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For those who have not seen the graphic recording artist representations of the sessions. Here is the collection as posted on the NAIS conference site. These are truly wonderful and full of information that will bring back memories or could be used to stimulate conversation among your peers.

Bill Gates
Independent Matters (Stephen Carter, Cheryl Crazy Bull, Sarah Kay)
John Hunter
Amy Chua
Raymond Yan
John Media
T.J. Vassar
Dan Savage

Richard Kassissieh
You say you want a revolution?
I returned from last week’s NAIS Annual Conference abuzz with asense of potential and possibility for substantial educational change. Ifyou did not attend, innovation was the conference theme, and presenters from across the country shared many projects that featured student-centered instruction and 21st century learning. I felt more momentum for significant change in classroom instruction than ever before. Have independent schools begun a…MORE

P.T. Denton Jr. shared by Chip Denton
The best thing I saw at NAIS
Just before spring break, I traveled to Seattle for the Annual Conference of the National Association of Independent Schools. This was my third NAIS Conference. The quality of the presentations is so superb I wish our entire faculty and staff could experience a conference like this. I’ll do my best to share what I learned. But in small bites. I know what it’s like to stay home and have someone come back all full of three days of workshops. So let me start with one thing…MORE

Anthony McGrann
Are innovative breakthroughs accidental or do they require hard work?
What do you think of when you hear the term, “Slam Poetry.” My early experiences with slam poetry were not very memorable and usually consisted of overwrought and angry performances. The point they were trying to make was lost on me. Then, last year, Sarah Kay, a spoken word poet, presented at TED. I was immediately captivated by the words she wrote, the way she organized them, and the way she delivered them. In an instant, my preconceptions about spoken poetry had changed. Those attending the Thursday session of the NAIS conference were…MORE

Did you miss the NAIS 2012 Annual Conference or do you want to relive a magical moment or spark of inspiration? Watch one of the videos below from this year’s list of featured speakers.

We invite you to view any of the videos below and use the comment section on this page to share your thoughts with the broader community. Feel free to join in the conversation- Comment Below.

Opening Keynote with Bill Gates
Bill Gates: Fulfilling technology’s Promise to Education

Independent Matters

Stephen Carter

Cheryl Crazy Bull

Sarah Kay


Did you write a post conference reflection?
If you have a reflection from the 2012 NAIS Annual Conference, send a message to naisac12@gmail.com with the URL or text and get it noticed in the broader NAIS Online Community.


Amy Chua
Education and Success
“Are you a monster?” may have been what many educators in the audience of the closing general session speaker, Yale Law School Professor Amy Chua, were wondering, but it was Meredith Viera who asked the author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother that very question during her interview on the Today Show in 2011. However, instead of the “monster” that the press had built up in the minds of the public, the 4,200 audience members at the 2012 NAIS Annual Conference in Seattle found the speaker to be charming, funny, sometimes self-deprecating, thoughtful, and intelligent…MORE

INFOGRAPHIC: Amy Chua- Education and Success

Soraya Darabi
Social Networking Services
Internationally known social media maven Soraya Darabi enraptured the audience of independent school leaders attending the 2012 NAIS Annual Conference in Seattle as she spoke eloquently and expertly about social networking services and emerging media. Self-defined tech addict and media fiend with great wanderlust, Darabi possesses an innate ability to recognize trends as they emerge. She stands out in the Digerati community for both her professional expertise as well as her innovative charity work online…MORE

Dan Savage
It Gets Better
“If you told my teachers in the fourth grade at St. Ignatius that I would address a room full of educators, they never would have stopped throwing up,” Dan Savage colorfully told the standing-room-only ballroom of independent school leaders at the 2012 NAIS Annual Conference in Seattle. He kept us glued to our seats the entire hour, invoking tears and outrage at the bullying that still pervades our schools and communities….MORE

INFOGRAPHIC: Dan Savage- It Gets Better


Shelley Krause
NAIS in Seattle
The last time I attended the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual conference was when it was in NYC a few years back. This year, the conference was in Seattle, and the likelihood of my being able to take time away from work to travel so many miles from home during application-review season seemed somewhat remote. But then the session proposal that two of my colleagues and I pulled together was accepted, and…MORE

Brad Rathgeber
Reflections on NAIS and a West Coast Swing
Late Friday night, I got home from my second trip to the West Coast in three weeks. The first trip was for the NAIS Annual Conference and the second was to see some of the great OSG school in Los Angeles. Both trips confirmed for me something that I have been feeling in my travels throughout the year: change is really (and finally) happening across the board within independent schools. Perhaps paradoxically, it seems to me that this change has been sped up in the last year by a number of schools who…MORE

Richard Kassissieh
Are Independent Schools Innovating?
The theme of innovation pervaded this year’s NAIS annual conference. Keynote speeches looked toward a different future, some schools shared innovative projects, and more responded enthusiastically and expressed the desire to participate. Does this mean that significant numbers of independent schools are substantially changing their educational programs, or not? Brad Rathgeber thinks so. Kevin Ruth says, “not so fast.”…MORE

Anthony McGrann
My Take-Aways from the Tiger Mom
The closing keynote at the NAIS conference was Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. A year ago, the press used this book to paint a portrait of a villainous mother. The media generalized the differing parenting styles of Chinese and Americans making inflammatory statements in their headlines such as the Wall St. Journal’s “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior.”…MORE


 Bill Gates Talk Keeps on Giving
Bill Gates has posted a video of his talk on the Gates Notes site along with an article and links. Additionally, you can read about his talk as reported by one of the NAIS reporters.

Resource links shared by Bill Gates

Pat Bassett Presentation Slides
If you are from an NAIS member school, you may access any of Pat Bassett’s presentation slides. Simply follow the link and search for the presentation you want to view. You will find slides from the 2012 NAIS Annual Conference and more. Follow this link to access slide collection.


Jaime Field Baker
We are the 1%: NAIS in Seattle
It has been a week since I flew back from Seattle where I participated in the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference, along with 4500 other people.  There is one thing I heard in Seattle that I can’t quite get off my mind. This year’s conference was particularly…MORE

Jaime Field Baker
Moving from Why to How: Becoming an Entrepreneurial School
Thanks to the NAIS Annual Conference 2012 for creating this create Storify of our session about moving from Why Innovate to How Innovate. We had a terrific session full of engaged and sincere school leaders, administrators, board members, and teachers.  The questions were…MORE

Mark Crotty
Leadership as Life and Death
Gradually since the tragedy at Columbine High School, we’ve become a bit more numbed to school shootings. For example, I don’t think I heard anyone mention the recent one near Cleveland. Of course, as a head of school, they register quite loudly with me. The safety and well-being of everyone here is my primary concern. Safety and security is a standing item on our administrative meeting agendas; we’ve been re-evaluating all our…MORE

Steve de Beer
Sleepless in Seattle
I am writing this entry from afar, as I enjoy the privilege of attending the conference of the National Association of Independent Schools in Seattle, Washington. There are over 4,000 people here from all over the country, from Canada, and from independent schools across the world. I’m sleepless, not so much from the cranky heating system in my hotel room, nor from the sirens wailing below on the downtown streets.  It’s from excitement…MORE

Muddy at Pike
The Importance of Recharging our Learner Batteries
As I write this, I am at the National Association of Independent School’s annual conference in Seattle. Every year, I wrestle with whether or not to leave Pike to come to conferences like this. I worry about untaught classes, email piling up, meetings that need to be rescheduled and more, and yet, here I am. WHY: Our…MORE


The following articles about featured speakers have been shared by the official NAIS Conference Reporters


Jonathan Martin
John Hunter and the World Peace Game, an NAIS highlight: sharing his similar TED talk
Certainly among the greatest highlights of the NAIS Annual Conference this year was the presentation and speech by John Hunter, 4th grade teacher and founder of the World Peace Game. John is a member of what I think is among the very most exciting school districts in the country, the Albemarle County School district headed by the terrific Pam Moran, about…MORE

Teachers of the Future- Gentry Hirohata and Lorelei Saito
Interdisciplinary Teaching in the Middle School
We want to share with you our middle school team interdisciplinary project, Keiki Kala. This is our fourth year teaching this unit, and although it’s gone through a few changes, we want to get some feedback and ideas on integrating more relevant content in the core classes, and maybe to hear from others who have experience content integration. Although our facilities here at Punahou’s…MORE

Anthony McGrann
Jonathan Martin’s Innovative Schools, Innovative Students Presentation at NAISAC12
This is my attempt at trying a new web tool called “storify” to share what I was doing during the first morning session on Friday at the NAIS conference. Jonathan Martin is the Head of School at St. Gregory College…MORE

Thom Whitby (Shared by Felix Jacomino)
Why most teachers don’t know what they don’t know.
Most professions have professional journals. Professional journals have long been the method by which innovations to professions have been introduced. Lengthy articles explaining the: who, what, where, when, why and how of an innovation in the profession was spelled out for all to read. Follow-up journal articles weighed the pros and cons. Journals historically have…MORE

John Hunter
As you look over the post and comments surrounding the presentation by John Hunter, you will easily see that he had a huge impact on those in the room. This is a man who was largely unknown by most but is now an example for many of us as to the reach one teacher can have. But who is John Hunter? This post should help you to learn more about the man, his work and the effect he will have for generations of teachers and students to come.

Background Information (From the NAIS Conference Site)
Award-winning teacher and educational consultant, John Hunter has dedicated his life to helping children realize their full potential. Employing his background as a musician, composer, and filmmaker during a three-decade career as a teacher, Hunter has combined his gifted teaching and artistic talents to develop unique teaching programs using multimedia software programs in creative writing and film courses.

As a student at the Virginia Commonwealth University, Hunter traveled and studied comparative religions and philosophy throughout Japan, India, and China. Inspired by Gandhi’s home country and intrigued by the principles of nonviolence, Hunter began imagining how teachers could contribute to peace in the world. Accepting the reality of violence, he sought to inspire students to explore harmony in various situations, using a game — something that students would enjoy.

As educator in residence at IDEO, a premiere design firm in Silicon Valley, Hunter explores numerous options, including replication of the World Peace Game for sale, Internet-based development, training seminars for teachers, and workshops on his methods.

As a fellow at The Center for Global Initiatives of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, Hunter collaborates with faculty and students to leverage the success and relevance of his World Peace Game project.

World Peace Game/Movie Site

World Peace and Other Fourth-Grade Achievements (Trailer)

Sun Tzu’s Art of War (Watch the TED Talk and this will make sense)

Video of the 3-D Game Board (Set up at NAIS Annual Conference)

Bio of John Hunter from worldpeacegame.org

John Hunter TED Talk (Voted the most influential TED Talk of 2011)


John Hunter by the NAIS Reporter
“How can I be of service to you?” John Hunter asked the crowd of 4,200 independent school leaders at the 2012 NAIS Annual Conference in Seattle. “I’m a public school elementary teacher from the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, from a modest sized town… I can’t do much by myself, but I can turn to my teachers here with me. I stand on the shoulders of my teachers every day. How they could talk, soothe, and calm with a wave of the hand. I learned from the masters and I try to simply express what they taught me. All teachers have a lineage of people behind us.”…MORE

John Hunter on Storify
This is a collection of tweets sharing reflections from John Hunter’s words at the 2012 NAIS Annual Conference and links to resources shared by participants who were listening.

Sarah Hanawald
LIVE BLOG of John Hunter’s Talk at NAIS

Randall Dunn
John Hunter

Kathy O’Neal
General Session with John Hunter

John Hunter Setting up World Peace Game

John Hunter Illustrated Graphic Notes

Rick Ackerly
The Speech that got the Longest Standing Ovation at NAIS Conference of Educators

NAISAC12 Community Daily
This edition features 38 members of the community contributing content. Check it out at:


Anthony McGrann
What I heard about day 1 at the NAISAC Conference
It’s amazing how much information flows in the back channels (if you know how to find them) at conferences. I wasn’t able to attend today’s portion of the NAISAC12 conference but was able to glean a lot of information through…MORE


Anthony McGrann
Day 2 at NAISAC12
The sessions I attended at today’s conference were validating and will take me a while to digest (especially since I’m gearing up for edcampIS tomorrow). I’ll write about each session in the coming weeks. My favorite speaker was John Hunter…MORE


Peter Gow
Now, about those men in their gray flannel suits
Well, my 2012 NAIS Annual Conference is over, and I’ve come to a few conclusions. I’ve had Bill Gates tell me that technology is changing schools, and that in 10 years schools and education will change in ways we can’t imagine. I’ve heard some memorable one-liners, tweeted a couple of these, and apparently missed a great session by Dan Savage (“It Gets Better”) while I was on a scheduled call with a college admission office (damn!). I have notes and reflections enough to fuel Not Your Father’s School for a while…MORE


Jonathan Martin
Innovative schools, Innovative students slides and videos for the NAIS presentation
Thank you to everyone who attended this morning; it was so exciting and meaningful for me to have the opportunity to share my passion with a packed house. Above are the presentation slides, in which you should be able to find most or all of the books I referred to,  and below some of the videos I used in the presentation….MORE


Matt Scully
Notes from the Neuro-diversity workshop
Follow the link for… MORE