NECC 2008 - If we don't like NECC Unplugged, we can change it
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
I'm worried these type of get out the tools and play sessions where we are all learning and teaching will be forced out of the Blogger's Cafe. They are unplanned, unscripted, great discussions around tools, ideas, and just plain old good fun.
I believe that there is a place for NECC Unplugged and people being able to have quick shares. Bur I do believe that the scheduled nature of this venture, while being created for all of the right reasons, is keeping those who may be late to the party, the ability to share.
I guess I am advocating for a rallying call to arms, a reclaiming of the Blogger's cafe space. Like Travis, Crockett, and Bowie, and the other Texans, many whose statues are in the hallway right outside of the Blogger's Cafe, I am willing to defend the turf from the invasion and instrusion in order to allow for those, who like me, just want a place for informal learning and reflection. Anyone want to join?
In other words, if NECC Unplugged isn't working for us, we don't have to see it to its conclusion. We can adapt on the fly. Isn't that one of our strengths as a group?
One final note: A lot of people in the Blogger's Cafe today weren't interacting with anyone. They were typing away or simply resting and watching. I'm guessing that many weren't even bloggers but were simply conference attendees who found an open seat. We have to be cognizant of this too. Although Vinnie and Jeff don't fall into this camp, there may be folks who prefer the more structured approach of NECC Unplugged instead of a more free-for-all conversation.
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