Wow 2 years has flown by. It is my blog birthday THIS FRIDAY. I don’t know if my blogging skills have grown, but some of my earlier posts are downright laughable. My very first post was about the K12 Online Conference too. Maybe the K12 Online Conference is the sole inspiration for my blogger’s heart. I’m glad my first post wasn’t really an introduction like so many I have read before. Does that make me unique? I did afterall, just dive in. It was a rocky start, as I actually ditched Blogger for Edublogs early, and now recently have moved out onto my own domain. Those are definite benchmarks in this blog anyway.
The birth of an idea
I first began hearing about blogs and podcasts in Philadelphia at NECC 2006 2005. This is when I began reading a lot of bloggers. In my earlier days I want to say I read or listened to Joyce Valenza, Bob Sprankle, Hall Davidson, Will Richardson, Kathy Schrock, and David Warlick. I spent a lot of wasted time visiting their blogs daily to see if there was new content. Using their blog rolls and comments, I found a lot of other reads with rss, though at the time, RSS didn’t really make a lot of sense to me.
In vitro with RSS
Then about a year later, I discovered aggregators. Before I went to NECC 2006 in San Diego, I was reading most of the feeds I subscribed to through Bloglines. This also gave me some guidance in selecting sessions to attend, as I had happened upon the crowd that blogs and writes about educational technology to also be attending and some even presenting at the conference. But i was shy, and very much a sponge. So I just attended their sessions and kept my mouth closed. These blogs were all raving about that K12 Online Conference.
The blog is birthed
The K12 Online Conference was all the bait I needed. I tuned in live to the opening keynote on October 16, 2006, which was given by David Warlick. The title of the keynote, Derailing Education: Taking Side Trips for Learning, made me suddenly realize that he and others were speaking a whole new language to me–one I desperately needed to evangelize in my own circles. The language had to do with global education, authentic use of technology, and about making learning and school RELEVANT to today’s learners. This was the kick start to my blog. The very next day I created a blog. I didn’t have any idea where it would take me, or even how it might change me. I just dove in.
Fast-forward to NECC 2007 in Atlanta. Suddenly I decided to get to know the people I was reading more. There was an Edublogger Con planned as a free preconfernece to NECC, and so I decided to attend–tagging along with my friend Chris Craft. What a GREAT experience. I met many people that day, and it was surreal to be around them and realize I was face to face with my reader. Quite frankly it made me feel star-struck. I will never forget Joyce Valenza walking up to me and greeting me by name, telling me I looked JUST like my avatar (since my avatar is a picture of myself.) I met Doug Johnson then too, though I’m sure my shyness at this event didn’t warrant notice from anyone in particular that wasn’t from the school library world. But the impact on my interactions with those people was immediate and gratifying. Suddenly I felt like a part of a network, long before the term professional learning networks became hip. I participated in K12 Online 2007 too, and even advertised it here on my blog, at school with my immediate colleagues, and state wide via my state library association, SCASL. I have learned much thanks to the blogging world. I can credit many, but I especially want to give a nod to Chris Craft and Sue Waters, and even Edublogs.
Spending time at NECC 2008 in San Antonio brought familiar faces, rekindled friendships, and more. I attended Educon back in January of this year too. GREAT experiences, both. I will also spend time this week promoting K12 Online for the opening keynote and then the two weeks of fantastic sessions that are to come. I personally can’t wait. I also want to say what a FANTASTIC Blog birthday gift this week–>the K12 Online Conference 2008!