EduBloggerCon is over and NECC is all around us. Yesterday’s amazing talk-fest was a huge success, by my reckoning — and to no small degree, thanks to the work and skill of Steve Hargadon. To me, I had a sesne, from the very beginning, there this day was going to be valuable. Going into a talk-fest, an unconference — it can be a daunting thing. There is no reason to know what to expect or if it’s going to work. It depends on the group, and an atmosphere of respect for a community of people. To me, it was immediately obvious that this was going to work, we could depend on this day for enlightenment, even if hard answers would remain elusive. [Image from Ewan McIntosh ((McIntosh, Ewan. “Geek Sesh.” Edublogger’s Photostream. 28 June 2008. 30 Jun 2008
I thank Steve, out loud, for giving us this, through his leadership.
There was some discussion at the end of the day about the growth of EduBloggerCon. I’m not sure how many people actually attended, but more than 200 were expected — significantly more than last year. Can an EduBloggerCon continue to function if the numbers continue to increase. I would think that it can, as long as it adapts. Among the suggestions were smaller rooms, less heavy machinery in the vicinity (you had to be there), more sessions running simultaneously, assurance that sessions will be unconference in nature, and more recording of the sessions.
One thing that I noticed was that a few conversations seemed to emerge in almost every session that I participated in. Among them were attitudes of teachers, attitudes of administrators, ubiquity of the technology, and a few others. There was a wide range of sessions suggested, but I wonder — and I’m just wondering — if there might be a way of focusing in on these fundamental issues, within the schedule and layout.
A problem that keeps nagging at me is that I didn’t come away with any hard answers. It’s probably because there aren’t any answers yet, and hard answers may not even be the point of an EduBloggerCon. But, I wonder if we might start next year’s event with a set of questions, and then ask attendees, after EduBloggerCon 2009, to collaborate in answering those questions from what they’ve learned from the conversations.
Finally, there was a long conversation at the end, about the appropriateness of Pearson’s recording a large part of the event. Personally, it didn’t bother me. We’re all making a living. But I had an interesting conversation on my way back to the hotel with John Costella (or was it Bob Carlton?), of WeAreTeachers, who has attended BloggerCons and BarCamps in the San Francisco area. He said that the ideas of commercialization was a staple conversation among these gatherings. We concluded that the attitudes and free-spirit thinking that makes a BloggerCon work, will predictably lead to conversations about the place of commerce.