By the time this post goes live, I’ll be up and getting things ready tomorrow morning for the trip to Niagara Falls and the Bring IT, Together Conference.
Things are a little different this year; knock wood but I don’t have the bad cold that I did last year. That was brutal. I didn’t want to get in the proximity of anyone. That makes for a lonely conference.
It seems like a long time since 2013 and 2014. Those were the years that Cyndie Jacobs and I co-chaired the conference. It also was the beginning of a relationship with the folks at OASBO-ICT. That sparks good memories like Cathy Their’s amazing organizing ability and Chris Demers leading the jam sessions for musicians.
I have so many good memories (albeit after the fact) of worrying that moving to the beautiful new convention centre might not be a good move financially. As it turned out, we made an amazing amount of profit in those years with jam packed attendance. So many, in fact, that our successors were considering moving away from the theatre since it was standing room only for us. I also remember impressing upon the centre for the need for really good wifi and the assurances that it was there and then the panic when they sat in the control room noting that everyone in the audience had at least one screen in front of them! Never underestimate teachers.
Cyndie and I and a terrific committee has a couple of great years marked by ensuring that there were administration, technical and French language strands for those in attendance. We also had a self-driven mission to ensure that there were significant social events so that the collegiality could extend well into the evening hours. It’s nice to see that this has continued.
I’ve given a hand to subsequent committees as a member and just for being asked since then. Of course, last year, I was president of ECOO and past-president this year.
I’ve gone to conferences hosted by ECOO for years and do typically offer to do a session. It’s also good memories to think of the locations over the years for the event. Who could forget the Regal Constellation and all the spacey rooms? Or the night the power went out in Toronto! I’ve led discussions, workshops, break-out sessions, worked and presented at Minds on Media, and have been a featured speaker as well. I’ve never had the pleasure of doing an Ignite or Keynote session.
I also have a fond memory of the team approach to addressing Web 2.0 in the classroom with my good friend Zoe Branigan-Pipe. She still claims that her team beat mine.
So, what’s in the books for this year? I went back to see what sessions I had selected when I registered. I remember it being a tough job and I can see why. I hope that I actually get to go to those sessions. I’m a sucker for getting hijacked by others and losing my sense of time in the Exhibit Hall. I’m looking forward to Derek Tangredi as keynote; he was phenomenal at #ECOOcamp Owen Sound. I haven’t heard Angela Stockman speak before so this will be a treat.
Beyond that, Stephen Hurley and I will be broadcasting our This Week in Ontario Edublogs show live from the conference floor. I normally announce the blog posts on Wednesday but will do it now in case these folks are in attendance and want to join us. Stephen says his new mobile setup has four microphones so there’s room. Here’s what is on tap.
- Cyber Dissonance: The Struggle for Access, Privacy & Control in our Networked World – Tim King
- A Journey with Sketchnotes – Tina Zita
- Walking in a New Way – the Ottawa Indigenous Walk – Paul McGuire
- Autumn Math Walk – Deanna McLennan
- How To Self Engineer A Learning Community – Rola Tibshirani
On Thursday at noon, the ECOO Annual General Meeting will take place. I get to do a couple of things here.
- Recognize three outstanding ECOO members with Life Membership
- Introduce the new Board of Directors
And then I’m done. There will be a new past-president and I’m out. I feel a sigh of relief coming on right now.
Above and beyond all of this, the conference is about people and making connections. That’s far and away the most important takeaway. I get immense satisfaction with matching a real life “how are you” with a Twitter or other social media presence. I’ve never been disappointed in that respect. There are just so many Ontario Educators doing so many amazing and interesting things.
It all starts on Wednesday morning and I’m really looking forward to it. Will I see you there? They do take walk-ins if you haven’t registered yet!