Believe it or not, this was my first TCEA convention. I am thankful that my school foundation was willing to send me, and my principal was willing to find resources to allow me to eat, sleep, and drive there. I learned some new things this week, was inspired to continue what I am doing, collaborated with new friends, and cemented old friendships.
When I wasn't in a workshop or presentation, I was in the Digital Square. On the first day, one of my colleagues commented to me, "Gosh, you know everyone." My response, "I'm on Twitter." I follow, I RT (retweet), I favorite, all in the name of learning more, connecting more, and building relationships. After almost 2 years of being on Twitter, I can truly say I have learned more as an educator because of the relationships that have stemmed from my PLN.
But, by far, the informal conversations I had in the Digital Square were my favorite part of the whole week. There is something extraordinary about having conversations with other connected educators. I was able to connect with David Jakes and Christian Long. They are involved in educational design, and all the sessions they led were very relevant for me. At school, I am working on a huge project which is going to transform our classrooms. I appreciated David's willingness to answer all of my questions. Also, he is a fellow Chicagoan, so I am a little biased.
On Friday, I got to be a part of a podcast with Miguel Guhlin, Tim Holt, Scott Laleman, and Jake Duncan. I met Miguel Guhlin last summer at ISTE and had a brief conversation that inspired me. I can't even particularly remember what he said, but he was down-to-earth and accessible. He was willing to chat with me (a relative nobody to him) and discuss education. This was the first time I met Tim and Scott, but after listening to their ideas and knowledge, I know these guys are great ones to have in my PLN. Jake always shares AMAZING tools with me. As educators, we need to have more conversations like this, ones that challenge & inspire us.
After Jake returned from his session (tELL me a cuento, por favor), we worked on an episode for our podcast, Cutting Edgucation. It was nice to be able to process the week with him. Future episodes with definitely stem from our learning last week.
I'll be sharing more of what I learned in the next few weeks, but until then, if you aren't on Twitter, you should be. Because it really is about the relationships.