Community Information


Online Independent Schools: Defining a New Generation of Excellence- A white Paper
The OSG and GOA have joined together to publish a white paper on the role of independent schools in online learning. You are encouraged to take a moment and watch their short video and read the paper. The blog is open for comments, which they also invite…MORE

The Community Daily- March 2, 2012
Collection of tweets from the greater online community. Check out this issue and…MORE


Soraya Darabi
Social Networking Service
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…MORE

Randall Dunn
Mr. Gates
This was my first in-person Bill Gates encounter. Mr. Gates presentation was not fancy but informative with a nice hint of humor: a fine vintage. His statement at the outset, coupled with a high school graduation picture, that he did not need to seek any other diploma after his NAIS high school diploma was a nice way to start…MORE

Randall Dunn
Headship: Unpredictable and distinctive
My first event at the 2012 NAIS annual conference was the preconference 3 hour workshop; Making the Headship Work in Today’s World. The session was attended by aspiring, recently named, new and experienced heads of school…MORE

 Kathy O’Neal
Finding Socioeconomically Diverse Students Who Are Ready for Success
I don’t know of an independent school in my area that isn’t interested in increasing the socioeconomic diversity of their student body. I strongly agree with this panel that this is a critically important issue for our schools…MORE

Mike Brown
Of course, we’re innovative!
It amazes me each year to see what other schools are doing with their students.  As Pat Bassett demonstrated, we have students that we need to get out of their way and let them work.  These students are teaching us and broadening our…MORE

Mike Brown
What is holding our schools back?
Bill Gates challenged us to reflect upon this question?  So often I am focused on meeting the “magic” admission number or annual fund goal, or whether I have returned all the parent’s calls and how I am going to find the…MORE


Bill Ivey
Real World Issues
The 2012 National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference has begun, with Sally in attendance representing our school. On Thursday on Twitter, someone named Bo Adams commented on remarks by Pat Bassett, the President of NAIS: “Pat Bassett shows exemplars of innovative school practice…MORE



What have you learned at this year’s Annual Conference- Post to the Community
If you are at the conference or following from a distance and would like to write about your experience and have it posted in The Daily Find, simply send the URL to your blog or text of your post to It will be posted or linked in a future issue of The Daily Find with attribution to you as author. Share your experience and what you have learned at this year’s conference focused around INNOVATION.

Wall of Innovation
What have you found to be an INNOVATION in education? Post your ideas on the Wall of Educational Innovation. This is easy, fun and will not take much time to leave your mark. Post your idea of INNOVATION in education at:

A Word About Wireless at the Conference (or lack of)
If you are here and have wondered why there is a lack of wireless Internet access at a conference focused around innovation, take a moment to read this post from last year’s Annual Conference as it clearly defines the issues with wireless at large conference centers…MORE


Opening Session at NAIS AC 2012 with Bill Gates
The session opened with a wonderful performance by the Northwest School a capella choir. The song of peace was a wonderful way to open the 2012 NAIS Annual Conference in Seattle. The voices of the youth expressing their dream for a day when there would be no war. This was followed by…MORE

Why I Need NAIS conferences
Today started out cold, wet, and windy. My umbrella inverted in the wind, my school called to ask how to handle a situation, and then I stepped into the Conference Center…MORE

Key Ingredients for  Headship
What are key ingredients for a sane, successful, and sustainable headship?…MORE

Live Blog of Opening Session with Bill Gates
Replay the opening session as LIVE BLOGGED by conference blogger Sarah…MORE

Best Practice in Neurodiversity
Wow, these two presenters know their stuff! Honestly, I’m not a teacher, so I entered this three hour workshop with some dread. However, I learned so much that I couldn’t help but wish that all teachers had access to this kind of professional development…MORE

Bill Gates- General Session Featured Speaker
Who better to speak at the AC in Seattle than the quintessential product of independent school education and the godfather of innovation, Bill Gates. As a Seattle native who has yet to hear Bill Gates speak in person, I’m as eager as the other 4000+ attendees to hear from Bill…MORE

Transformative Communication Advocacy, Admissions, and Advancement
Get in the social media game and tell your school’s story because in reality other  people are already out there telling their version of your story. Not surprisingly, this workshop from staff of the Ranney School is packed, standing room only…MORE

NAIS 2012: Design Thinking and Schools
The 2012 NAIS Annual Conference, held in the beautiful Pacific Northwest town of Seattle, represents my fifth straight annual conference, my fourth as a presenter and my second as an official conference blogger capturing the conference’s highlights. Yesterday, I was fortunate to attend a pre-conference workshop led by…MORE


Mark Crotty
Sleepless- but not in Seattle
So the 2012 NAIS Annual Conference is going on in Seattle, and I’m still in Dallas. I think I’ve missed only two of these in the past couple of decades, so it feels rather strange. And this year’s program looked particularly inviting. So I’m really kind of bummed not to be there. However, it simply wasn’t a good time to get away because of too many things happening at once. Plus this Friday night is our annual gala, which our fabulous PA puts on every year and will be spectacular. So if I’m going to miss, it’s for a great reason…MORE

Jonathan Martin
Open Computer Testing: the NAIS session slides and videos
Check out the collection of slides, videos and resources from this session…MORE

Anthony McGrann
What is a Tweet-Up?
I just got back from a ‘tweet-up’ tonight at the Pike Pub & Brewery. It was an interesting concept of gathering folks who use twitter to share and learn from each other. Many thanks to Greg Bamford for organizing this event…MORE

Peter Gow
Assessing Assessment
This afternoon I attended the annual meeting of the Independent Curriculum Group, and for a pretty mellow group of educators we got ourselves kind of stirred up, in a good way. As an organization we aim to get schools talking about curriculum, and about why it’s a good thing for schools to develop their capacities to create their own. This year we’ve been focused on assessment, with groups of teachers, administrators, and…MORE


Submit Your Blogs

If you are an independent school educator and maintain a blog, consider submitting it to the list of independent school bloggers that is being compiles as part of the NAISAC12 online community. Simple email the URL of your blog to and we will do the rest. By doing this, you will have your blog added to the blog roll of independent school bloggers. Additionally, your blog will be added to a feed so that your content can be highlighted in The Daily Find during which is part of the Annual Conference Online Community.

Comment on Blogs
Feel free to comment on the blogs that are highlighted through The Daily Find. While it is standard to comment on the actual blog post at the hosted site, it would be wonderful if you also included a copy or at least a link to your comment in the comment section of the NAISAC12  blog. This will allow all of us to enjoy your thoughts and reflections as well as your comments.

The Wall of Innovation
Here is a challenge for you. It will only take a few moments to leave your mark on the wall and it will give all in the community something to think about. What do you see as innovations in education? Take your idea and throw it on the wall. Let’s see how many innovative ideas we can add to this list and where that takes us as we prepare for three days of talks about innovation in schools and teaching. You can post your ideas on the Wall of Educational Innovations at:

Pre-conference Reflections
What are you thinking about as the NAIS 2012 Annual Conference approaches? What do you hope to learn? Who do you really want to hear from? What do you think will challenge you to grow? Jot these ideas down in a blog post and send the URL to to have them included on the community blog. You can also post this to your personal blog and send the link to to be included in the conversation. Now is a great time to look over the sessions, speakers and think about the connections you will be making in Seattle at this year’s Annual conference.


Kim Sivick- Teachers of the Future
NAIS Challenge 20/20, Our Story
The following is a great story of one educators journey with education in Uganda and the NAIS 20/20 Challenge…I visited Uganda after receiving the Trustees Fellowship award at Chestnut Hill Academy.  I was able to use the awarded funds for travel. My goal was to volunteer in a Ugandan school, teach some basic computer skills and build a relationship that would eventually benefit students in Uganda and the United States.  I was fortunate to take 10 donated laptops with me….MORE

NOTE: You can learn more at the NAIS Annual Conference as Kim will be one of the panelists on the Thursday session on the NAIS 20/20 Project.

Martin Moran- Teachers of the Future
I’ve Finally Cracked it: The Homework Dilemma
Steve Jobs, before his death, used the phrase borrowed for this title when describing his efforts to make Apple a viable contender in the television world. I can only imagine the sense of accomplishment and, frankly, relief he felt when years spent trying to figure out how something can effectively be implemented finally yields a satisfactory response. This is how I feel about student homework. I have always felt that student homework was…MORE

Susan Carter Morgan
I tell my young writers, “Don’t focus on the product. Work through the process.” This is how we grow as writers. And, yet, this morning, I can’t seem to follow my own advice. Each Thursday, I participate in what Elizabeth calls “An Art Experience.” She offers a small group of us the chance to…MORE

Jim Heynderickx
Bring Your Own vs. School Provided 1:1 Laptops
There’s been some great discussions about “bring your own” vs. “school provided” 1:1 laptops on the ISED-L discussion list.  The following are some thoughts. In my experience, either program could work at a school, but the determining factors are school culture and the targeted objectives of the program. For example, the “bring your own model” has the strengths of…MORE

Greetings and welcome to the NAIS 2012 Annual Conference Online Community. Today we launch another year of powerful and engaging conversations focused around topics related to the conference theme of INNOVATION and topics of interest to independent school educators. YOU are the focus of this community. We welcome you to another engaging year. Here are a few things for you to do to get started.

  2. Bookmark the FRONT DOOR  to this community:
  3. Subscribe to the NAISAC12 BLOG
  4. FOLLOW the community twitter list
  5. USE #naisac12 hashtag for all tweets related to this year’s community and conference.
  6. Follow the Twitter Account for @naisac12
  7. Subscribe to the NAISAC12 Community Daily
  8. Write on the wall of the NAIS Facebook Page

The Daily find will also start today with several posts per week moving to a daily schedule as we approach the conference. During the 3 to 4 days surrounding the conference, you will likely see multiple posts as community members post their reflections and experiences. Feel free to add your post as well by sending them to You can learn more about submitting blog entries by visiting the Blog Submission Instructions link. While on the topic of blogs, you may also want to look over the list of independent school bloggers. This is an impressive list of educators sharing their experiences and ideas with the community. If you would like to add your blog to this list and be included in the RSS feed for independent school bloggers, follow the blog submission instructions.

For those who want to look back at past conference conversations, you can access both the 20120 and 2011 Annual Conference Online Communities through the Archive of Past Communities.

I am personally looking forward to a wonderful year of great conversations both online and in Seattle. So, let the dialogue begin as we look toward INNOVATION in education. [Chris Bigenho]



Bookmark the following sites

The 2012 Annual Conference online community is about to open. It is exciting to see this community come together. This year’s collection of sites is an extension of the community that formed during the 2010 and 2011 Annual Conferences and should provide a unique experience for all who participate.  As you explore, feel free to create accounts as needed and start interacting in the spaces provided. If you act on this post, you will be one of the first to enter the 2012 NAIS Annual Conference online community. Make your mark:

  • Post some tweets
  • Add some resources to the Diigo Group
  • Write on the Wall in Facebook
  • Start a conversation in Diigo
  • Start a conversation in Facebook Boxes
  • Bookmark the Netvibes Dashboard for NAIS AC 2012
  • Leave a comment on this blog about your experience
  • Explore the wisdom of last year’s community
  • Help bring the space to life and make is Your Space