Just Because it is Not on Your Radar, Means That it is Invisible

The months of September, October, and November are a high concentration of conferences for me.   Between edcamps, the regional CUE’s, and other conferences…..I could be at a learning opportunity every weekend and if I add online opportunities, wow, it is learning abundance.

Because of this, I get to meet a lot of people — old friends and new — and because I enjoy observing people and situations, I am able to notice some interesting circumstances and also hear some interesting conversations as well.

At a recent conference, I over heard two people talking about which session they would attend next.   One mentioned that they wanted to go to “fill in the blank” and other other mentioned “I don’t know who that is, lets go to “fill in the blank” because I have heard about him.

And off they journeyed.

I have to admit I found that most interesting because I was the “I don’t know who that is” person they were talking about.

Funny thing is, they ended up coming to my session after all when the other speaker was giving a session the one had heard already.

It got me to thinking about the fact of learning opportunities and if we are becoming what we so do not wish for our students.    Are we listening to the same information, provided by the same people, and then regurgitating the same content to the same people to repeat?

And if perhaps we are ignoring opportunities just because it is an ‘Un-known” source.   It cannot be an unreliable source (at least at a conference) because there has been some screening to choose the speakers.   And were we not all at one time the “i don’t know who that is” person?

In addition to this, I wonder if people become ignored or even dismissed because they are “unknown” or “not in the current group of acceptability”.   How does a person earn the right — not only to be heard, but then to be repeated?

So I ask you this — who is someone on your radar that you are paying attention to — whether it be on twitter, facebook, blogging, podcast — that you might feel is invisible to others?   Please share here (and please provide a link) so that we can expand our learning opportunities.

Thank you



  1. At ISTE 2016, I attended a session by Bret Gensburg (http://www.eagleti.com/index.html). His high energy, fast paced presentation was too quick even for me, but he had a wealth of tips/tricks/ and resources. He stated several times in his presentation that his session was best designed for a workshop. If he has one in the future, I will be signing up! Here is a link to his handout from that session. It is primarily links without explanation, but worthy of sharing.


  2. Great post, Jen! I think about this, too… have you seen Eli Pariser’s TED talk on the “filter bubble?” I like to try to use Twitter as a way to expand and extend my listening. If someone is talking about an issue I know nothing about, I try to use that as a cue to learn. One person I’ve appreciated listening to recently is Se’mana Thompson, a self-identified queer indigenous woman who is raising two young children largely on her own. (https://twitter.com/SemanaThompson) I think we also often discount young people’s voices, so I have a list specifically geared to that (https://twitter.com/butwait/lists/young-leaders). @ziadtheactivist is doing some interesting work. @ruha9, too. So many!!

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