A Whole New World

Over the last few months, I have spent a lot of time exhibiting Lectio at a booth at trade shows, conferences and events. It means packing my car full of stuff, lugging that stuff to set up a booth, standing on my feet all day and then packing everything back up and lugging it back home.

But, it also means I have the opportunity to talk with hundreds of people about Lectio! I love to demo this app and share our story with others. Most of all, I love getting to meet educators, administrators, assistive technology professionals and other parents who, like me, are working hard to find solutions for their children with disabilities.

These conferences always amaze me; it’s like a whole new world opening before my eyes. I have had a pretty steep learning curve learning about the world of education. Naturally, I always knew about the classroom teacher and the administration—but there is so much more! So many more people play a part in a child’s successful K-12 journey. There are jobs, positions, roles I never even knew existed!

I often compare it to the first time I showed up for my oldest son’s first swim meet. He had just joined the team and we were complete swim team virgins. I had zero expectations, which made what awaited me even more shocking. I remember pulling in to the parking lot at Noblesville High School one Saturday morning at 7:00am surprised at the number of cars. But to my amazement, those thousand or so people were there for a kids’ swim meet—the very meet I was attending! I had no idea this entire subculture existed. Who were all these people? How could I have not known this existed? It didn’t take long for me to learn the ropes of this subculture and I could always recognize the eyes of an overwhelmed newbie mom on a Saturday morning.

Recently, I was at the PATINS Tech Expo. PATINS (or Promoting Achievement through Technology and Instruction for all Students) is an Indiana-based statewide technical assistance network that connects school systems with accessible materials, technology and corresponding professional development through the Indiana Department of Education and the Department of Administration. It was a great conference and I was able to meet educators from across the state. I also presented a workshop on Homework Tips. I shared some of the strategies for success I have learned—many through trial and error—over the years helping my son with dyslexia and ADHD with homework.

This summer, I will attend several Summer of eLearning conferences in Indiana, including one hosted by Evansville-Vanderburgh County Schools, another in Jeffersonville and Anderson and hopefully ipadpolooza in Noblesville. If you are at any of these conferences, please stop by and say hello…and pick up a bag of Jelly Bellys (we always have Jelly Bellys—the real ones, the original good ones—at our booth).

And to all those teachers, administrators, and other positions in education that I never even knew existed, THANK YOU and keep up the great work!

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