Sunday, June 29, 2008

006.7 EduBloggerCon08: Reflections

Being at the unconference yesterday was quite a treat! About 200 or so educators who blog and use other 2.0 technology to make students successful! A roomful of people who "get it" and don't let roadblocks get in their way. Not that they ignore the roadblocks...large chunks of time were spent taking about how to get others to "get it" too, or at the very least, get outta the way!

The sitting around talking was the best part of the day...yes, most of the day I spent on the fringes (anyone who knows me well, knows that is my favorite spot) watching and listening. But even I ventured forth and struck up a few conversations...usually because of my power... my power connection, that is! The best $7.00 I have spent in quite awhile. Yes, community is created if you have an extension cord. Daisy-chaining increases the size of your circle!

Everyone deals with the same problems. Everyone is eager to share the successes. And everyone, for the most part, wants to hear what you have to say...their successes and problems are no more important than yours.

One of the things that was almost totally absent (at least in the conversations I was privy to) was the question of $. No one really blamed their problems or shortcomings on the lack of funds, or used it as an excuse for not doing something. these folks are masters at figuring out ways to do almost anything and not allowing anything or anyone to stop them.

Yes, people who get in the way, was a big discussion whole session on what to do with administrators who don't "get it" tells you what is considered an big issue! Parents were mentioned a little, but most said that parents were easy to convince...the kids usually got their parents on bother by simple "kid begging!" Trying to bring colleagues or teacher groups on board was also discussed, but again, the idea of starting small, grabbing hold of risk-takers and friends willing to jump off unknown cliffs, usually was the solution.

It's the people at the top of whatever level of heap you find yourself on that seems to be the one rock that is hard to push out of the matter how successful you are in some cases. For me personally, I was so glad to be able to say, that is no longer a problem where I am. Critical, key leaders (not just administrators) do get it ...and let me tell makes the road to success so much easier and better. Our students are lucky!

Yes, there is a difference between leaders and administrators...a single person can easily be both, but quite often, it is two different people and that causes problems. Leaders will let you do what you feel is a way to success, whether they themselves can or can't do...and usually they can. Administrators spend lots of time managing, and often, to give up any of that management control, makes them nervous, so they don't.

Overall, this dynamic group does not accept "no" and pushes forward. The results speak for their effort. It was a privilege to be among them for a day. I am in awe of many of them...a little bit of hero-worship is probably a good description. I have added some new names, if not faces, to my list and I look forward to what else they give me as I explore their online warehouses of information. I still can't believe the 2.0 world lets me play in their playground. Yippy!
Here are some of the leaders I hung out "around"

Steve Hargdon EduBloggerCon is his idea another place of his Classroom 2.0

Cool Cat Teacher Vicki Davis

TechnoTuesday Cathy Nelson, SC school librarian

Not So Distant Future Carolyn Foote, Austin school librarian reveiw 1 review 2

Kevin Honeycutt KS ed tech specialist who was hugely genereous with one-on-one conversation...the key ring thing is his...more about that in another post later. his podcasts
Chis Lehmann Practial Theory SLA

Paul Gates, the 2nd grade teacher from San Antonio who talked to me about the great things he does with his young children...and who is looking for someone to blog with! filmclip of one of his adventures

I KNOW there many, many others...I just didn't know who was who and couldn't keep up with the lightening flashes of names and ids. I learned from you too and will look for you around the "neighborhood"

Pictures: part of group on the stairs for photo op; David Warlick; C. Fooote & C. Nelson
I have a few more pictures that need "fixin' "...will include them later if I can get them light enough.
Ok...gotta finish getting ready to go checkout what's going on this afternoon!

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