It doesn’t seem that long ago that our former Chair, Greg Koeser, was inviting me to my very first NASAGA Conference. We were in the middle of a game of DIXIT at a conference which focused on digital training games and gamification. At the time, I had no idea how much impact that one game would end up having for me – I have not missed a NASAGA Conference since!
I have noticed that many of us have similar tales of meeting someone who says, “You should check out this conference.” In Baltimore this past year, while we were all telling stories, I heard from many new attendees who had met or interacted with us and had finally taken the plunge to come to a conference. Many of them I knew from their participation in online discussions, and it was lovely to finally meet them in person. Without fail, they embodied the spirit of NASAGA and were so happy to have found us.
As I step into the role of chair, I have been thinking a lot about these origin stories we all tell about finding NASAGA, and how compelling those stories are for next year’s New Attendees. What is clear is that one of our greatest strengths as an organization is our members’ approachability and enthusiasm for our craft – two things which naturally draw new members to us, and engage many of us throughout the year, online and at in-person events. For those of you who are just beginning your NASAGA experiences, remember that NASAGA is not limited to our fall conference. We are constantly striving to make it a year-round experience, and we would love for you to join us at some of the new events we are planning in the next few months. Ultimately, this is where we are at our best as an organization, engaging each other and telling stories about learning, training, and NASAGA.
I’d like to start 2015 off for us all with a quote from my days as an educator on the museum floor, when I was sent out each morning with words to rekindle my passion and mission for that day. It is a good reminder of what we all do as members of NASAGA: “Go forth, and educate!”