Saturday, October 18, 2008

Now I Know The Way to San Jose!

I had a great time at ILC2008. After the initial realization that I WAS in the right place (there were less than 1000 people in attendance), I totally enjoyed myself and particularly liked that the conference was small. It gave me a chance to spend time and converse with new friends and some people I met for the first time but had "known" online. It was also a great opportunity to hang with my good friends from Discovery Education. It's always such a pleasure to spend time with Matt, Jannita, Scott and Hall. These past few days allowed me to spend even more (informal) time with them, just hanging around and getting to know them on a more personal level. Hall was so gracious and attentive that he even sacrificed his last meal in San Jose, to take me for my first In-N-Out burger!

Online to F2F
I enjoyed spending time with Collette Cassenelli, and Jerry Green and my other online pals, such as Derrall Garrison , Diane Main, Rushton Hurley, Alice Mercer, Matt Montagne, Mark Wagner, and Chris Walsh at our EduBloggerCon. It's always fascinating to chat with others who are facing the same challenges and to learn about their successes.

I also had the pleasure of spending a few hours with Gary Stager. This is Gary holding up the t-shirt I "modified" for him. I knew he'd love it because he's such a huge fan of BrainPOP.

Dinner with Danny Forster and Carol Anne McGuire
My friends at Discovery, invited me to join them for dinner with Danny Forster and Carol Anne McGuire. Danny is the host of Build It Bigger on the Discovery Channel and Carol is the "lead rocker" at Rock Our World.

Now, I know nothing about construction and can't even fake an interest but the conversation with Danny was fascinating. Just listening to him tell his story and engage with all of us was most enjoyable.

Danny on Twitter?
He didn't quite understand the concept of Twitter or why anyone listening to a keynote speech for example, would want to "degrade" their experience while attempting to Twitter while they engage. He was not arrogant about it, either. He really wanted to understand. Not sure if my explanation really swayed him, but I know I gave him something think about. He obviously had not enough to think about, so this was good.

Carol Anne McGuire
Meeting Carol and her husband, Bobby, was one of my best ILC2008 experiences. Carol and Bobby are just the warmest, friendliest people who I absolutely loved spending time with these last few days. We had dinner, lunch, went to the tech museum and we even went to the mall! Speaking of shopping, I loved these shoes Carol was wearing, only to find out that she had them handpainted by a friend. I guess I'll never see a pair of these on my feet!

Carol's project, Rock Our World, is really something to check out. Watch this video that her students wrote, filmed and edited, and just be amazed! Her students, by the way, are all blind and sight-impaired.

In her closing keynote, Carol talked about finding a mentor and sticking with people who don't drain the life out of you or suck the energy out of a good idea. I loved her comment about never taking a good idea into the teachers' lounge! I've been in schools where you would not take a good idea to any area where there were more than a few other teachers and I've also been in schools where those great ideas are embraced and encouraged to flourish. What a difference it can make when your school consists of positive and smart people. Our task is to seek those people out and avoid the energy -suckers!

Now I Know The Way To San Jose
Having never been out to California, I had a little trouble adjusting to the time difference especially when folks from work and home would call me first thing in THEIR morning. When I opened Twitter at night I found a whole bunch of my west coast Twitter friends actively Twittering. It makes sense that they'd be actively online, while we (on the east coast) are asleep and therefore have just a small window of overlap.

I'm sorry I couldn't spend more time. If I ever return to CA, I'd love to visit San Francisco and especially, Los Angeles. I always thought it would be most cool to do the "Hollywood" thing but now I think the best part about visiting LA, would be being able to visit with Carol and Bobby again. They even said I'd have a place to stay if I ever came out. I hope, some day, to take them up on that offer!


The Mind Machine said...

Sorry I did not get a chance to meet you. If you ever want to come back to California for a good conference the CUE annual in Palm Springs next March would be worth your time. You can do the Hollywood thing as well

MrsA said...

I followed your adventures in San Jose on twitter. Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all. If only we could all just attend conferences once a month and meet up f2f and share and learn from each other. Virtual conference, tweets, plurks, ustreams, podcasts, blogs with my PLN are the next best thing.


Joe said...


Thanks for making the trek all the way out west. I enjoyed your Delicious presentation and picked up a few great ideas for using it with my students.