the country came to learn, participate, present, and network at the conference in early October alongside Florida Virtual School staff. This collaborative learning experience benefited all who attended. As one FLVS staff member highlighted, “Love the idea of presenters outside of FLVS. Lets us know what is going on outside our world.”

Momentum offered amazing presenters and keynotes. Ian Jukes was pretty spectacular. I have to admit, while listening to his presentation, the first few minutes made me wonder where he was going with it. Then, as I’m sure he planned, BAM! He captivated the audience with stark reality. Linda Tomlinson, FLVS Learning Specialist, said, “He talked about the top skills young people needed in the 1970s (my era) – reading, writing and arithmetic – in comparison to today: teamwork, interpersonal skills, and problem solving. These 21st Century Skills are so significant to success and are the basis for many of our courses.”

We learned and left motivated! Another keynote, Mawi Asgedom, made sure of that! To say he is an amazing role model for students is a severe understatement. He collaborated with Florida Virtual School to create the award-winning Leadership Skills Development course. This cutting-edge, two-semester course helps students of all backgrounds succeed in high school, college, and life. Not only is Mawi an inspiration for students around the world, he inspires educators. Along with his amazing keynote, he offered breakout sessions. As David Bass, FLVS technology specialist, stated, “I attended Mawi’s breakout session and he asked, ‘What one goal, if you could accomplish, would make everything else irrelevant?’ He said that should be your North Star. Take that one goal and track it, keep your eye on the North Star. Mawi recommended setting a series of small goals focused on achieving that one overarching goal and it will take off like kindling ignites a fire.”

Bestselling author Dan Heath even made an appearance at the conference! In addition to being a bestselling author, he is a professor at Duke University, and a columnist for “Fast Company” magazine. He wrote “Made to Stick,” which was named Best Business Book of the Year. Whether you are an educator, IT staff, in HR, or other role, Dan’s message on change and being “unstuck” spoke to all.

Sometimes it is the simplest response that sums it up best. An anonymous review of the conference says it all, “Excellent job all the way around.”

I look forward to next year – when I return home exhausted and motivated to keep up the good work!

As always my friends, happy learning!

Post by Sarah Powers, Former Instructional Designer at FLVS

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