Your Activity Checklist for a Great Schoology NEXT Experience

Your Activity Checklist for a Great Schoology NEXT Experience
Contributed By

Stephen Rao

Computer Teacher for Ramtown Elementary School

Your Activity Checklist for a Great Schoology NEXT Experience

Posted in Community | July 02, 2018

In a few short weeks Schoology’s NEXT user conference will be happening in San Diego, California. Last year was my first experience going to a Schoology conference. I call it an experience due to the many takeaways I brought back to New Jersey when I left Chicago. I grew my network with professionals who, one year later, I talk to every day! From the many sessions I attended, I brought my Schoology expertise to the NEXT level (Yes ... pun intended).

Haven't registered for Schoology NEXT 2018 yet? There are only a few spots left! Click here to see why you should register today. 

I am getting ready to pack my bags and head to San Diego, but before I do so, I have a challenge for you. For all of those attending NEXT, see if you can check the box on all the following activities to kick start your own experience.

The Starter Pack

Registration Swag

As soon as you get to the resort make sure you head over to registration desk and check in. While you are there, you will receive your badge and get an overview from some of Schoology’s employees.

I’m excited to see what swag will be given out this year at the registration table! Last year we received a shirt and backpack which contained everything I needed for my week.

Sunday Night Campfire

The campfire is where all the attendees can network. Last year when I attended the barbeque, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It turned out that the networking event was not just for the attendees. Schoology’s staff was there and we all hung out, sharing ideas and enjoying each other’s company.

It was great to even see some of Schoology’s leadership there including Jeremy Friedman, Ryan Hwang, and Ivan Casanova. This is where I saw the type of company Schoology is. I saw firsthand how involved their entire team is and how they shared a family mentality.

At the Campfire this year, I challenge you to connect with at least ten people. Come find me and say hi!

The Conference Schedule

Head over to the Schoology NEXT website and check out the conference at a glance. The pre-conference begins on Sunday, which is a seperate registration fee but allows you to join training sessions led by Schoology’s Professional Development Team.

Whether you are going to the pre-conference or not, you can still register on Sunday and check out a detailed look at all of the sessions. I highly recommend to attend all the keynotes. The speakers this year include: Kecia Ray (CEO at K20CONNECT) and Caitlin Tucker (EdTech Rockstar).

You will also hear from Schoology staff from Jeremy, the CEO, to Kellie Ady and Joel Hames. My favorite part of the keynotes is the exclusive access at seeing what is happening next at Schoology to advance what’s possible.

Sessions and Schoology Connections

The Schoology Team

Truthfully, I was nervous when I went to Chicago. I didn’t know anybody, but the Schoology staff encouraged everyone to network and grow together. If you have a question or need anything, it won’t be hard to find Schoology’s employees. They are everywhere and ready to assist!

I challenge you to find some of my favorite Schoology team members. I won’t share their job responsibilities at Schoology, but feel free to learn more about them when you find them. Tell them about this article and that they are part of the scavenger hunt!

They are Bridget Heaton, Sarah Jaffer, and Marina Panagakos!

Personalize Your Experience

As you go to different sessions, you will find yourself finding multiple sessions you would like to attend within the same timeframe. As with any conference, if you want to get up and leave in the middle of somebody’s session … do it! The session facilitator will not be offended. You are at the conference to learn and if it is not what you expected, just walk out and head to another session.

Celebrate Digital Citizenship with Me

This year, I won Schoology’s Digital Citizenship contest with my unit that is in public resources. At this year’s conference, I will be speaking about my unit and how I deliver it to my students. It is fully customizable for your classroom. Come celebrate with me!

Grow Your Network

Locate The Original Schoologist

Find Bob Schuetz. He has been to every NEXT and is a mind to connect with. Tell him Stephen Rao sent you.

Soopa Power Team

This is the group of Schoology Ambassadors that I met at NEXT and I have been able to connect with throughout the year. They are my help desk, think tank, and friends. Find all of these individuals to learn their Schoology specialty—Glen Irvin, Jared LoPatin, Danielle Patterson, and Melissa Stanton. Locate each member of this team or any of the other Schoology Ambassadors onsite to grow your network.

Tweet a Selfie with Coach

Jerilyn McConchie is perhaps the biggest fan of Schoology. She is an amazing educator who is always eager to learn something new. She brings the excitement to the Schoology NEXT conference. Afterall, she was a space monkey at last year’s cocktail event! Tweet a selfie with Jerilyn (aka Coach) and share in the excitement!

Enjoy Your Experience

Whether you are heading to NEXT alone or with a group, it will be an experience that you will never forget. NEXT has provided me with the confidence to share my skill set and voice in addition to learning from others. I hope this checklist provides you with a kickstart to create your own Schoology NEXT memories.

Tweet me (@sterao8) while you are at NEXT and let’s connect to share how Schoology has impacted your school.



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