Monday, July 28, 2008

NECC 2008 - Keys to success

OK, here goes, it's time to bring together my jumbled thoughts and start reflecting on the NECC 2008 experience. This is not a particularly flattering photo, but thanks to Scott McLeod for taking it! There were a handful of us at NECC, including Jeff Utecht, who found there pictures up on ISTE boards throughout the conference. A bit of fun, but a little disconcerting at times! You can see more photos taken at NECC 2008 by Scott and by others on Flickr.


Julie's famous!, originally uploaded by Scott McLeod.

Here is another Scott pic, taken also at the ISTE bookshop in conversation with keynote speaker James Surowiecki, author of 'Wisdom of the Crowds'.

Vinnie, Vicki, Robin, and Julie hangin' out with James Surowiecki, originally uploaded by Scott McLeod.

Here is a favourite pic I took in the Bloggers cafe with Vicki Davis, Jo McLeay and Beverley Stubbs (Head of Libraries and Media at Qatar Academy)
Vicki, Jo and Beverley
This last pic was taken at lunchtime during the Saturday event, Edubloggercon 2008.

NECC this year was such a busy time for me personally due to the many things I had volunteered to do and organised to be part of that I did not get to see as many sessions as I wanted to. This shift from being a 'passive' to a more 'active' NECC participant took me a little by surprise, but as they say, it was 'all good'.

On my way to NECC I blogged about the high value of fostering face to face connections. Despite our numerous online connections and interactions there is still something special about meeting people and being in the same space. I appreciate Graham Wegner's thoughts about the validity of being face to face when in fact we can achieve what we want educationally via our online networks, however f2f provides that extra opportunity to create bonds, discuss and explain in a shorter time frame, and cement relationships that will often end in online activities explored and cultivated throughout the following year. Don't get me wrong, f2f is not the ultimate, it is not even the ideal way to communicate but it is still a very valid way to connect and share. That is what a conference such as NECC provides, the opportunity to reach out and make new connections, develop online connections with a fresh perspective and reflect on your own individual contributions while doing it. It is another form of reality that is often exciting and intimidating at the same time, but I love it, and have traveled long distances each year of my own choice to be part of it.

So, let's keep the conversations and discussions going, both online and f2f, as NECC is essentially about both. Let's embrace opportunities to be in the same physical space at the same time and also contribute to and promote online spaces for interactions and collaborations.

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2 comments:

John Peters said...

Julie;

What a great post. I have to agree with what you said about "fostering face to face connections".

That is what I took away from my first NECC. For me, that was the highlight and is what I wrote about on my post about my thoughts about NECC 2008. http://tinyurl.com/66tggy

It was great to talk with you and Vicki Davis about "Flat Classrooms" and "The Horizon Project". I learned so much.

Your inspiration helped me develop my own project for this upcoming school year which was approved by our principal this afternoon! http://tinyurl.com/68dkpa Thanks for helping me to "Flatten" my classroom.

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