Educon is an amazing conference that brings together educators from around the world to discuss teaching and learning in the 21st century. Last year was my first year attending, and it was when I began to meet the people in my PLN face-to-face. It was a remarkable experience to be together with people that I had met on Twitter and shared so much with, but had never shaken their hand or heard their voices. I spent the whole weekend in awe, as I tried to match real people with Twitter photos.
This year will be different in so many ways. The relationships that I started last year have become full friendships. These are people that I know and have worked with all year. The friendships I have made are anchors in a world that is constantly changing. They encourage me to move beyond where I am comfortable and push myself to learn and connect more. They truly drive me out into the digital world. The beauty of it is that the people who I am connecting with are some of the most generous and thoughtful people that I have ever met. The educators who take the time to connect on Twitter have made a commitment to a level of excellence and of community that is inspiring. I am grateful for each and every one with whom I have shared there.
As someone tweeted out this morning, there weren’t even iPads at the last Educon, and how many will be there this weekend? This is the world that we live in now, and if we do not cement ourselves to each other, we will be lost in a tornado of Change. We will lose our way alone. It is only through these kinds of friendships that we can maintain ourselves and our energy. Together, we can master the new ideas and new tools, because when we work together, no one has to do it all. Collectively, we can master them, sharing what we learn with each other. As we answer questions and respond to tweets, we build a community that can weather all that swirls around us. Together, we learn and serve our students in the best ways possible. As we take the time to talk and challenge each other, as we spend time learning about the strengths and needs that we all bring to this, we can build a community that can weather the storm of Constant Change without being lost in them.
So I am off to Educon to talk and listen to the people who have shared and supported me throughout this year, in tweets and comments on my blog, at conferences and skype calls. What a wonderful time to be an educator!
I’ve been assigned to follow your blog by Dr. Strange at the University of South Alabama. I don’t fit the typical profile for an education major. You see, I didn’t decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, until, well…I grew up! I’m forty-one years old and have been a college student for almost twenty years now. I spent most of that time working in the business field when we needed to “make ends meet” and being a “work at home” mom when times were good. I’ve always resented the term “stay at home” mom because it sounds like I sat at home watching Oprah and eating bon bons. I met my husband in high school. We will celebrate twenty-three years of marriage this Spring. I credit my three children as my “career counselors.” Through them, I learned that I have a passion to teach. I grew up in Monroeville, Alabama, home to Harper Lee and Truman Capote. I spent many afternoons in our local library listening to wonderful storytellers. I know now that the seeds were planted then for my desire to teach English/Language Arts. I have waited for this for so long and know that teaching will be my “happy place!” Just hearing you talk about the Educon conference makes me excited for you and I can’t wait to hear all about it. Here’s to our future conversations!
We have a very similar path. I too was a Work At Home Mom (love the term) and am still married to the man I met my freshman year in college. I didn’t start back in the classroom until I was in my mid-40’s.
Welcome to the conversation! I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
I’m so encouraged by your comments! I should have given you my blog URL and twitter name. Here you go: @alloyd5 and http://lloydamandaedm310.blogspot.com/
It’s a wonderful time indeed! We are now preparing our students for a world that will be radically different in just 5 years from now. We owe our thanks to this new revolution in technology that will effectively force reform into our traditional methods of education.
It won’t be long before we’ll see state regulations requiring teachers to be “technologically literate”. What this will effectively do is force out those who simply refuse to adapt and overcome – seemingly a necessity in the classroom anyway. I see a broad menu of changes that educators have looked at for many years now and with increasing technology in our schools, it will serve as an opportunity to “piggy-back” a few of those much needed changes.
In a very real sense, we live in a time where pioneers in education will establish themselves in every city across the nation. I honestly believe that our relative “Dark Ages” are quickly drawing to an end.