Recently I have read a handful of blog posts related to EdCamps and educational conferences. Thoughts pertaining to technology overload, people feeling alienated, and the power of networking were highlighted. I have thought long and hard about these perspectives and now want to share my own. This summer I was fortunate to attend three professional growth opportunities that further strengthened my role as an educator. The connections I made with people will last a lifetime and help me strive to reach my goal in promoting the success of all students.
Take for example my time at PadCamp recently. I was able to connect and learn with Kim Mattina and Missy Krupp. Two people I knew from Twitter but had never really interacted with in person. Kim and I had a great conversation about technology integration. Missy and I conversed over pizza about graduate courses and how they should prepare future leaders. It was great to meet Kim and Missy. Quite frankly it didn't matter what our roles were in education. All that mattered is that we shared a passion for moving the educational conversation forward.
The experience I had at ASCD L2L was simply tremendous. I met people that I didn't know or had little knowledge of from Twitter. We talked about educational issues, worked on projects, and presently participate in a Digital PLC on Voxer. Each one of us had a different role as educators of children. But it didn't matter. We still approached each other, started a conversation, and grew together. The friendships formed will undoubtedly last for years to come and make us better in the long run.
Finally, my time at EdCamp Leadership. was priceless. From #Satchat Live to the Corwin Connected Educators Panel Discussion, the sharing and camaraderie was in a word spectacular. I enjoyed the countless conversations with educators from near and far. Tech and non tech discussions were taking place in hallways, classrooms, and over a cup of coffee. I was able to participate in a few sessions focusing on branding, Google Glass, and 1:1 initiatives. There is no doubt I am a better leader because of this particular experience.
So there you go. My summer of learning was well worth the price of admission. Knowing people virtually and then meeting them in person is a special experience. Approaching people I didn't know and talking with them about best practices in education was even more unique. For anyone out there that fails to connect with other like-minded educators virtually or in person at an EdCamp or Conference, that's on them. As for there being too much technolgy being discussed, well that is where education is now, so deal with it. Personally it is one of the most exciting times in education and I wouldn't have it any other way.