Thursday, August 26, 2010

A New Week & Some New Challenges

The first week of school has come and gone and the tech team has been busy trying to make sure everything has been up and running. This year, as I have stated before, our students are bringing their own connectivity and we are using as many electronic books as possible to get. All of our students have a school email address and they each have their own access to Edline which is the school's learning management system.

So what has the first week been like and what are some of the good and the bad that has happened? The tech team put together very specific instructions about how to connect to our wireless network and passed it out to our faculty. They had the chance to then work with the students on getting connected. Each teacher also has the ability to pass out access codes to Edline and then we also passed out the school email addresses to several key faculty who were in charge of specific grade levels. Along with these codes and instructions teachers were given the licenses for their particular classes and they are responsible for passing out the instructions for the ebooks in their classes.

Some of the problems that were run into were things like not enough time to get everything passed out in one class period. Students are at varying levels of connectivity and ability so it takes a little longer. Some faculty are more sure about what they are doing than others so it became a case of checking on those teachers. Machines seeking updates from the internet for windows or snow leopard or adobe. This all decreases the amount of bandwidth that is available for the things we really need to do, then compound that with the fact that while teachers are working with other students those that are connected and ready to go are using Facebook and Youtube to entertain themselves and visit with friends in other classes. Our Facebook usage was 65% of our bandwidth and Youtube usage was 35%. That doesn't leave much for the rest of what we were trying to do. We sent this information out to our faculty and reminded them about engagement in the classroom as well as if you aren't using the laptops for things in class have the students put them away. The next day those percentages dropped incredibly.

The largest problem that the tech team ran in to was suddenly we could not get students on the network at all. They were not getting an ip address assigned. After a lot of discussion and talking with some different folks we discovered that our ip pool had been drained and our DHCP server had nothing to dish out when people tried to connect. As we talked about it we have approxiamtely 230 desktops, 40-50 laptops, several dozen printers and some copiers and these are all assigned IP addresses along with our switches for managing the network. After adding another 512 ip's to the pool info started flowing. We still have some work as our leases are set for 90 days and we need to change that as a a parent could walk on campus, log on to our wireless and leave and we lose an ip address for 90 days.

We will continue tweaking our system to make it the most efficient and secure possible meaning vlan, guest network and the likes. Feel free to ask any questions as we continue on this journey this year. Our hope is to help other miss some of the obstacles that we face along the way.

So much to learn and so little time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wireless, ebooks and maybe paperless!

This week our students begin their orientation camps for the new school year. By Thursday all of our students will be in for classes. It will be an exciting year this year with a lot of changes taking place. We have asked our students to bring some type of connectivity so they can be hooked up to the wireless that we put in last summer. While a fee was charged each student for books, the school will supply whatever book is available for the class be it electronic format or hardback. Our students have email online, file storage online, learning management accounts online for their classes as well as the ability for electronic turn in of homework. We are truly encouraging our teachers to go as paperless as possible. We will see.

I hope to summarize each week how things go this year as we venture in to this area. I am sure there are some other schools doing this but I have not heard as of yet. I hope everyone has a great year and you are able to help implement the change that is needed at your school or district. Be the change you want to be in the world. (Ghandi)

So much to learn and so little time.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Are you burned out or connected?

Having just left ISTE10 and Wichita, KS where I was attending Podstock10 with Kevin Honeycutt and many others in my network of friends and folks, I continued to hear a recurring theme. The statement that I have heard way too many times in the last couple of weeks is something along these lines: "I am glad to be somewhere with like minded people so that I can get re-energized before I go back to school."

That statement alone is another great reason to work on building your network of friends, colleagues and peers. This is a way for people to be connected year round to those like minded individuals, another way for us to not be isolated islands battling the tides. Many people are in the same boat and we need to make sure that we are able to reach out and use those connections we have. These connections are important for all types of things such as our sanity, our strength, new ideas, along with other ways for us to continue to learn and branch out in our respective positions.

If you are one of those people needing to make connections, come join me, I will be more than happy to connect with you, introduce you to my network of friends. Together we are better, more knowledgeable and more energized.

So much to learn and so little time.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Random thoughts on traveling

While I haven't figured out the total miles yet, Diane and I drove close to 3,ooo on our journey from Dallas to Denver and back again with several stops in between. Here are some of my observations on the journey, some serious, most not, mainly just some thoughts.

1. When planning a journey such as this make sure to have a list and check it twice. I forgot one requested thing at school and then on the way to the highway realized that I had also left my fishing gear at the house.
2. Don't be afraid to let the spouse drive.
3. In the entire trip we came to realize that there are a lot of things moved around this country by truck and by train. A lot.
4. When driving through the panhandle of the state of Texas, if you get stopped it is best to be totally nice and polite. Even though I was only doing 74 in a 70 and using the cruise control, I said all the right things and only got a warning. His question to me was are you heading somewhere in particular? My response was to a conference in Denver. (This is a week before it started.) His reply does it start tomorrow? We both laughed as I replied no sir.
5. I was glad that New Mexico and Colorado both have 75 mph speed limits.
6. Drink lots of water. First day in New Mexico it was 94 F at 8:30 am but it was only 10% humidity. You might sweat but it evaporates so quickly that you dry out quickly and you never really feel that you are sweating..
7. It was good to travel again in this manner and see the wide open spaces of the U. S. We have a beautiful country and the ability to travel it in this manner is a fantastic privilege.
8. In Santa Fe, NM, if you are in the mood for barbecue try Whole Hog right off the main drag in Santa Fe. It is worthy.
9. Be open to all possibilities. We took side trips and did not just drive on the Interstate Highways.
10. The transition from the desert of New Mexico to the mountains of Colorado was amazing. The mountains were just spectacular.
11. Estes Park was fantastic.
12. If you are lucky to see three guys go over a hill chasing a bear, I hope you are even luckier to see them come running back safely over the hill with the bear chasing them.
13. If you come up on any road kill. you can probably make a great stew out of what is left as long as you have Mike Gras with you. Otherwise leave it for the birds. This includes armadillos.
14. It is cool in the mountains, soak it up and enjoy.
15. When you are staying in an 8K square foot house with pool and jaccuzzi, don't be surprised when all 8 of you hang around the kitchen table and the kitchen island most of the time.
16. Mike Gras is one hell of a cook and a very wonderful man to sit around with and talk to as well.
17. It is enjoyable to watch people younger than you find themselves and where they fit in.
18. It is also enjoyable to see young people thirsting to be a part and to connect.
19. If you want to find out how to be an advocate for educational technology, talk with Bud Hunt and Scott Floyd. It is tough to know two better ed-tech folks but also it is tough to know two better connected ed-tech folks.
20. Language is important, don't think it isn't.
21. I enjoy hearing different accents wherever I go.
22. Language and Literacy. Jon Becker & Ben Grey.
23. Four Square Battles are fun to watch, even if they are created by someone more than a thousand miles away. Alec Couros.
24. Scott Floyd, Mike Gras,Randy Rodgers, Dean Shareski, Adina Sullivan, Lisa Thumann,Chris Craft. You would be hard pressed to find better people to hang with, thanks for the memories.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A question seeking your definition!

At a time when I feel we should be doing everything we can to leverage the ability of our networks for all they are worth for the education of our students, I found out today that we have such a long way to go in just understanding what we do. With that in mind and before I go on a rant, would you please answer this question?

How do you define the role of the Technology Coordinator at your school, district or state?

Please no word play or semantics. Don't have one but you have a director then how would you define a technology coordinator?

Your help is greatly appreciated. And I will keep your names out of it unless you tell me otherwise.

So much to learn and so little time.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Language and credibility

I had a great time at the 4th Edubloggercon at ISTE10 and I thank Steve Hargadon for all of his hard work. I also thank ISTE for being willing to provide us the space to gather and talk about those things that are of interest to us. The whole venue gave many people the opportunity to come together and to interact.

Today I have read a few posts about Edubloggercon, one of them here by Steven Anderson, and this has caused me to do even more thinking about some of the things that took place as well as some of the things I took away. It is important that we have the connections that we have. I didn't know the origins of the term PLN but after some searching I came across this post by David Warlick that might be beneficial to any who reads this as well as the links that David includes in that post.

Disclosure #1 I have used the term PLN to refer to anyone that I connect with in any form or fashion that has helped me to grow or has been an influence in my life.

Diclosure #2 - I have achieved the status of friend with many of those same people both here and abroad as a result of the connections through social media.

Disclosure #3 - Some of those same people I am able to say that I would defend to the death.

Yesterday as Jon Becker facilitated his conversation, I saw passion and defensiveness as people defended their use of a simple term that means so many things to so many different people. I never took away any ideas that there was controversy as a result of or as a part of the discussion. To me it was merely grown ups having a grown up conversation that for me took my thinking to a depth that stirs my thoughts and on ocassion my soul. While this was not one of those soul stirring moments it was very thought provoking especially when someone asked the question what gives language it's credibility?

Disclosure #4 There are any number of people that could handle this discussion better than I, but this is my post.

We see so many words come and go in the English language, words introduced to the dictionary as a result of the use of that word or phrase, but what depth does it bring to the language? Their was not a person there, in my humble opinion, that has not used the term and truly understood it to be something very meaningful to them. I guess my problem after doing some thinking is that when we walk into the vendor hall tomorrow, how many of those terms that have been coined via our networks are we going to be using for our buzzword bingo games? We will complain about the vendors using buzz word after buzz word, but how dare anyone question my use of the terms I want to use?

Adults having adult conversations with a final hope of stirring each one of us to think a little deeper. In 5 years what will that word mean, what type of credibility will it have, what legitimacy for the English language? You are in my network, you help me to think, you allow me to celebrate life with you, you allow me to mourn with you, and allow me to give you some bit of comfort in my response back to you. We joke and kid and post pics of what we are eating.

Each of you makes me aware of so many things each day, but you are not alone. Because of my work in a school, in a district, in a state, and in a Diocese, I also am allowed to do the same things with so many people and you also get to glean some of those things from me because I bring them to other tables as well if I deem them worthy to share.

I have no way to wrap this up and make it tidy, but know I count on a lot of people and I hope that people know they can count on me. But what does give what we do credibility? What gives what we say credibility? If a simple term that I use causes people to reject my next sentence, maybe it is time that we looked deeper into how we use language and how we express ourselves.

Your thoughts?

So much to learn and so little time.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sipping vs Guzzling - ISTE 2010

I attended my first ISTE then NECC in Seattle in 1997. I paid for the opportunity to work with a great bunch of Seattle folks to learn how to properly terminate and pull both Cat 5 and fiber optic cable. We then pulled the connectivity throughout the Convention Center and work rooms for sessions and the actual convention. I learned so much and enjoyed getting to know people that we worked with, even getting to pull fiber optic cable up in the catwalk of the center. That year there were three T-1's coming in to the convention center and that was mainly for the vendors. we left all the cabling in place and then the CC was torn down 2 years later as Seattle built a new state of the art facility.

This year as I head to ISTE 2010, I wonder if the Convention Center knows who is coming to town and what is about to happen? Sure they have been working with ISTE and the University of Oregon prepping long and hard but do they really know this group of folks? While not all of the attendees are on the bleeding edge, many of these people are carrying laptops, wireless devices in their pockets and they will not be there sipping connectivity. These people will be guzzling at the trough of wireless connectivity. This is a group that uses streaming video, social networking for back channels, email, voicemail, cloud applications and I am sure many other things that I have not even mentioned here.

I am sure that if we had some way of being in what we called the War Room in Seattle in 1997, we might hear the equivalent of the Death Star dying on Monday. The question will be are the systems in place to handle the 15,000 members of the Geek Squad (with apologies to Best Buy) that are about to hit town and fully expect connectivity for every device they are carrying at the same time? I hope so otherwise I am sure the negativity on the evaluations will be loud and long.

I look forward to seeing folks and I look forward to the learning and conversations. May our connections be fast and strong.

So much to learn and so little time.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

SummerSpark to CMK2010 - Where are you learning?

Last week I attended SummerSpark 2010 hosted by The Oakridge Academy in Arlington Texas. It gave me a chance to meet Jason Kern (also known as @jasonmkern on Twitter) face to face and see the good things he is doing at Oakridge as well as spend some great time with Christian Long before his family moves to Ohio. While this was the first time for Oakridge to host this event about 60 people were there and as always there was Twitter chatter and back channeling going on while the keynotes were happening.

I sent out a tweet saying "how is it that teachers continue to pull out the same lesson plans when they have not met their students yet? Just a thought. " This tweet was then picked up by Shelly Blake-Plock, also known for his Teach Paperless twitter name and blog and he wrote about my tweet here.

While I would love to take credit for that tweet being my original thinking I can't. That statement was made by Alfie Kohn while speaking at Gary Stager's Creating Modern Knowledge in Manchester, NH two summers ago. It is a statement that has resounded in my thinking ever since I heard it. Shelly has some good things to say about it at his blog so I urge you to visit there.

But more important is this question: Have you considered attending Gary Stager's CMK 2010? Either the one day version before ISTE 2010 in Denver or his four day event in Manchester? If not why not? Some of the best minds will be in New Hampshire with Gary. The other thing I took away was creating workspace for students and then letting them do exactly that work the way they want to work, and create and solve. I laughed seeing some of the adults that were there struggling because they wanted more direction, more instruction.

So often we want to walk students step by step because WE have so much WE want to cover and yet do not give the students the time to "tinker" or "play" because that is not in the curriculum. It is time we all met our kids before we structured up the environment so that we too can learn something about them as people and not just heads in a room where we teach a subject. I hope you seriously consider CMK it will be worth your time.

Where are you doing your learning this summer?

So much to learn and so little time.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Technology and elderly parents

Well needless to say I am already behind on the month of June daily challenge to blog which started here. But the good thing is I don't want to write if I really don't have anything to say or don't truly feel the need, so maybe I am not geared for these types of challenges. Anyway I do have some thoughts and questions.

I will be the first to admit that I am very fortunate to have both my parents still with us on this earth. Right before Christmas they moved back to Dallas and are only 1 mile from my house which is great. The other day my older brother went with them to meet one of my dad's younger sisters for lunch and she mentioned that she had an email address. This apparently got my dad's interest up as he mentioned to my older brother that he wouldn't mid learning some computer so as to be able to email. My mom on the other hand worked with technology for the public school system in Dallas and when she retired she said she never wanted to see another computer. Unfortunately at this stage she is suffering from the early stages of dementia.

This got me to thinking what kind of technologies could I help my dad obtain and use that would help us to help them and also to be something that my father would enjoy using? As I thought about it my dad tries not to spend any money at all so my first thought was I have an extra laptop. But then I thought about an iPad. Sure it is the latest thing on the market but I got to thinking that if we got him a 3G iPad, he could have a gmail account, a solid state drive, he could have apps to remind him of things he needed or wanted to do and he could email his younger sister.

Then I got to thinking, what other technologies would benefit an elderly couple and help their children to be a little more comfortable in some of the ways to monitor their aging parents. I hope you have some ideas to contribute. Let me know what you think.

So much to learn and so little time.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A response to a challenge

On Monday, Memorial Day, a challenge was thrown out by this Blog - to write everyday for the month of June and become better at blogging. So I am entering the challenge.

With ISTE 2010 coming this month I am already getting excited and actually looking forward to getting to Denver. Texas is already starting to heat up and I am worried that we will have another summer like the summer of 1980. That was the year we had 59 straight days over 100 degrees. Let's hope not.

For those going to Denver there have already been several posts about what to do when you get to the conference. Beth Still has been very vocal in leading the charge to help "newbies" to the conference or those who are there for the first time or maybe even a second time but still unsure as to what to do or where to go.

I truly believe that one of the things that happens to many of us who attend is that our school pays for us, and we feel very obligated to see as much as possible to take back to our schools and that means back to back to back sessions with no time to truly reflect.

After 12 different NECC/ISTE events, I can assure you that you must take time to reflect, talk, relax and renew yourself while you learn. Yes you will still go back a better person for having gone and you will be able to help your school move forward. Trust yourself. Learn by listening, asking questions, talking to people you don't know, be willing to reach out to others and enjoy yourself.

The boat show of a vendor hall will be full of people all talking about how their product will cure what ails education at your place by using the the latest buzz words associated with education. Don't get me wrong, I talk to MY vendors and I also walk the entire hall over the three days there but I go in with an idea in mind. Have a focus on what you want to find out and then go for it. Not all at one time, spread it out.

When your head starts to swim or your eyes start to glaze over, sit down relax, visit the Blogger's Cafe and meet some folks and decompress. You will survive. I also look forward to meeting you so don't be shy.

Lots to learn and so little time.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Support Is Just a Question Away

In my previous post, I spoke about needing to talk with someone. I had some things running through my head and I wanted to make sure I wasn't off base. I just needed some good feedback. If this had taken place 3 years ago, well, first of all I would not be here, I would not have a group of people that I have networked with and I surely would not have made a Skype call to Canada or anywhere else for that matter ( I wouldn't have a MBP either but that is a whole other post someday.)!

I have heard it called a PLN (Personal Learning Network) or a PLE (Personal Learning Environment) or just NETWORKING. It matters not how you refer to it or what you call it, I truly do think however it is important to make connections with others with a broader scope than yourself. I feel that I am somewhat knowlegable in the tech world but as an icon once said "A man has got to know his limitations," and trust me I know mine.

So it came down to reaching out and I had seen Dean Shareski online through some tweets he had posted so I thought I would give Dean a shout. Not only did Dean respond, but I am sure that I could have reached out to just about anyone that was online and gotten some very good feedback to my questions that I posed to Dean. As it turned out Dean was the one I chose that day.

Too often 140 characters are not enough and the need for some genuine feedback where you can at least hear tone in the voice, or even with Skype, see the other person and their facial expressions are so very important. If you are in my network or I am in yours, please know that if you think I can answer a question or lend an ear for what you are working on I am more than willing. I know there are many out there that would also be willing and available, just call. We can't be afraid to ask, we can't be afraid of who we ask, because I think we are all truly in it for the right reasons.

Too often we get frustrated in our buildings or districts and then we are no good to anyone. We are here for the students, the learning, the possibilities and I am glad that I have that many more possibilities as a result of everyone out there. Thanks for being there Dean and responding.

So much to learn and so little time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Access, Support and Windmills

The other day Region 10 ESC had their 16th Annual Technology Planning Day and I was asked to do a presentation on the use of social media in schools and why it is important. I was looking forward to the day and came prepared with a laptop and my air card just in case and figured that there would be a lot of people in the same situation.

Well, that being said, you can imagine my shock when I estimated there were 5% or less of the 500 people in attendance that had any type of electronic device to take notes or even back channel. I realize that there are many people that are very tech savy that take notes with pen and paper but I truly was amazed.

I tweeted a few things out about the fact that night and got several responses from people mostly talking about how they use pen and paper for their note taking a well. As I mulled over the situation I finally thought I needed to talk with someone to check and see if I was reacting in the wrong way. I was fortunate that Dean Shareski was available. After a wonderful conversation with Dean I decided to post the following thoughts:

I worry that the fact that the people in the room did not have ways to electronically take notes that the possibility existed that they were not receiving equipment and possibly support from their schools/districts. If that is the case how can we expect the teachers to be willing to work toward integrating technology in their classrooms when they themselves do not have access to the very equipment necessary?

What happens with those notes and how will they be shared in a written state when these teachers return to their schools? Will they be shared, will they even make it to a file or will they simply sit in that notebook until the next conference?

Who knows, maybe I just worry too much about the wrong things but what I truly want to see are teachers that are fully supported by their IT staffs, their schools and their districts so that they can do the best possible job for our students.

Your thoughts or am I just tilting at windmills? I hope not, our kids need us in so many ways.

More to learn that is for sure.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Message should be the Medium

I learned a tough lesson this week. Our annual GeoTech conference was taking place at the school with some great keynoters and presenters. I was asked to present on a couple of different topics and was looking forward to it.

In all my years of being a technology director I have presented or been a part of 6 presentations total, so I am not fluent by any stretch of the imagination. I have alwasy been the support for others who have presented. I decided I would use Prezi for my first presentation titled Building and Maintaining a PLN. I got so focused on the tool itself -Prezi - that I didn't cover my topic the way I wished that I had. While my focus should have been the message it wasn't and as a result the presentation lacked a great deal. I truly feel that if I cover the topic as well as possible the tool should not matter, even though I know that presentation has a lot to do with it. I believe a fully functional message will pretty much take care of itself. The way it is presented is icing on the cake.

So, on to the next opportunity to present which will be in May at Region 10 and an attempt to fully convey the message that I have been asked to deliver. I thank all those I have watched present that always get their message across. I will be watching them much more closely.

Still so very much to learn.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

TCEA and their App

Probably one of the best things to happen at TCEA is the TCEA App. I can not tell you the number of times I have pulled out my iPhone and been able to quickly look up vendors, check my sessions that I have placed on the calendar and I am sure there many other things that this app will do but I have not figured them out as of yet.

ISTE I hope you are paying attention to what your state affiliates are doing because in texas we are doing some good things and this app would be nice to have for Denver and ISTE 10.

I think I will go and explore some more.

Lone Star Edubloggercon

This year at Texas Computer Education Association, the powers to be decided to give an Edubloggercon a chance to work. I am sure that they are probably glad they did. However, later talking with some folks who wondered what I had gone to see, they asked for an explanation of exactly what an eubloggercon is and why should they attend?

Just so you know an edubloggercon is not simply about blogging. It is a one day "unconference" conference that gives people who are passionate about something a place where they can let others know not only about their passion but also a chance to enter into conversations with others who have that same passion. A place to share and learn and talk openly as opposed to the traditional sit and get of a conference.

At varying times yesterday we had close to 75 people in different rooms talking about Moodle, or podcasts and how to build their own pln and people truly seemed to be enjoying themselves. The day ended with a panel discussion on how best to get teachers more invovled in 2.0 tools and such. The passions came out during that session but yet remained civil enough to have the discussion. A fun time was had by all.

Many thanks to TCEA for allowing the Edubloggercon to happen and making the space for it, thanks also to Steve Hargadon for allowing us to advertise Lone Star Edubloggercon on the origianl Edubloggercon wiki and thanks to those who showed up and took a chance on something you knew nothing about. I hope you were able to take away something new as a result.

I know I did. I am now looking forward to ISTE 10 in Denver and Edubloggercon there.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow days = School days or at least they should!

Today was an interesting day. Last night an artic blast of very cold air made it's way to Texas and beyond. The problem started with the precipitation that was falling before the temp got below 32 F. Anyway there was lots of ice in many areas of the roads to the point that some freeways here got shut down due to the ice and accidents. We initially decided on a late start and then ended up calling off the day and switching to our online curriculum. Our problem with students is that we have no set boundaries that we draw from and some of our faculty travel 45 miles one way to teach at BD.

On the second call notification that I sent out, it was a simple statment: "Due to declining road conditions and the weather school will not meet today. Students are to check their online classes in Edline for today and follow the red day schedule." This was also sent out to our students and parents in email, on Facebook as well as through our school Twitter feed.

So what does moving to our online curriculum do for the students and the faculty as well as the school? It keeps the process moving forward. We don't lose a day. After spending time with the Diocesan office and explaining what we do and how we do it they agreed to let us give it a go. They were pleased about the approach we wanted to take. We started working with the Diocese last year on this venture but our online programs have been in place for more than 4 years. Our online coordinator lives in Wisconsin and he is helped by another teacher that is located in New York. They both travel to meet with students and parents face to face about 4 times a year. At other times they are in contact via email, phone and twitter. There are specific subject teachers at the school that students can work with if they need.

Today I have had several emails from students who were not able to log in to Edline or needing their school email address and password as they were not able to log in at all. I would hope nearly every school has the ability to do the same thing that we did today. Also know that while we are a private school, we are also an inner city school with at least half of our student population qualifying for free or reduced lunch if we were part of that program. So please, do not think we are some rich, private school because we are not.

We will evaluate tomorrow how today went but later in the year we will not be looking for a day to have school, we were there today online.

The tools that we all have available at Bishop Dunne are Edline and in Edline we have the ability to send out email to each of our classes both students and parents. We also have the ability in Edline to set up discussions, online homework turn in as well as quizzes or tests. Each student at the school is also given their own school email address that is web based and virus checked. Individual teachers then can take it a step or two further and use things like DimDim, Skype, or other free online 2.0 tools to work with their students.

I hope that you are working on the same things with your students to help them become learners no matter what the circumstances.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Conversations and Educon 2.2

My boss called me in today and asked what conferences I was going to and who I was taking with me. We all know it has been a lean year and it gets even leaner when you are an inner city, priivate school. I told her I would gladly be willing to go to Philadelphia to attend Educon. She said make sure you take someone with you as long as they will get something out of it. Anyway, I spoke to my curriculum director and aksed her to look over the Educon 2.2 material online and see what she thought.

She came back with it looks very good. We got her registered and now we are working on flights and such as well as accomodations for the trip. This will be my second year to attend Educon and for me I am sure it will be a calmer experience now that I have the first one under my belt. I met so many people face to face that I knew online and I was almost star struck seeing all of these people walk around and then to be able to sit in a room and hear them begin the conversations that were so good. The biggest problem was the fact that I couldn't get to everything and listen live.

My hope is that my curriculum director will get as much out of this trip and find it as meaningful as I did last year. When I returned last year I told my boss there were more meaningful discussions that weekend than any conferences I had been to all together. No when I attend conferences I do it so much differently. I attend with what I need to learn for myself and for my faculty. I look for ways to engage, enliven and energize students as well as faculty members.

If you are going to Philadelphia, I look forward to seeing you there and hopefully learning with you or from you. I hope I can contribute to your learning as well.

So little time to try and get it all done and rolling in the right direction. Safe travels.