Today, Sunday, I am frantically chasing my disorganized tail trying to pack my essentials (and non-essentials) to head off on a fantastic Study Tour hosted by ACCE. Part of our tour takes us to NZ and San Franciso, ending at the National Education Computing Conference in San Antonio organized by ISTE.
This is an exciting opportunity for me, and I am very grateful to my wonderful school for allowing me to take part in this professional technology tour and event.
Just think – on the tour I will be networking with some fabulous educators from Australia – catching up in person with some of our online leaders, and meeting others from around the country, who are either leading innovation in their schools, or facilitating innovation in some way in their school districts.
Then in San Antonio I will meet so many more of my online contacts, and have the opportunity to learn so much from the various sessions. As part of the tour we have some special opportunities to meet with key people – but more on that later.
But there’s even something more special. As Cathy said “It seems surreal to think I’m on the list for presenting in a panel discussion” – me, way over there in San Antonio. Imagine my excitement about collaborating with Joyce Valenza, Carolyn Foote, Cathy Nelson, Diane M Cordell, and Kim Cofino who will join us remotely. I know there are lots of bright sparks from Australia who regularly go to NECC, and even present sessions. But me? I am just thrilled to have this opportunity to collaborate, share, make connections and build an even stronger professional learning community than I already have.
The Jokaydians are going to get together ‘in world’ – those at NECC will be able to share a bit of the goodness in our favourite online meeting space. We have a strong connection with ISTE, being regular participants in ISTE events to keep the Aussie and US connection strong!
We also have a wonderful story being shared about an Australian Skoolaborate initiative! Westley Field and Lindy McKeown will explain the work they have done in setting up a Teen Second Life project that some of our schools have had the good fortune to join.
I will also be looking forward to meeting up with people who have joined Second Classroom – a very new Ning space supporting educators working in 3D immersive environments. There is such a growth in immersive environments, which is totally amazing and exciting. Whether its Teen Second Life, Quest Atlantis, Open Sim, Twinity or more, we need to share our experiences if we are going to keep pace with the technology opportunities around us. Join Second Classroom and share your questions, experiences, and ideas with us all!
(Psssssss. If you are at NECC, keep an eye out for Dean Groom, who just might have an Open Sim that runs of a thumb drive to share with you!)
The Tour group will be blogging their tour. So you will see a few posts from me about key sights and events. I will also probably use Jottit to help me store information to share. I just love how simple that tool is for recording and sharing without the whole ‘live blogging’ thing.