Reflecting Upon a Post in Time, Volume 1- #Educon 2010
I told myself I would do two things this year, 1. Write more both here and in a book I have bouncing around in my head, and 2. Reflect more on some of the writing I have done in the past.
The first has gone okay as I have been writing more in this space (but not in a book, yet) and the second is just starting today. My plan is to revisit one or two blog posts each month, from the same month a year, two, three, or four prior. I’m thinking (hoping?) that it will not only allow me to revisit my writing and thinking, but also see if my writing has trends. (Basically, am I doing the same thing, thus writing the same stuff, year over year and if so, how are things changing?)
Okay, so my first attempt at this will bring us back to January of 2010, a week prior to attending my first Educon. (BTW: I am writing this post from my 4th Educon.) The post was entitled “Catching Up with Old Friends for the First Time”.
Educon 2.2is next weekend and I can’t wait. Not only will I have the opportunity to hearChris Lehmann, Dean Shareski, Will Richardson, and Michael Hornspeak about current, progressive issues in education, but I am going to get the chance to meet face to face with some of the most valuable people in my life these days, my PLN.
Since July of 2009, when I started writing this blog and being more of a participant in the global conversation, I have begun to develop very meaningful, albeit virtual, relationships with learning leaders across the United States and the world. These are people who I have come to count on to push me, provide me with support and resources, and challenge the way I look at teaching and learning. These are folks who I began “chatting” with over Twitter, my blog, or Ning and have developed a real fondness for, and relationship with, over time.
But, what you need to know about me is that I am not a gregarious person by nature. I’m something of an introvert and can be quite insecure about my thoughts and insights. Put me in a room with 150 strangers and at the end of 4 hours I’ll walk out with 150 strangers. In my virtual room, however, that introverted, often times insecure person is pushed aside by the person inside of me that is interested in developing a voice in the global conversation. During the past six months since I started this blog and began growing my PLN, I’ve noticed that I am more confident in my ability to interact with others online than I am in person. I am simply more comfortable communicating and conversing virtually than personally.
This shift has really been meaningful for me because it has allowed me to unlearn old beliefs and practices while I try transform into a 21st century learning leader. Next week, I’ll have the opportunity to meet my peers that are helping me find this voice and undergo this transformation face to face for the first time, only I won’t be in a room with strangers and I won’t be awkward or hesitant, because I will simply be catching up with old friends…for the first time.
There was a vulnerability in that voice from four years ago, a vulnerability that may have been lost a bit over time. I’m assuming that is the result of my growth and and development in this space. Perhaps it’s a sign that I am becoming too comfortable, too set in my ways, and my growth is stunted. That will be something for me to explore a bit moving forward.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the excitement of coming to Educon. The trip to Philly each January has become a pilgrimage of sorts, one that is becoming more difficult each year as the family calendar fills up with more swim meets and hockey games (thank you Kelli, Ben, Beth and Emma), but one that reinvigorates my learning, reinforces the bonds in my learning network, and today at least, reintroduces me to the learner I was three years ago.
More reflections to come…