Thursday, January 21, 2010

Anticipating Educon

The Educon 2.2 conference is only 6 days away. Educon is one of my favorite conferences of the year. It brings together the top thinkers in education and provides an environment perfect for learning from others. This will be my third Educon and knowing how fast it goes by, I'm trying to savor every minute that leads up to it.

Lisa Thumann is my conference buddy. We met three years ago at Educon and hit it off immediately. We both have two kids at home, so a trip away is both exciting and difficult for both of us. We try to make the most of our freedom, but feel the pull of home in the background. Sadly, we only see each other twice a year, at Educon and at BLC. So we tend to be a bit attached at the hip when we are together.

This year I am flying down to Educon with Danja Mahoney (also a mother of two little ones), who I met last year at Educon 2.1. Lisa is picking us up at the airport and then the fun/learning begins. Hopefully we will have time for something to eat before heading over to the panel discussion at the Franklin Institute. Last year I met a bunch of my PLN at TGI Fridays before the panel. I hope we have time to do that again.

The panel topic this year is "What is Smart?" A topic near to my heart if you follow this blog and know how much I'm into Carol Dweck and her "You're not born smart, you get smart" philosophy. I'm interested to see what the panelists have to say and if Dweck comes up in their conversation. I hope she does.

After the panel there is a reception which always feels like a whirlwind of seeing people that I know Online, but haven't met or see only rarely. There is also a meetup of Independent School educators planned by Jim Heynderickx. This will be the beginning of being pulled in many directions. So much to do, so little time.

This year I am only presenting one session on Sunday, so that leaves Saturday pretty stress free for me, except for deciding which of all the amazing sessions to attend. I'll be Tweeting a lot from the conference. You can follow my experience through Twitter. I also have put togehter a Twitter list of Educon Attendees. If you follow the list you should be able to get a taste of what is going on (let me know if you aren't on the list and I'll add you). All of the sessions at Educon are streamed live. So even if you can't attend live, you can always attend virtually.

The Sunday morning panel features former Watertown, MA resident Michael Horn. I met Michael and interviewed him a while back, but haven't seen him since he moved to sunny California. I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say and saying hello.

Lisa and I are facilitating a session on Sunday on Managing Filter Failure, Getting to the Good Stuff. We are going to use a modified Ping Pong protocol to help participants get to the heart of the problem. And then we are going to brainstorm some solutions. This will be a true conversation, no slideshows or presentation planned. I'm looking forward to seeing what we all can come up with when we put such great minds together. Although, we are up against a lot of big names during our session - hopfully we will get a few people to come brainstorm with us.

Shortly after our session it will be time to head out. I know how fast it all goes by. I'm savoring every moment leading up to it and will try to stay Zen about making the most of the experience. I'm sure I'll be blogging about it when I return. Looking forward to seeing some of you there! Be sure to say hello!
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