Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Before I went to NECC this year in Washington, DC, I heard that they would be changing the Conference name to ISTE. If you don't know, ISTE is the organization that runs the conference. OK, big deal, who cares? What I cared about was getting to DC!
This trip was packed with info, from poster sessions, to the workshops and a variety of other learning opportunities. The most important thing to me, though, was meeting up with people that are in my Personal/Professional Learning Network. Mostly, those are people that I follow on Twitter.
The week started out by meeting Teryl Magee on Sunday at the Blogger's Cafe', and ended Wednesday night by FINALLY meeting up with Kelly Hines.
In between these two fine ladies were many others that I've been following, not just on Twitter, but on Plurk, some live streams, and in Ning groups. I was surprised how many people came up to introduce themself to me! I think it was a compliment, but quite a few remembered me by my little Twitter avatar.
The part of this conference that surprised me the most, however, was not the passionate debate with Gary Stager (I still need to go back and listen to that - I couldn't keep up!), nor was it one particular session, it was meeting Lois Smethurst.
Who's Lois Smethurst?
Well, to be honest, I forgot her name as well (I know, big shocker there).
After Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach & Will Richardson's session, Lois came up to introduce herself. I shoke her hand, at first thinking that she had me confused with someone else. She thanked me for the Voicethread Ning group that I started. Then, she explained that she was the one who shared the Reader's Theatre Voicethread!
I've posted this Voicethread a few times because I like how her students used Voicethread to tell the story of "Stellaluna" by Janell Cannon. This sharing of ideas is exactly what Colette Cassinelli and I were talking about at the Blogger's Cafe' (another person I was very excited to meet). Being able to see and hear what other teachers are doing in their classroom is exactly what I was hoping when I started that Ning group.
I now also follow Lois on Twitter, and hope to share projects and other ideas with her, like she did with us.
Oh yeah, did I mention I asked her why she had a Koala on her lanyard?
She was from Australia, shouldn't have taken a rocket scientist to figure that one out!
As a matter of fact, I met quite a few people from Australia, some from Canada, even some guy from Thailand!
I guess it never really put much thought into it before. This shouldn't be called NECC, this isn't a National Conference, this is an International Conference! It should be ISTE, that makes perfect sense, at least to me.
Thanks to everyone who helped make this a great Conference, hopefully, I'll see all of you and more in Denver!