My head is still spinning from the weekend spent in Philadelphia at EduCon held in the Science Leadership Academy. So many have written such memorable accounts of the weekend I am not sure I can say anything that has not been said already many times over. For the entire three days I felt as though I was totally immersed in an educational community of caring. Caring for students, for each other, for our practices, for the future of education – both students and our own. The common thread, which brought us all there in my opinion, whether in person or virtually, was our commitment to expanding conversations centered on how to improve our classroom practices, our thoughts on professional development, building community with our colleagues, in our own district or around the world, as well as with our students. Throughout the weekend I kept thinking how wonderful it is to be part of such a supportive, passionate community of educators and students. I thank you all for stretching my thinking, for renewing my spirit to continue being an advocate for change, for pushing the envelope day in and day out because it is the right thing to do for students, and because I know I am one node in a network of dedicated learners and in our own ways we are all agents of change. I truly believe we can make a difference.
Darren Draper and I lead a session in the morning called OpenPD based on the online class we teach. The class is an introduction to using social software in the classroom and we use social software to teach it. We had a room full of people interested in professional development, interested in best practices involved in providing it, wonderful conversation flowed regarding successes and challenges we all face. If you are interested here is a link to the archived Ustream broadcast of our session. Be patient, it takes a bit to download and the audio doesn’t begin for the first 15 minutes. In talking about new tools for teachers and students, new levels of comfort, shifts in thinking, we model the use of the tools we talk about with those who attend. We believe we’re on to something here, and invite all of you to come and participate with us as we learn best practices in teaching how to use social software in the classroom.