NECC 2008 Day Three

Yesterday may have been my favorite day at NECC. The two “sessions” that really stood out for me: 1) a facilitated discussion in NECC Unplugged about Blogging and Twitter Etiquette, and 2) Digital Magic/K-12Online.

I’ve posted a few times before about Blogging Etiquette, and I’ve had many discussions with other educators about what responsibilities and standards are for people in education vs. other professions. I haven’t really had that discussion about Twitter as much. The opinions about the use of Twitter, especially, were all over the board yesterday at the Bloggers Cafe. Should rules beyond the Terms of Use be expected of people who use Twitter? or any blog for that matter? Is there only one blogging/Twittering community? or are there several communities within the “Blogosphere” and “Twitterverse?” Very good discussions, even though many people disagreed… quite loudly in some cases. I really appreciate that people can disagree in a public, face to face forum, and still feel like their voices were heard. I’ll post later about my specific opinions…

Digital Magic/K-12 Online— all I really have to say about this is what a great idea! The fact that educators can contribute and even participate in something that is not bound by time or location is really amazing about the future of education. I talked with some educators who participated in K-12 Online the previous year, and they had nothing but very positive things to say.

Regrets for me regarding NECC 2008– I didn’t spend as much time in the Exhibitor’s areas as I usually do. There were just too many interesting things going on in the planned sessions, NECC Unplugged, Poster Sessions, and playgrounds!!

I did take about an hour or so to see the Alamo with my friends Josh and Wendy. I love history and visiting historical sites! It’s a beautiful area… have some great photos to share!

I tweeted this morning that my head is spinning with all the things I want to blog about, take back to our school district, upload to Flickr… I may not get any sleep in the next few days because of all I want to do!

All in all, NECC 2008 was a great experience. Even though San Antonio was pretty hot, it’s a beautiful area for a conference. The Riverwalk is just amazing… if you ever go to SA, be sure to visit Pesca’s (specialize in seafood) on the Riverwalk. You’ll spend more than you want, but it’s totally worth it!

NECC 2008 Day Two

Today was a very productive day! Spent more time at the Bloggers Cafe and NECC Unplugged… great discussions all around! Also really enjoyed Ian Juke’s Digital Kids II session. It’s so great to be around people who have vision, and it’s also very empowering when someone else validates your beliefs. Sometimes, I’m a bit impatient to get things “moving.” Change takes time, but I also know that it doesn’t happen without change agents.

What I think I enjoy the most about conferences like NECC are a) meeting new people and sharing ideas, and b) the incredible conversations you can have even informally in a hallway that might be a great new strategy to take back with you.

On another note, I had intended to do quite a bit of live blogging today, but the wireless connection seemed to be a bit overloaded. I took a lot of notes and plan to summarize, recap, etc. within the next few days.

Finally… someone asked me today at the conference why I named this blog “Avenue 4 Learning.” No, I don’t think my blog will lead you to all the answers. I view tools used in education the same way I do with roads, streets, avenues. I don’t need to know everything about a street in order to use it. It’s important to know basics about the road (Is it one way only? Does it take me where I need to go, or will I drive in circles, etc.). Other than that, finding the right road is part of the process to ultimately get me where I need to go. I look at education the same way. If we use tools in education– technology or otherwise–  the tools themselves might be great, but it’s really all about the final destination… learning.

NECC 2008 Day One

Arrived in San Antonio yesterday afternoon about three hours later than planned thanks to a late flight out of Dallas. Usually, I like to take the first afternoon/evening I arrive at a conference to register, walk around the conference center and surrounding area to get acclimated, meet up with people I know, and then start meeting people I don’t know. Because of the delay, I was able to register and then meet up with some people from our state association. After that, we walked around the Riverwalk to get dinner — I felt like I was going to collapse, I was so tired. Oh, and did I mention it’s a bit hot in San Antonio? Yikes.

So, this morning was “acclimation time.” Met some very nice people from Texas, and then I volunteered at Presenters World for three hours. While volunteering, I met some more great people from Texas (TCEA) and talked to them about using the NECC Ning and Twitter (Hi, Karen and Katie!).

Haven’t decided yet whether I’ll live blog any sessions, or maybe just take notes and then post later. For now, maybe I’ll just conclude with the fact that NECC can be so overwhelming… so much to do, so much to learn. It’s a great opportunity, though, for educators of all levels and experiences.