My first day at ISTE was spent at SocialEdCon reconnecting with friends of my social networks in particular Twitter and Plurk that I haven’t seen face to face in a long time. I tried to follow what was happening in the unconference discussions sessions but for the most part seeing and talking to people was my primary interest. That’s one of the aspects that makes these firstSteve Hargadon facilitated unofficial sessions before the actual conference so attractive. There are moments when hearing Darren Draper leading a session on the use of social media with students would catch my attention or hearing Angela Meiers thoughts on how to make social media more meaningful. I would stop a conversation or turn my head to hear more details but it was connecting one to one catching up and confirming or asking questions about what I’d read from my PLN that was most important. For many people I recognized them by their faces, some by just hearing their voice (Peggy George) and some I had to look at their badge to make sure. Seeing someone that triggers a memory or you feel like you should know them makes for an experience unlike any other, especially given the fact that these are the people who inform, share, illuminate, clarify, question, lead much of what makes me the educator I am.
And at a certain point I created a Storify event for the #socialedcon hashtag.
There’s really no way to explain an event such as this if you’ve never participated in one or don’t have a large group of friends or connections that are virtual and yet are some of the most important people you feel connected to. Later during the conference I’ll run into some of these people but this is the event that for me is a must attend event at any ISTE conference. Where else would you see a professional meeting take place in which everyone goes and gathers for a group photo regardless of what level you participated. It’s about the people. People connected in a particular moment in time.
Everyone included (Peggy George taking the picture).