One of the primary reasons I got into blogging and podcasting was because they offered me the ability to virtually attend conferences that I wasn’t able to get to in person. Event hough I couldn’t be there, I could still learn from the people who were. The ‘conference effect’ is in full force right now throughout the edu-blogosphere!
Typically, most people think of summer as down time for teachers. Based on what I’ve been reading, that’s a far cry from reality. Let’s take a quick look at the last few weeks before we turn our binoculars forward on the timeline to July.
At the end of May, the West Coast team kicked off the conference season with the first Regional Institute. If you needed proof that they’ve got an intense amount of spirit out west, I think this will satisfy you.
At the South Regional Institute in Dallas, an all out war seemed to break out. Don’t worry, nobody was hurt. It was just a friendly game of laser tag to kick things off. Guest bloggers have been sharing their experiences all week long.
Meanwhile, in Chicago the Midwest Regional Institute has been packed full of learning… and pizza. Will Richardson shared his vast knowledge of blogs, wikis, podcasts and social networking with the teachers gathered there. It didn’t take long for blogging to catch on, and there’s been a slew of blog posts since then. As if that weren’t enough, they’ve also been sharing their resources on a wiki.
The Southeast Regional Institute has to get the award for the most colorful. Everybody was given a blank painter’s palette that they used to track their progress throughout the week. By the end, they filled their palettes with Networking, Discovering, Sharing, Encouraging, Creating, Producing, Mastering, Exhibiting, Teaching and Documenting. Check out the amazing resources that Hall shared with the folks in Hot’lanta!
There’s also been quite a bit of action at the Northeast Regional Institute, and I’m not just talking about the workshops! Mother Nature has decided to attend and she must have been a little bit cranky. Between torrential rains lightning storms and blackouts of both power AND internet (which is worse??), they’ve managed to fill the time with laughter and learning. Check out the Northeast Wiki to see some of what they’ve been up to.
Whew! And that’s just the begining! Next week many of us will be reunited at NECC in San Diego. Now that so many people have had a chance to experience blogging first hand, I expect to see a flood of posts describing every keynote, workshop and poster session. The following week the DEN is hosting the National Leadership Conference in Silver Spring. And the summer won’t even be half way over yet.
Think the summer is just for kicking back and relaxing? Think again. It’s the perfect time for learning and based on what I’m seeing, teachers are doing plenty of it and taking us along for the ride!