It’s the morning after NECC. Brenda and I left Atlanta just before Tyson’s keynote (bummer) and after picking up a couple of video dongles for my MacBook (having left mine in the Omni on Sunday morning and discovering that my backup was not compaitble at the spotlight). I woke up in Charleston around 7:00 and set out hunting for free wifi and good espresso for fuel. I found both, after three near misses, and I’m sitting here preparing for a workshop in Columbia tomorrow.
Charleston is a magnificent little city in the low country of South Carolina. If you want to learn more, read anything (everything) by Pat Conroy. He’s the reason I became a teacher. But before I get back to my preps, I’d like to set down some thoughts that were running around in my head early this morning, just as I woke.
I’ve already talked about some of very interesting and powerful qualities of this year’s NECC. It was, and everyone I talked to agreed, an extraordinary event. Read NECC is Almost Too Good on 2Â¢ Worth and just stop by Hitchhikr’s NECC to read the stream of blogospheric conversations imitating from Atlanta over the past week — and don’t miss the pictures.
Educational technology conferences, and most conferences, are places where you go to learn — where you go to get taught. Certainly there are open and extremely valuable conversations in the halls, and this is a quality that edubloggers (even in the U.S.) have been talking about for some time. But, primarily, it is for sessions to go sit in and learn and think and then share when and where you can.
At NECC07, for many of us, the session were no longer primary. They were important and they were essential. But for me and many I talked to, it was the conversations that happened in the hall, and especially in the Blogger Cafe that was where the real learning, experimenting, and discovery took place. Certainly this did not happen with everyone, or perhaps not even the majority. It might even be an echo chamber of bloggeratery. But there was energy there and I sense that the energy was a big part of this event and that it will continue to expand.
What I got up this morning thinking, wishing, hoping, was that this was, perhaps, that we are seeing a maturing of the profession, where educators are gathering, face-2-face, and over the airways, to teacher, learn, share, experiment, and explore, respecting each other and ourselves and our ability to grow our knowledge, our experience, and our mission — beyond many of the barriers that persist.
Wow! That was pretty heavy for a day I’m supposed to be taking off…