I was rather disappointed in NECC – it was me, though, not the conference. There were many great conversations, sessions, and vendors. The highlights included the Edubloggercon, meeting Bryan and being introduced to Haiku Learning System, and of course, the keynote by James Surowiecki The Wisdom of Crowds. At the end of this post you can view a short video of him talking about this concept from his book.
So why was I less thrilled this year? I was talking to David Warlick (thanks for listening, David) about my thoughts and realized that I needed more conversations like those that took place at Edubloggercon. Also I don’t think I was in those places at NECC where those types of conversations took place. That happens with conferences – especially with the level of connectedness in the blogosphere and the twittersphere … that’s where I get my 24-7 professional development. It’s hard being an intense person – we former athletes and coaches have a tendency to want the best ALL the time.
The other reason for my reaction was where my head is right now. I am reading Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed (the first time in my long educational career – a futuer post) and getting a brain full. That’s where the Freedom Center – the Underground Railroad Museum – comes into play. We drove from Normal to Cincinnati today and spent 5 hours at the Museum. It was intense and I could see Freire at every turn. Both of these experiences are helping me see the importance of taking a strong stand for those who cannot – the question now running through my head is “Where do I take my stand?” Although I have taken a stand on different issues at different times in my life, I’m in a new place with the potential for more influence than I’ve ever had. So I want to know enough to make the right choice. Thus the need for deeper interactions than anonymous conference session attending will get me.
Last note – I’m counting on the members of my personal learning network to interact with me and push me toward making a difference. While that seems to be the mantra of the NeXt/Millenial generation, this Baby Boomer is serious!!