Friday, August 5, 2011

140edu: Ideas and the Need to Reach Out

I remember hearing great feedback from people who attended the #140 Conference in New York a while back. It wasn't education related per se, but people who went we so glad they did. When I heard that there was going to be a 140edu conference in August, I signed up immediately.

My Reasons for Going
The conference was broadcast via the #140conf NYC Ustream channel. I know from experience that I don't sit down and really watch Ustream the way I attend to a live event. I'm not a city girl, but I knew that I could make it up to 92nd Street. Attending is also another way of reaching out to the educators that make up the online part of my learning network. Relationships become so much stronger when you can meet in person.

The Need to Reach Out
At the end of Kim Sivick's talk, Global Collaboration for Elementary Age Children, an audience member asked where she could find global collaborative partners. I took out a little Moo Card with my contact information and planned on giving it to her at the end of the talk. I didn't feel right standing up while the talk was still going on. Sadly, the person left the auditorium before I could reach out to her. I knew what she was wearing, but couldn't find her the rest of the day. It was something I had talked about in one of my sessions at ntcamp last Saturday. I had gathered some resources on a Google Doc and would have been happy to exchange email addresses or talk with her over the phone.

During the conference, a few of the EdCamp NYC organizers and I went out to lunch. Our next unconference is on October 1 at The School at Columbia University. The EdCamp NYC link in this post will take you to our web page where you can reserve a free ticket to the event. Katy Gartside and I wanted to brainstorm ways to bring more teachers to our unconference...specifically teachers who don't connect in online spaces. In addition to Karen Blumberg and Deven Black (from the EdCamp NYC team), we had @21stcenturychem and Michael Doyle sharing their thoughts.

After lunch, Katy and I had the pleasure of speaking with Mo Krochmal (@Krochmal). He had been filming and taking photos during the day and stopped to share the fact that I could find a video of our impromptu Zumba session on the Social Media News NY Facebook page. Incidentally, videos of the #140edu talks are on that Facebook page, as well.

Mo was so interesting to talk to. He has had a varied career including education. He shared the idea of putting a post up on the Social Media News Facebook page to ask for ideas on getting the word about EdCamp NYC out to the teacher on the street. I hope we have the pleasure of seeing him on October 1st.

Reaching Out in Other Online Spaces
As I was thinking about the #140edu conference, I kept coming back to the educator who asked how to find global collaborative partners. As I was thinking, I noticed a few requests to connect on LinkedIn and remembered that I had created a LinkedIn group for ntcamp and EdCamp NYC. As I was tweeting out a link to the ntcamp group, I started thinking about LinkedIn groups as a potential way to help connect people who may not choose to participate in Twitter but have been to events such as the #140edu conference.

Remembering the Lessons Taught in School
I am an organizer of EdCamp NYC so I had no problem creating it's LinkedIn group. I asked the ntcamp organizers before I created that group. Jeff Pulver and Chris Lehmann were extraordinary hosts at the #140edu conference. Jeff really "owns" the 140 brand and I didn't want to do anything with a LinkedIn group without his knowledge. Before the conference, Jeff must have followed all the people registered for the conference, so it was easy enough to send him a Direct Message via Twitter. I let him know what I wanted to do and asked permission to use the 140 logo for the group. He said it was fine as long as I listed him as a "co-host" of the group.

I am always trying to teach my students respect for other people's work. This is another example for me to share at school. If you reach out, and let people know what you are trying to do, they are often very gracious in helping you out and giving you permission. Jeff was very generous in quickly replying so I could get the group started.

#140edu LinkedIn Group
Now there is a LinkedIn group for the conference. I am not sure who will or won't join. It is another way to try to reach out into the community. More and more people are joining LinkedIn and Facebook. By having groups in those places, we may be able to help those people in the audience who don't know how to start a global collaboration or find a connection to someone they'd like to talk more with after a live event.

My Other Takeaways
The 92nd Street Y was really easy to get to. I did not brave the subway, but it was an easy taxi ride from Penn Station. I sat in the auditorium for almost every talk and took detailed notes in a Google Doc for Tuesday and Wednesday. Feel free to take a look. A wonderful stranger (or maybe someone I knew) in the audience was editing the document with me. They weren't signed in to Google, so I really don't know who it was. Thank you, whoever you are, for adding links and a table of contents!

I have so many ideas and thoughts that will continue to circle in my mind my. I will be going back through the documents and reviewing the videos. I'll probably eventually post some thoughts here over time. 

Image Citation:
Ann Oro Creative Commons Attribution

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