NECC –I’m on my way..

June 28, 2008

Well,  I’ve been meaning to write this post for the past three days.  It has been on my mind for at least as long.  But on Thursday it was my birthday, and yesterday was my daughter’s birthday, and, well, it’s just been so busy.  I was spending a better part of the week preparing to be gone for most of the month of July

But that’s how it goes, isn’t it.  We have great intentions, and try to get things done, but let’s face it.  There’s not enough time in the day!  My husband gave me a beautiful mountain bike for my birthday.  I Love it.  I hope it will help me find some balance.  I’m sure he does too. 


But right now, I am so excited about this conference. It has been a big focus on my mind for the past few weeks.  Do you know what I mean?  I have been thinking about this for a while, gearing myself up for the learning, collaborating and fun it will be.  I know it will be a wonderful week of learning and growing.  But besides all of that, I know that I will meet and even deepen further some of the relationships I have made at past conferences. 


There has been a ”Social Network” created special for the NECC, and boy has this taken off.  Anybody can join, even if you are not attending!!  So nifty.  You can keep track of what’s happening.  Stay totally connected. So many people have connected through this social network.  No Wonder the “kids” love social networks.  If you get it to be as robust as this Ning, it really can become a powerful and engaging thing.


Also, lots of different kinds of people are in there.  We are all educators to be sure, but all of my yodas are there, and they are active, friendly, and interested in seeing this go and fill out.  They are complementary to so many of the others’ posts.  It is really so great. 


And then there are “groups” within the Ning that you can join depending on what you are into.  I am a member of the “Digital Storytelling” Group, the “EduBloggerCon” Group, the “Moodle” groip, the “Blogs and Wiikis” Group, and one other one, too.  They are organizing get-togethers, and  talking to one another.  The most interesting thing is that we can organize ourselves into groups according to likes and interests. 


We can take this idea and apply that into the classroom. What a great way to differentiate learning.   I know some teachers are lucky enough to be able to use this social network in their classrooms.  A teacher could begin a social studies unit, say, and then set up a Ning on her website.  Within that she could set up mini groups, or even let the students create their own, based on what they want to learn and collaborate about.  Or groups could take sides of an issue, research different topics, and then have a place to share, collaborate and communicate.  WOW!


Anyway, back to balance, I am wondering how to achieve it in my life when I am totally engaged in my own learning,  My mom was telling me the other day that as a child I loved people.  I was easy going, and got along well.  Then someone said to me, “now she loves computers”. The person who said this to me didn’t understand at all.  Because at that moment I saw a vision of my computer as a window, and as an instrument to so much more than “a computer”  it is a window into others, conversations, interesting events, and possibilities for kids. 


Am I weird?  Is there anybody out there who feels the same way as me?  I guess that’s why I am so excited for this week.  Like-minded people together, and most of us will understand each other’s excitement when we “get” a new application, or make a new “connection”.  We can just be and have fun learning and growing from each other.


So yes, I love computers.  But really, I love the opportunities, learning, fun, and personal growth I have achieved from being involved with computers in the computer age.. 


I am still on the airplane.  When we touch down I will be going straight to the EduBloggerCon.  All of the people whose blogs I read, or twitter tweets I read will be there.  So many of these people have been my teachers from afar!  I have learned so much about this age in technology and education, and teaching children from them.  And we will all be in the same room.  Oh My Gosh. 


I am so thankful to Dr. Burdick, my fearless leader, for sending me.  I hope to bring back so much for the district and for my technology cadre. 


Ok, Here we go……..




One comment

  1. Nancy,
    I understand exactly how you feel about NECC. It was so great meeting you. I am looking forward to visiting with you more about having our schools network. Maybe I got ahead of myself, but I already set up a Ning to help this vision happen. I think if your teachers can visit with teachers who are successful using Moodle in an informal environment it will help them get used to the idea. Hope to hear from you soon!

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