Saturday, June 26, 2010

EduBloggerCon 2.0

I remember walking down Alimar Drive to Harmony Elementary School, feeling confused, pretty much all the time.

I specifically remember a conversation when I was in 4th or 5th grade. Scott was talking about the Marx Brothers. I knew Marxism was bad. I didn't know there was a whole band of them. Harpo did not sound like a Communist name.(I rarely asked for clarification of anything--I've always been a tad deaf, and I like to save my myriad interruptions for essential things.)

And so it goes for the techno world. Everything's 2.0, soon to be 3.0. Folks were twittering madly about #ISTE, and I thought maybe I had missed THE BIG ONE!

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the 2.0 Coming is at hand.

The 2.0 Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of
Siliconus Mundi
Troubles my sight; som
ewhere in mountains of Denver
A shape with man's body and the head of a bot,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its Core i7, while all about it

Reel shadows of indignant Luddites.

with aplologies to W.B.Yeats

A lot of people spent a lot of money to spend time chatting up social media the old fashioned way, face to face. "Honestly, this is a great event, and many will tell you it is the event to attend at ISTE because it's all about connecting and sharing."

I had no idea what was happening as #ISTE and EduConBlogger references tweeted before me--and again I felt like the kid who could not tell Karl from Zeppo. But I do know this much:

  1. Anything promo that needs to start with "Honestly" gets my hackles up.
  2. I'm all for connecting and sharing, and I obviously push science. Convince me that an unconference will help me be a better teacher before I plunk down my time and money.
  3. Convince me that attending this conference will make me a better teacher than, say, getting stung by a honeybee. (Really, I'd love to have a lesson where the whole class wanders around a clover field barefoot, risking a bee sting or two, but gaining so much more.)
I would love to meet many of the folks wandering around the Colorado Convention Center--some of my favorite writers are there.

Why not save the conference fees next year and all meet somewhere midway? Why not Auntie Mae's Parlor in Manhattan (the one in Kansas)? If we're lucky, Jeff and Vida will be there, singing of life.

And maybe even Scott McLeod, a true techno-guru who himself has become suspicious of these bloggerfolks, might let his hair down.

And I leave you with Jeff and Vida:


Jenny said...

The beauty of EduBloggerCon is that it costs nothing. It actually happens around a bunch of different conferences because lots of folks are already in one place. To me, it's the greatest part of ISTE for my own learning.

That said, I do have concerns about ISTE. A lot of what you are saying are valid concerns about many, many conferences (as I'm sure you are well aware). EduBloggerCon may not be perfect but it's about as close as it gets so far.

doyle said...

Dear Jenny,

Great, I write a snarky post, and the least snarky blogger on the planet responds.

Paint me chagrined, if such a thing is possible... =)

Jenny said...

I didn't mean to come across the way I did (as usual!). I actually think your snark is well warranted. I've managed to attend ISTE two years in a row now and I'm glad for the chances to talk with lots of really smart people. I don't care too much about most of the sessions (in some ways that includes the one I'm co-presenting). So, I guess what I'm trying to say, poorly, is keep snarking about this!

John Spencer said...

I've met once with a person who reads my blogs. It was an unconference at Starbucks. We had no vendors and no PowerPoint and we connected just fine.

I'm meeting two friends who I only know through Twitter and blogs (Russ and Becky) and we'll have them over to dinner.

I don't mind conferences and ISTE is better than most (sure beats the PLC conferences that try to get you to buy into an ideology)

Still, I would love an unconference. Maybe you could create the Indie Teacher Unconference with no schedule, just hanging out. You could lead people in clamming and I'm sure we'd learn something about teaching in the process.