A little more than a year ago, I started down this road...or perhaps down this rabbit hole...into the world of networking, collaboration, and high speed learning. One of the first people I met on my journey was Lisa Durff. Durff, as I came to know her, is welcoming, encouraging, and inspirational. She is also a person of vast knowledge of the goings-on online. It was she who steered me in the direction of the K12 Online Conference in 2007.
When I came into the conference last year, I was confused about the workings. Luckily, there were so many people to help out. I quickly learned two important things: 1. It was free and 2. All of the presentations were online as videos or podcasts. That meant the learning happened on my time.
The first video I watched: Lisa Durff's, of course. I then moved on to presentations by people I had never heard of before. Why did I choose them? Sometimes the title of the presentation grabbed me. Sometimes it was because they were being talked about in twitter or in the live Elluminate sessions during the conference. One that stood out for me was Dean Shareski's. I had never heard of him before (I was, afterall, a true noob) but learned a great deal. And later, when I decided to try what he was discussing, I (gulp) contacted him for some help. And, guess what?! He gave me some of his time. Now that's true professional development.
So here I am one year later. As you know, much has changed for me. I have a larger network and know most of the people presenting at this year's conference. Dean actually says hello to me if we meet in person and I am honored to say I know who he is. I am one of the presenters at the conference this year. In fact, I should be editing my video now. ;) And I am on the public relations committee.
I like being on the public relations committee. I love this conference. I love that it's free. I love that all the presentations are videos which can be accessed at my own convenience. I love that there are live events that I can join in and connect with others about various presentations. Mostly, though, I love learning.
October is coming. The conference officially begins the week of October 13th. But teasers have been up for a few weeks. These are nice little ads for each presentation. The excitement is building. Are you going to join in? If this is your first time, there is a link on the site for "first timers". It's very helpful. Check out the schedule and try to attend at least one live event. Maybe we will meet there. See you soon.