The Building Learning Communities conference last week was great. I got to meet a number of edubloggers face to face: Will Richardson, John Evans, Joyce Valenca, Jim Wenzloff, Chris Burnett, Tim Tyson, and Steve Denbow. I also made a number of new friends from all over the world. Tony Parkin, Glynn Barritt and Alan Mills from the UK, Barbra Jenson from Texas (it seems Texas is it's own country ;-)), Susan van Gelder from Quebec, John Proeve from South Australia, Isabel du Toit from South Africa and many more. I also had the opportunity to reconnect with an old friend from Montreal, Mark Watson and his wife Kathy.
The best part of the conference was the conversations we had between and after the presentations. In particular the three keynote presentations by Marco Torres, Andy Hargraves and Chris Dede were very thought provoking. There are some excellent blog posts summarizing the keynotes (Marco and Andy's by Steve, Chris by Natalie Watt). Lots to blog about over the next week.
I had the good fortune to attend Tim Tyson's presentation The Blogging School (more about that later). Tim is a dynamic and passionate educator and speaker. We had a chance to chat briefly after his workshop. That will also be another blog post later this week.
Will and I kept trying to find time to sit down and talk to each other but the pace of the conference was so hectic we decided it would have to wait until we could skype each other. (How's that for ironic? ;-)) I think we got in about 15 minutes in total; and most of that was on the bus back to the hotel as we were getting ready for the next event. We kept saying: "We'll chat on the boat." We never even saw each other on the boat. ;-)
Conversely, John (who lives just outside of Winnipeg) and I had been trying to get together for months leading up to the conference. We were only able to meet and chat face to face in Boston. C'est la vie. ;-)
Steve Denbow taught me how to modify the feeds in my blog template in the course of a very brief conversation in the hotel lobby. Right now I think there are three feeds (maybe more) for A Difference. In the next couple of weeks I'll be cutting that back to one. That way if I ever move my hosting service people who have subscribed to my feed won't have to make any changes. As for right now, if you subscribe to A Difference you'll want to update your feed so that you are subscribed to this feed. I'm not changing it right away but it will be changed before the end of the summer. I'll blog about it again before I make it final.
I wanted to sit in on one of both Will's and Joyce's presentations but I was scheduled to speak in the same slot as both of them every time.
In one of my workshops I showed my blog with the picture from the previous post prominently displayed. It turned out that the fellow who had taken the picture was in the audience; Abu Nasara from Cleveland. Now I'm subscribing to his flickr photo stream as soon as I can find it again. ;-)
It was announced at the conference that all the PowerPoint presentations from the keynotes would be posted on the conference blog. I haven't been able to find them yet. Has anyone else?