I took a picture of him just glaring at the camera during the ISTE 2010 Leadership Symposium- I asked a few people what they thought the picture said, and the most common response I got, "Listen." Little did I know that during ISTE 2010, I would realize that listening shaped what we did this past year and how by listening gave me a new direction (I'll explain that in a bit).
See the real story is, how did listening get SIGilt to this point..? Last year at NECC 2009 (Washington DC), Jean, Katie, Adam and myself started as newbies on the SIGilt Board of Directors for ISTE. We were unprepared to say the least, I remember finding myself giving the SIGilt report at the SIG leadership meeting and stumbling through the entire thing, Adam ended up helping me finish out the report. In fact, we were without any plans or directions, that did not stop any of us. Looking back, I would say that it took the act of listening to achieve what we did.
Throughout the year we built our newsletter, which now has turned into a magazine of sorts- it will go from being published four times a year to six. We restructured our board to introduce an Online Professional Development Coordinator and furthermore, achieved continuity when Katie was elected as chair-elect. Additionally, we started a digital citizenship project and are preparing to set up book talks and a webinar series.
And that new direction? This year while in Denver at ISTE 2010, I was in the middle of the review of Osseo's ISTE NETS•T Seal of Alignment project. I am currently on the 'last mile' of the project. As I was fretting over how I was going to get to the finish line, Adam proposed the idea of 'why', not 'what' we are doing. After listening to his ideas, I went back to my project and started rebuilding the project to make sure we answered the 'why' instead of the 'what'. It has been some of the best advice I have gotten since I started this project seven months ago.