Archive for July, 2008

Several things stand out for me as highlights of NECC 2008, the first was being able to attend EduBloggerCon, I missed the one last year in Atlanta. I had the opportunity to participate in a conversation with some highly regarded educational leaders, centering on professional development and the different opportunities that exist today for people to learn anytime, anywhere.


One of the sessions I enjoyed most at the conference was Konrad Glogowski and his presentation on Blogging Communities in the Classroom. He speaks of his transformation as a teacher, through the blogging communities created with his students. If you ever have the chance to hear him, do yourself a favor and listen to how to grow a blog.

Another was Chris Lehmann’s presentation on School 2.0, Progressive Pedagogy and 21st Century Learning. Visit his blog to read his thoughts and view the presentation.

One of the best moments on this first day was finally meeting Darren Draper. We have taught OpenPD three times in the past year, presented together at conferences in PA and Utah, and met face to face for the first time at NECC. Because of our online interactions I felt as though I was meeting an old friend, for the first time, definitely a highlight for me. Being able to say hello, in person, will help to enhance my online connections, adding the human element made the conference extremely enjoyable for me.

Image Sources Flickr users derrallg, teachandlearn, rellis

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As I sit in the airport to return home I finally have a chance to think about the past few days. I was very excited to attend NECC08 this year, to meet many face to face, and also to attend EduBloggerCon which I have been hearing so much about, especially after last year in Atlanta.

I would like to thank Steve Hargadon for working with ISTE to arrange both the space for EduBloggerCon on Saturday and the Bloggers Cafe during the conference. If not for your efforts neither would have been possible or available to all of us.

I thought the conversations on Saturday offered a variety of topics for many to participate in. Not having attended the Saturday event last year I had no prior knowledge or frame of reference in terms of what to expect, I still felt an excitement to be part of conversations with people whose thoughts and opinions I respect, being together to speak with one another and share ideas. Even though I didn’t know what I was missing this year, I felt an underlying current of unspoken dissatisfaction and I believe it was a deterrent to the day. I wish the day had played out differently, and that we had felt comfortable enough to discuss the underlying discontent. We talk of being a community, are we really? Wikipedia defines community here.

If we cannot discuss issues we feel are truly important, at the one time of year when we have the largest cross section of our community together, face to face, from different areas of the world, then when can we? I am the first to admit I do not like uncomfortable situations or confrontation, but if we truly believe we are a community, and want to be a functioning viable one, we have to discuss openly our growing pains face to face, to come some understanding of what we are looking for from each other.

I agree with Kelly Dumont’s and Vicki Davis’s posts, we are all trying make a difference for children, education, and those we work with day in and day out. There is another conversation going on at Scott McLeod’s blog about FB, NYFB and LR’s, we do have to figure this is all out, hopefully before NECC 2009 and EduBloggerCon09 we will be able to drop the the titles discussed in this post in particular, for the good of the community. Each of us, in our own way are trying to use our voices to the best of our ability. It was wonderful for me to meet so many people this year at NECC who have been part of my personal learning network and as a result, now having had this personal time, I know our online conversations will be richer indeed. Thank you all for a memorable few days, I look forward to next year and hope as we move through the year ahead we will be able to work together in a more participatory way to make EduBloggerCon 09 something we will all be proud of.

Image Source Flickr user oshuchi

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