I hope I never come across as pushy or forceful when it comes to being a connected educator. I simply see being Connected as a tremendous resource. I believe the World needs to hear the positive stories. As I reflect, I think his story reached a couple hundred...but what if his story reached more...?
Recently I attended #edcampldr in Philadelphia. For me the event actually began months earlier. My good friend +Tom Whitford reached out and asked if I was interested in doing a road trip to Philadelphia. Without much thought, I committed! I was all-in for this event. I viewed it as a chance to build stronger relationships and to be a part of one of the most amazing think tanks in the nation.
Shortly after Tom and I committed, others decided to join in the fun. The Road Trip was taking on a life of its own. Our group communicated through Voxer and Twitter for the better part of three months. Some of us even got together in May and took in a Cubs game. Finally the time came and we flew to Philadelphia and stayed at the home of +Tom Murray.
People that aren't connected look at me in disbelief. I had one person say, "You're flying to Philadelphia to spend four days with people you've only met once or twice in person?" I casually responded, "Yes." You see, being connected is about learning...but even more importantly it's about connecting. You've probably heard it before...it's about relationships! For over four years I have leaned on my #PLN for support. I'm blessed to work with several of my #PLN members, but what's great is I have friends around the country willing to help out anytime. Would I be an effective educator without my #PLN? Maybe. But I truly believe "Together We're Better!"
During the weekend leading up to #edcampldr I had the opportunity to talk with experts. We discussed Google+, Blogger, WordPress, Instagram, Learning Spaces, Edcamps, Conferences, Books, Voxer and more. The learning and connecting was truly fantastic.
If that wasn't enough, Monday arrived. All of us got there early to help +Joe Mazza set-up and get #edcampldr rolling. Watching a group of educators acting in a completely selfless manner is powerful. It wasn't about one person. Again the attitude was "Together We're Better!"
I will tell you that I've attended a lot of conferences, but nothing compares to the four day learning experience that #edcampldr was for me. That Monday, over two hundred people were tweeting and sharing their learning on Twitter and Voxer. The positive vibes at Penn Law were contagious.
I do have one regret though. I wish it would have been longer. I left thinking that I can't wait to connect with +Brad Gustafson and discuss Augmented Reality. Plus I was thinking of more ways to stay in contact with +Victoria Day so we could discuss #PTcamp. The day flew by and I was only able to spend minutes with some of my favorite #PLN members.
I share that with you because I strongly believe that Together We're Better.
This Week's Questions Are: Who pushes your thinking? Who challenges you to be your best? Who gets you out of your comfort zone?
Whether you are connected or not we all need a Personal Learning Network. I encourage you to build your #PLN; find those people that make you a better person. I feel lucky to have so many caring friends. I truly have an amazing life! Thank You
For more on #EdCampLDR check out these photos: EdCampLDR Photos
For more on the Power of a #PLN, check out these posts:
Upcoming Dates For Your Calendar:
Tuesday, August 12th: Jackson County EdTech Kick-Off at Western High School
Sunday, August 24th: Family Cookout at the Gilpin's 5pm
Monday, August 25th: NEW teacher orientation
Tuesday, August 26th: TBD...stay tuned
Wednesday, August 27th: ALL Staff - 7:30am BKfast followed by 8am Western Kick-Off!
Thursday, August 28th: ALL Staff - 8:30am in the Jackson High School Auditorium
Thursday, August 28th: 5:30 - 7:30pm Back 2 School Night
Tuesday, Sept. 2nd: First Day of School
Articles Worth Reading:
Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Classroom +Traci Logue @Fearless_Teach
Videos Worth Watching:
Stuart Scott's Moving Speech... (7 min)
Young Boy and a Soldier (7 min) +TheEllenShow
I'm not a huge Badger fan, but I must say this gets me jacked up for College Football! (2 min)
Thanks for Leading Sessions with me friends, I appreciate you all. @thomascmurray @KleinErin @Joe_Mazza