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My First Educon

My first Educon. I love firsts. I had been so busy trying to be the enthusiastic cheerleader of using technology to inspire and create and engage students, I really didn’t notice the creative flow of energy that drives me had been slowing to a sluggish halt. I barely had time to throw clothes and boots into a carry-on Samsonite, grab my new HP mini, my Blackberry, my chargers and a few journals, and off I went. I was meetingĀ  friends-colleagues at the airport, but as usual, I arrived with little time to spare. I really get that when travelling by air, wearing less is the way to go, because undressing in the expert travelor security line at 8:00 in the morning when you haven’t had a second cup of coffee can be hazardous to everyone.

But we boarded the plan, and within an hour and a half we were on the ground in the city of brotherly love-Philadelphia-ready for the conversations to begin. I was most looking forward to visiting Ben, Franklin that is, and my PLN. I was all at once anxious, excited, and in awe as the weekend promised to be a fast paced exchange of ideas among educators passionate about their craft. Finally, a weekend devoted to what matters.

And the weekend didn’t disappoint. The exchange of ideas from educators all over the country and the world both surprised and delighted me. I loved how the students at the Science and Leadership Academy ran the show-their Principal, Chris Lehmann guided them, but they were in charge-you could tell.

I loved spending time with colleagues and meeting new people. I loved spending quiet reflective time, and time exploring the Frankin Institute and Reading Terminal. It was a weekend of learning-of being a student. It was a weekend of inquiry and dialogue. It was a weekend that modeled how we should teach and learn. I will never look at conferences and professional development workshops the same way again. I will never be the “Sage on the Stage” for my staff again. How do we expect them to be curious about learning if we don’t engage them in dialogue and conversation about what they know?

I expected this post to be more specific about what I learned and who I learned from until I sat down to write and discovered the scope is too grand. So I have taken the wholistic approach. I have been able to digest and process some of what I experienced, but I am a thinker. I will think about things like cognitive load, and copright law, and learning spaces, and the teachers I met and I will share the vision, one teacher at a time.


Cathy Brophy • February 3, 2010

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  1. Cary Harrod February 3, 2010 - 9:13 pm Reply

    Thanks for the post. I was there, too, but haven’t yet written my reflections…still processing. While you may not have written many specifics, this statement, “I will never look at conferences and professional development workshops the same way again” packs a wallop. I look forward to hearing about the ways in which you plan experiences for your staff. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Cathy Brophy February 4, 2010 - 9:24 pm Reply

      Thanks for your comment Cary! I love professional conferences-but I get bored easily unless the presenter engages the audience! I would much rather be a participant in a workshop than an observer, wouldn’t you? I can’t wait to engage my teachers and students in discussion and problem solving from now on.

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