Heading to Educon 2012

Today is the first day of Educon, one of the most amazing conferences for educators that I know of. Educon is held at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, a charter school that was founded in connection with the Franklin Institute. The conference is based around the idea of having conversations. It is a model that demands that the people who present avoid becoming the dreaded “sage on the stage” and instead develop strategies that allow the teachers and administrators who attend to become part of the sharing and learning. The sessions are organized to create dialogue.

This is my third year attending. My first year, Educon was where I met face to face the people who were populating my PLN. I wrote about that experience here. Educon pushed me even further out of my past comfort zone, building connections with educators who were refusing to look at learning in the same ways that they always had. They were people who were and are deeply committed to their students and to creating enriching and meaningful learning experiences for them.

Educon starts with an Open House at SLA, where teachers can visit, talk to students and see how the SLA model of education works. It is also a time to connect with friends made in past years and learn what their experiences over the past year have been before the whirlwind of the weekend begins. Saturday and Sunday are filled with conversations, hours of thinking, sharing, and learning. My brain and in many ways, my heart will be filled to bursting by Sunday afternoon.

As I get ready to leave, I am excited and nervous. It takes a lot of energy to learn, to be honest about the mistakes of the past year and to look for new challenges for the coming one. It is something that I have to do, however, to stay fresh and determined. These times of conversation and sharing energize me with new ideas and force me to not become complacent. They help me to know that I am part of a community of educators, that there is a Moveable Pasture for me if I will take part in it.  When I come away from Educon, I always have a clearer sense of what I want to try next.

My Survival Guide to Educon:

  • Lots of sleep – I am a morning person, so it is definitely Early to Bed this weekend
  • Sneaker – there is lots of walking around SLA and around the neighborhood
  • Charged laptop
  • Energy snacks for when I just want to keep talking and sharing and don’t feel like finding food
  • Water bottle
  • List of people coming, to jog my memory

Just saw this tweet from Maureen Devlin, @lookforsun and had to add it as the conclusion to this:

#educon Best Effect: Happy, engaged, curious, spirited, creative, empathetic, playful children w/skills, concepts & knowledge to succeed.

That says it all!

4 responses to “Heading to Educon 2012

  1. Hi there, my name is Emilie Rinehart and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. My EDM 310 professor assigned me to your blog. I will be uploading a summary and my comment on your blog to my EDM 310 blog.
    I wanted to begin saying that I think it is highly important for educators and administrators to get together and share ideas from one another and learn from them (as you stated in your blog). I would definitely like to agree that Educon is a wonderful conference for educators and administrators to attend. I think it is great that these people can learn from each other and change the way they look at learning. When you describe the enthusiastic educators and how they want to create a meaningful learning experience, it really shows me how I would like to be as an educator. I bet your survival guide to Educon works wonders! If I do attend Educon, I will probably make a survival guide as well.
    In closing, I wanted to know your biggest challenge on your fist day of Educon. Also, do you believe educators and administrators around the country will adapt to this concept of conferencing?
    If you would like to comment on my post and question, you can at my blog: http://rinehartemilieedm310.blogspot.com/
    Also, my class blog is: http://edm310.blogspot.com/C4

    • Emilie,
      The greatest challenge at Educon is grabbing onto all of the ideas that are being presented. I take notes and tweet them, but I know that there is a lot that I miss. I just enjoy the energy as much as anything. The edcamp model of conferences is similar to Educon. You might check it out and go to one if there is one close to you.

      Good luck with your studies,


  2. Hi, my name is Brittney Henderson, and I currently attend the University of South Alabama. I am currently enrolled in Dr.Strange’s EDM 310 class,in which I was assigned to your blog site. First, I would like to say it really must be an honor to attend the EDCON conference. I too hope as a future educator to attend a conference of such honorable standings. Reading your blog I can only imagine the amount of excitement you were feeling about your journey. It’s refreshing to know that there are conferences in which you can talk about the profession you love, think of new and exciting ways of teaching, and meet great educators as well.
    I would like to know were you nervous about attending your very first EDCON conference? Is the conference always held at the Science Leadership Academy, or does the conference relocate in different regions?It was a delight reading about your EDCON journey!!! One day I hope I will be writing on my blog about an amazing experience thus, writing about something that makes a difference in others lives as well as my own.
    If you would like to respond to my post here is my blog website and class blog site below!!
    My blog:http:// hendersonbrittneyedm310.blogspot.com
    My class blog:http:// edm310.blogspot.com

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