This Week: Thrival Innovation + Music Festival

South by Southwestern Pennsylvania?
South by Southwestern Pennsylvania?

This week, I’m hoping to attend a few events at Thrival, Pittsburgh’s ‘premier music, media, and mind mashup.” This week-long festival ends with a giant concert next weekend (apparently right on my doorstep here in Bakery Square?! More on this later) and features a week of events on topics from music to education to technology.

My first, more cynical reaction was, “Austin called; it’s pronounced ‘South by Southwest.'” Because this sound a lot like what SXSW has become: a now multi-week celebration of new ideas in education, technology, and (arguably most importantly) music. Less cynically, I’m really excited about this festival, because it embodies something I’m starting to sense about my new home. Pittsburgh has great energy right now: in schools, in nonprofits, even in restaurants, people are excited about pushing boundaries and trying new things. People here love their city and they’re excited about doing things to keep it great and help it grow. I’m looking forward to getting involved in things this week and finding ways to learn more about the great things going on in the Steel City.


New School Year!

As I join the faculty at Shady Side Academy, I’m hopeful that my new colleagues and students will check out this blog, explore past posts, and interact on new ones. Welcome and enjoy!

A few things to know:

  • The views expressed here are entirely my own, and they are not representative of the views of my employers.
  • The tag cloud at right links back to past posts on a variety of topics, like my past reviews of useful apps, cool articles, and debriefs from adventures I’ve gone on at other schools. Take a look to see what I’ve written about and where I’ve been.
  • I like to liveblog events that I attend, like conferences. If I’m heading out of town, watch this space for links and updates!
  • I love to read. Check out my “currently reading” shelf on Goodreads on the right side of the page. Not a Goodreads user? Join: it’s the best.
  • I really like Twitter: it’s a great tool for professional development and connecting with other educators. Check out the #edchat and #edtech hashtags to read thoughtful, sometimes-profound, always-interesting posts from educators around the world.


New gig, new digs

View from the new office. Once again, not bad.

This week, I’m settling in to my new position as Director of Learning Support at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh. The Academy was founded in 1883 and is a stellar place to learn and work. Since accepting this position in April, I’ve been pleased to discover how many people I know who are connected with the school.

So far, the great irony of working here is that Shady Side Academy is not in the Shadyside neighborhood, where I happen to live. The downside is that I can’t walk or ride my bike to work anymore. The upside is that I’m driving each morning into the middle of a nature preserve across the Allegheny River in Fox Chapel. This morning on my drive to work, I saw a doe and three fawns standing in the woods beside the road.  No ewok sightings yet–it’s not Marin, after all–but it’s astonishingly beautiful.

I’ve only been in the office for a couple of days this week, and already people have been extraordinarily kind and helpful. I’m excited to meet faculty, students, and parents as the summer winds down and the school year gets rolling once more.