I arrived at the Edubloggercon 08 session start late and the room was not quite what I had expected with many rows of chairs facing the riser area where Steve Hargadon was facilitating a discussion on which sessions would be presented based on the pollster voting. There was also what looked like a professional video team whom I later found out were from Pearson and had posted on the NECC Ning their intentions to capture Edubloggercon with professional cameras and boom mikes as well, which added to the effect. I was a bit distracted as I was meeting people and trying to deal with my computer’s inability to access the wireless. I spent most of the morning recognizing and introducing myself to people who I have only met virtually.
I went to two sessions before lunch. The first break out session I saw was on social networks. It was great getting to hear the many voices from people who shared their varied thoughts and experiences. The second session by the time I reached it was discussing Here Comes Everybody and was very animated. It doesn’t seem to matter in some ways what the topic is because the discussions in trying to find the essential questions and problems begin analyzing road blocks to moving ours and other teacher’s classrooms into a collaborative student centered environment. I noticed several times participants and one instance in particular Chris Lehman standing up for teachers whenever a discussion was moving towards accusing them of resisting and being unwilling to change. I have to agree because I don’t know any teacher who when asked whether they enjoy and embrace this age of testing and multiple choice state tests wouldn’t support change.
During lunch I met several more educators and took some pictures including my favorite of the day, Maria Knee who because she has done amazing work with Kindergarten students with such things as her classroom blog, holding up both her award for the Kay L. Bitter Vision Award but also balancing on her shoulder Trixster (hope I have that right) who has traveled to many different locations including several NECC conferences.
After lunch I was sitting working in the Blogger’s Cafe when several folks walked over and because of the participants I wanted to hear what was being said. After a certain point several things happened simultaneously, smart phones started being brought out and an open fun exploration of the technology occured and Bud Hunt started streaming on Mogolus. Because it has the ability to stream and capture several sources at once I quickly set up an account and sent him my permissions. What Will Richardson and Steve Dembo were asking people to share on the edstreamtv wiki which was what and when they were streaming and to be able to coordinate, Bud was essentially doing in a spontaneous fashion. I think this is something I realized today that every time someone tries to organize and centralize some element of the edtech learning network that it sort of goes against what we are trying to do in the classroom which is to create more of a decentralized messy learning environment.
After the spontaneous gathering at the Blogger’s cafe I set up for some more streaming with Alice Mercer and the Edtech Talk show It’s Elementary. Unfortunately the wireless was cutting in and out and we couldn’t set up the simultaneous video Ustream, chat room projection, speaker, and Skype conference call. What a fun and amazing day and there are still many days to go including attending for the Constructivist Consortium tomorrow (bad news is there is no wireless where it is held).