One of my favorite annual conferences is concluding today–> BLC09. Once again attending has eluded me. Some day, some how. I did share with a friend though that I will not go unless it is with a team, and our goal is to return to our school (or district) and be a catalyst for change–change in pedagogical practice and/or engaged learning. Going alone would be fun, no doubt, as I would have f2f time with many friends, both virtual and real, and learning in a social and stimulating setting just can’t be dismissed. But for the gi-normous expense, there has to be more of a return on that investment, and going alone, I just don’t see a high return potential.
So it is with some trepidation that I followed this week, and yes I followed. I went through many steps of anger and resentment, self inflicted for sure. I tried to play the blame game too, knowing it wasn’t anyone’s fault that I could not go. Confessions are cleansing right?
But I need not despair too much. There has been a twitter stream tagged #BLC09, a flickr stream of shared pictures (BLC09 Group, or just the flickr tag BLC09), and virtual friends a plenty to answer my questions or comment back to me from the conference to keep me in the know, if not down right interacting with the conference itself. (Special thanks to Joyce and Lisa!!)
But I must also give a nod to Bob Sprankle, who has been steadily recording sessions (with permission) to release as podcasts. I still have the cds I burned and checked out to colleagues at school last year, and will once again make CDs this year, encouraging folks to check them oout and listen. I made complimentary copies for my principal and superintendent last year, and will in all likelihood do the same this year. How will I enjoy them? They will be downloaded to my iPod and I’ll be listening back and forth on my commute to school–almost an hour drive this year. So I must thank Bob Sprankle for giving me a stimulating drive back and forth to work with the current offerings recorded at BLC, and for the highly interesting podcasts Bit by Bit and Seedlings. You and your friends (Alice Barr, Cheryl Oakes, and guests, etc.) never disappoint. For this reason, I aptly titled this post “TIA Bob Sprankle!”