Rainy Days

Do you remember the old saying about saving things for rainy days?  I had the opportunity to reap the benefits of my own personal rainy day savings yesterday.

It was the Minds on Media event in Toronto.  The event was a full day of professional development for over 200 teachers.  There were no traditional sit ‘n git sessions but rather the event was an Open Court for those in attendance.  In the large ballroom, we had 8 learning sessions available for participants.  Some sessions were structured and others were truly drop in and talk about where you are in your learning and where you wish to go.  I was at a centre with @kellmoor to help consolidate the learning from the previous two days.  We thought that it would be about doing a little work with Twitter and that was that.

In fact, there was a lot to do with Twitter.  Kelly had her camera and was helping new Twitter users break out of their shell and replace the default egg icon with a real photo.  The next step was to find someone to follow.  The traditional route is to search and find people but I had a stash that helped out immensely.  It was the Ontario Educator list that I’ve been curating for a while.  There was real pleasure and surprise when people would recognize others already on the list.  So, folks, check your account today – there may be a bunch of new followers! Welcome them and follow them back.  Let’s keep this thing going.

As I check my form this morning, it’s cool to see that there were a number of people that have signed up at the LiveBinders site.  I hope that there are more great Ontario blogs to read as a consequence.

That was pretty much what my partner and I expected but we were really wrong in our expectations.

In fact, the only time throughout the day we got to talk was before the event and at lunch.  For the rest of the time, we headed in separate directions at separate tables.  I did sneak a look over once and it was classic Kelly.  She had her camera out taking pictures and had some of those at her table working their bling magic updating wikis and webpages with things that sparkled and shined.

Over at mine, we got into the whole concept of social bookmarking.  Again, my rainy day kicked in and I was able to show how Diigo and Delicious works with my own examples.  I explained how I post to Diigo which posts to Delicious which posts to my blog.  It was kind of cool to be able to explain this chain of electronic events rather than just blog about it as I’ve done recently.

Oh, blogs?  That opened the door to a comparison of platforms and we took a look at a number of different platforms.  The popular choice seemed to be WordPress.  We dug into the analytics and talked about the value of analyzing just who is visiting your site.  The question then turned to looking for something simpler.  We took a look at my Tumblr account that I’m using for my DailyShoot images.  Someone had been digging around and I had to explain what my Posterous account is all about.  That’s a place where I just tuck away links to media that I might use in presentations.  BTW, my favourite snag of all time, dedicated to that little guy who hangs out at our house some time.

The conversation just kept getting richer and richer.  We dug into wikis and tools for class organization and establishing a web presence. I had a few exemplars tucked away for that too.  There was a stumper too.  A Desire2Learn question made me “call a friend” and fortunately, there was a current DeLC in the audience and when I last looked, @techguy1717 was doing some noodle scratching as he looked at someone else’s configuration.

And, we did some video embedding and some editing and some configuring and probably a great deal more.  It was wonderfully engaging as a facilitator and so comforting to know that there are such awesome people so dedicated to getting their students connected to these powerful tools.  It’s so difficult to believe that only a few years ago, we tried to host everything on a server at the school level.

The folks that dropped by really seemed to understand the concepts and had a desire to take advantage of it.  I think that it’s a testament to the profession that there were no complains about time and effort to learn these things.  Don’t overlook the fact that this was done on a Saturday when there were a million other things that could have been done.

If people who attended truly follow though, I hope that they’ll take the opportunity to create their own resources so that they have their own rainy day examples that they can share with others and that the learning just keeps on going and going and going.

Thanks, @aforgrave – CC- BY NC SA

That’s the power of Minds on Media.  Kudos to @brendasherry and @peterskillen for keeping the pot stirred.

links for 2011-02-12