Educon, a conference in Philadelphia, has always had a special place in my heart. The FIRST Educon — and the only educon I have been to so far, was a few months after a fantastic ISTE/NECC conference. In fact — and I would believe many would agree — the ISTE/NECC Atlanta 2007 and EDUCON 2008 are the foundation of MANY of our lasting friendships in the world of EDTECH and not only friendships, but also respect and collaborations.
I was super busy on Saturday — so when Sunday rolled around and I had an extra hour, I looked to see if anything was brewing on twitter regarding educon and I saw Carolyn Foote (@technolibrary) tweet something to Christian Long – https://twitter.com/technolibrary/status/427473340895199232 — so I decided to hop into the conversation as well.
I have admired Christian Long for a very long time — how can you NOT respect a man who so adores his wife and kids — and is exceptionally creative….. and he was team teaching with David Jakes — and DJ, my friend, always teaches me something new — so I settled back to listen.
And then something extra-ordinary happened.
They were talking about Wonder and Curiosity — 2 things that are a great part of my daily life-style — and the impact of both on children and adults — and how transforming it could be if utilized more in learning. (sure, I agreed with that) and then DJ invited the “participants” to get into small groups and write a manifesto with several “This I Believe”………..
well, hey there…….grins — I was a “participant” so I tweeted over to Carolyn –
and she said “YES” and we began our contribution — and we were joined by Chris Fancher and JoAnn Delaney.
We started working on our google doc — and the ideas were flying. We started with our first 10 thoughts and then DJ came over to the camera and gave us a link to where we could post our thoughts once we had whittled them down to 3 “This I Believe”.
Link to DOCUMENT: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15gZrJ7d4ryqrIDWINX_fnJfNbpDolcccGIDXk4slipA/edit
Link to the SESSION: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFYbSgOXDxw
This is not the first time I have jumped into a Conference and became a virtual participant — (I did this once at a DEN conference where we created a presentation about weather with about 15 other virtual attendees where we each had our own slide) but this was the first time I have been a part of a google doc where we were editing together on the fly — and it was great fun. (the only thing I would suggest next time is that we color code our thoughts so we can see who is saying what.)
Our first two “This I Believe” went together easily but out last one — we spent about 5 minutes on — with the wording. We wandered through water metaphors, animal metaphors, butterfly’s — etc. Though it was just typing — I could hear Carolyn and Chris’s voices as they were thinking out their thoughts.
Finally — DJ called time — and we pushed the “SUBMIT” button –
And I had to sit back and smile — because we had just “in a way” proven exactly what the session was all about.
We had been “curious” about this session — and “wondered what it would entail.” We were “curious” on if we would be able to participate and “wondered” if we would even be noticed — (often virtual attendees can be forgotten.)
But once seeing an opportunity to become involved– our wonderment and our curiosity instantly transformed into action and engagement —
which I believe is exactly what DJ and Christian hoped the attendees would grasp.
Just my thoughts -
PS — Just a side note –
If at any time you can invite a virtual attendee into your session — please do so. It is an excellent example to showcase that learning & contribution is not contained in the room you are presenting in.