#edcampsfbay and my PLN… I think I finally get it.

Had a great idea with Moss (@mosspike) upon learning that he had driven up from Los Angeles–Edcamp Road Trip!  What a dream summer road trip that would be!  Alas, I can hear my family now, “No Mom!”

Ok, so I settled for #edcampMarin and #edcampsSFBay (and maybe #edcampSonoma).

photo (15)Yesterday was the 3rd annual #edcampSFBay at Hillsdale High in San Mateo (thanks @LS_Karl for hosting).  Lori (@lorideen), Sheila (@sheilagarvey2) and I hit the road at 6am.  No traffic.  Arrived in a timely manner.  Orange lanyard?  Check.  Coffee?  Check.  Swag Bag?  Check.  Let’s get learning!

Started the day with a quality conversation about The First 5 Days (Alan November).  How do we get our procedures, rules and 1st day minutiae incorporated into real learning, real activity and meaningful interaction.  Lots of good ideas and fodder for further consideration!  Next up was Minecraft.edu with Diane (@dowbiggin).  This platform absolutely screams education… but my mind still can’t quite see it, fully formed, messy, loud, exciting.  I flash to my own sons playing, arguing, agreeing, debating, celebrating over the xyz they’ve built that day.  Session three was a rousing conversation about change (in a nutshell).  How to get folks using technology?  How to support the learning?  How to get teachers to really see their practice?  How to convince administrators and others in charge that students need access?  One of those times when you’re equally fired up and depressed.  The day wound down with an intimate gathering around Books to Read (hosted by @mosspike).  I need another summer to get to the list!

Got to meet Robert Pronovost (@pronovost) and Jose Vilon (@TheJLV) all the way from New York!  Alice helped with a Google Site question (of course).  Among many others I met and connected with, I realized how my PLN is beginning to gel.  Narrowing and expanding, job specific and broad reaching, local and global…

Rather than an amorphous group with whom I connected from the periphery, my PLN now has names and faces, roles and locations, nuts & bolts and humor, head-scratching-questions and light-bulb-lighting-ideas.  I think I finally get it.

The demoslam that concluded the day helped my ah-ha along.  A few folks came up to simply share their appreciation for the day, their newness to Twitter and edcamp, their excitement at connecting with like-minded folk.  I just kept nodding.  Yes, it’s about connections.  It’s about not breathing your own stale air.  It’s about disagreeing, wrangling with the issues, helping one another along the path to xyz.

I am ready for the year… amazing school… awesome staff… and a solid PLN to lean on.



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