Saturday, November 24, 2007

After The Party: MBEdubloggercon

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We had a great night! There were over 60 people in the room, some familiar faces and lots of new ones too. My only regret was that I didn't get a chance to talk to and meet more of the people who were there. The real hero of the evening, IMHO, was Andy McKiel, the president of our provincial Ed. Tech. association, MANace. Andy organized the evening and made sure all the technology ran flawlessly. This never would have happened without him. At one point during the evening, all of us who were presenting were chatting; we unanimously shared how grateful we were for all of Andy's hard work. Thanks Andy!


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

I've just updated the Manitoba EdubloggerCon wiki. We had a live Twitter feed and UStream feed. All the videos of the unpresentations can be seen from the Manitoba Edubloggercon UStream account or the wiki.

The next day, yesterday, Chris, Clarence, Dean, John and I had lunch together to catch up and chat. Unfortunately, John had to leave early but as we lingered over the end of the meal, Dean fired up his laptop and started streaming video and audio on his Ustream channel. We were joined for lunch by over 20 people from across the world. We forgot to click the record button so we've lost the video archive but Clarence saved the chat which you can download from his blog or read directly on the MBEdubloggercon wiki (it's easier to follow the links off the wiki page). There was lots of interesting discussion and some good links shared. One of them led me to a voicethread archive of lots of math content that's giving me ideas for how I can use it in my classroom. That's also a resource I can link to and use in my Consumer Math 20S (grade 10, approx. 15 y.o.) class. (My daughter (7 years) and I watched this one this morning and left a comment on the last slide.)

Dean took some photos at lunch. I aggregated them into this voicethread. (I know Dean wants to hear lots of comments about the salad (slide 2) I had with my lunch.) I haven't had a chance to add any comments yet. Feel free to add yours before I do. ;-)

One thing that came out loud and clear (you can see it in the chat transcript) is that our ideas about what good professional development should look like have changed dramatically. It's not worth our time unless it provides an opportunity to engage with what's being shared by dialogging about it. And that dialogue should include global participation via twitter, UStream or some other way to access our learning networks. More than that, archiving the experience somehow is also important. The archive provides people who were there the opportunity to go back and reflect on what they heard/learned/participated in and offers other educators around the world an opportunity to participate vicariously after the event and add their voices to the conversation.

Having been immersed in "networked learning" for a while now, the power of the network to connect and amplify learning still amazes me every time. Even my 7 year old daughter got something out of all this. Thanks to an email I got from Brian Metcalfe (who attended the event on Thursday night) while I was chatting with Dean this morning we're talking about an idea that may make math a little more fun in classrooms across the world, in March ... on the fourteenth, to be exact. ;-) I'll share more about it here as we flesh this out.

Like I keep saying to my students, again and again, "Learning is a conversation. If you're not talking to someone about it, you're not learning it."

6 comments:

Jackie said...
24/11/07 13:28  

I really enjoyed your talk on Thursday (only caught the end of it) and the conversation at lunch the next day. Thanks for answering my questions.

Looking forward to the, uhm, "ratio of the circumference to the diameter" day festivities, I'd be happy to lend a hand if you need it.

Darren said...
24/11/07 17:10  

Thanks for the kind words jackie. Chatting with you, and everyone else, over lunch yesterday was great fun. You pushed my thinking a bit about blogging under a pseudonym, thanks for that.

I'm definitely going to take you up on your offer of help for the '"ratio of the circumference to the diameter" day festivities' when I have more details to blog about it. ;-)

Brian said...
24/11/07 17:33  

Darren - it was great being part of this if even for just a short time. I think we need to make part of EdBloggerCon at NECC like this - somewhat off the cuff, people sharing what they do - maybe the evening of the EdubloggerCon would be a good time.
Brian

Diane Hammond said...
25/11/07 09:40  

Thanks for including all of us in your edubloggercon. I commented this on Clarence's blog, so I'll just paste it here:

"Having your edubloggercon come so closely on the heels of attending a more traditional f2f conference brought home once again how much my learning preferences have evolved. I learn so much more through the conversations that take place in the expanding edubloggerverse than could ever be possible in more traditional settings".

BTW, we, (YES I Can! Science), did an Eratosthenes experiment at the North Pole a few years back. It's archived in the public domain, so use anything you'd like!

NJTechTeacher said...
27/11/07 19:43  

Darren - I'm looking forward to seeing your plans - hopefully we can join in. I usually end math class around 1:59 and make a point about it that day.
Ann

Darren said...
27/12/07 09:21  

@Brian: The approach we used at MBEdubloggercon just kind of evolved organically. It turned out to be fun and engaging for everyone. I'm hopeful I can make it to NECC this year and would enjoy doing something like this again. ;-)

@Diane: Thanks for the link! Like you I'm finding f2f PD lacking unless there is an opportunity to connect, converse and share with other interested learners. Being able to access an involve my online learning community, for me, is also an essential ingredient. I learn more with them and less without them.

@Ann: Plans for Pi Day are still in the rough. We hope to have something that will allow people everywhere to participate asynchronously; I suppose we should give some thought to some synchronous connections as well. ;-)

Learning about learning ...

While walking ...
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With pictures ...
Best viewed "full screen." (Click on bottom right corner of any image when playing.)

Curating discoveries ...


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