Random Thoughts

From BLC to Bangkok

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What a whirlwind end to my summer. Seattle – St. Louis – Boston – Back to Seattle – then on to Bangkok. I landed at 11pm on Sunday night and started work at 7am Monday morning. Take three days to make sure all computers are working, all Smartboards and projectors are plugged in and that new teachers are up to speed. Then….bring on the students!

Hence the reason why I’m just now getting around to writing a reflection on the BLC conference in Boston.

placeholder 2The easiest place to begin is with the Keynotes. By far the best three keynotes at one conference I’ve ever heard. Starting with the inspiration of Ben Zander, looking Beyond the Crash with Stephen Heppell and finishing up with looking at Knowledge in the Age of the Internet with David Weinberger was a perfect setup.

What I liked about the conference was the size. At right around 1000 people there was enough people to have great discussions and to fill the presentation rooms, but not more than the conference center could handle. The sessions were great, the WIFI worked well, and the participants were eager to learn and discuss.

I gave two presentation at BLC one titled Beyond E-Mail which looked at the changing nature of school communication using web based tools. The other Moving from Consumers to Producers of Knowledge was a session that I gave twice. I was able to record it and create an enhanced podcast of the session. You can view it here, or download it here (iTunes Link).

Overall I had a great summer. Was able to see 11 baseball games in 6 weeks. 7 at Safeco Field watching my Mariners play. 2 at the Short A Texas Ranger’s Farm team in my home town of Spokane, WA. A game in Baltimore at Camden Yards and to top it off a game at Fenway Park in Boston.

Now that summer is over, time to get back into the routine. Try something new, break a few things along the way, and just have fun learning everyday. I went into teaching because I love to learn, and there is no greater place if you like to learn than at a school. 🙂

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


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  3. Jeff,
    Your last line, “there’s no greater place if you like to learn than at a school.” Hit me particularly hard this morning. It validated the decision I made to leave administration and return to teaching. These last few weeks have been filled with making (then sharing) the decision, transitioning and now in the last day or so it’s becoming more real as I just saw my classroom and in just a few days, I’ll greet my new 4th graders. As with all big decisions, you always wonder if you made the right one. Your blog post was the perfect article for me to read this morning. Thanks (and lovely seeing you again at BLC09). ~Lee

    • Lee,

      It was great to see you again at BLC09. Have a great year and enjoy your 4th graders. Still my favorite grade!

  4. Hi Jeff,
    It was great meeting you, and I’m sure that now that I’m heading East I’ll have more opportunities to connect.
    The first few slides in my ‘The POD’s are Coming!’ presentation say, “Our schools will never be the same again!” and shift from this being something feared to something our students are ready for… your ‘Moving from Consumers to Producers of Knowledge’ exemplified that. It really is time for us to stop talking about the shift and start living it NOW.
    I love your line, “Try something new, break a few things along the way, and just have fun learning everyday.” We need to be in a place where we challenge ourselves and where mistakes are ok!
    “If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.” ~F. Wikzek

  5. Karen Huber Reply

    I agree…the classroom is the place to learn! I will tech 6th grade this year for the first time. This summer, I have been learning many things! I took a Literacy class that included 2 days of using tech while teaching reading and writing. I also took a Web 2.0 tools class to learn how to incorporate more tech into my lessons. I went to a 2 day tech conference and heard Alan November speak. Yes, DEFINITELY “school” is the best place to learn.

    • Sounds like you are ready for a new school year! Make sure you share your own learning as you incorporate more tech into your lessons.

  6. “Try something new, break a few things along the way, and just have fun learning everyday.” Thanks for the reminder, Jeff. And, when you do break something, don’t forget to say “FANTASTIC”!!
    I agree that the size of the BLC conference was great and it was kind of like a “Best of..” Chances were you were going to end up in a quality session instead of huge conferences where you feel like you’re rolling the dice.
    Glad you made it home safe and sound…

    • Thanks Lisa.

      Broke my first thing yesterday…..took me about 30 minutes to fix it and learned something new in the process. Remember Rule #6 is my goal for this year. 🙂

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