Today's Newsletter: Motivating Students

T&L Advisor Guest post — Henry Thiele, Chief Technology Officer for District 207 in Park Ridge, IL: In two weeks, the ICE conference—the largest Education and Technology conference in Illinois—begins. Nearly 4,000 people will come together to learn about technology and celebrate the excellence that is happening in our classrooms. I have had the honor of serving on this committee for 10 years, and have learned that the following ingredients are vital to a successful event:

• Understand the ideas of the group are more valuable than those of any one individual.
• Encourage leaders to trust organization members will take charge of their areas of responsibility.
• Let organization members know they need to own those areas of responsibility.
• Celebrate this community's successes and start building for the next year.

I believe these same components can extract similar drive and excitement from our students. How can we create experiences that result in a hunger to learn? Are we interested in covering the content or inspiring learners? Ultimately how do we get students to volunteer to invest in their own learning? I believe the first step is letting them know they are eligible to build the experience rather than just participate.