As regular readers of this blog will know, Sameer and I have had a long partnership with Jostens. When I was in high school in the mid-1990s, our class rings and yearbooks came from Jostens, so I knew of the brand. About four years ago, Charley Nelson, who is the director of educator services for Jostens, contacted me to talk about our cyberbullying work. Little did I know that in addition to their yearbooks and rings (they designed the 2011 Super Bowl ring!), they also coordinate a number of professional development activities for educators, mostly centered on cultivating a positive school climate. Their Renaissance Program emphasizes academic achievement, encourages student and staff recognition, and promotes school pride. We’ve worked with them over the last year to develop materials for “Pause Before You Post” – a campaign to educate teens about responsible personal publishing (online and off). See our “Student Guide to Personal Publishing” here.
The flagship event for Jostens Renaissance each year is their national conference, which draws over 1000 educators and student leaders from around the United States. I have been fortunate to have been a presenter at this conference for the past three years and I will tell you that it is flat out the best educator conference that I have been a part of. The positive energy is palpable and I leave the conference inspired and reinvigorated. There is a lot of learning and networking, infused with A TON of fun. This year, the conference is in Anaheim (July 15-17) and both Sameer and I will be there, presenting on issues related to cyberbullying, sexting, and responsible social networking. Headline speakers include Bill Walton (basketball Hall of Famer) and Liz Murray (Homeless to Harvard). If you have never been to this conference, you need to attend – and there is still time to sign up. I personally guarantee that you will not be disappointed. If you have attended in the past, leave a comment with your experience. If you will be there this year, stop by and say hello. If you are a Facebook follower, find me and mention this blog and I’ll give you a gift (while supplies last!). Hope to see you in Anaheim!