And there is another exciting project that I haven't talked enough about — the kickoff of Edubloggerworld is this Thursday.
There are so many things that are being worked on with this, but here is the idea.
- A centralized clearinghouse for FREE non-commercial events for educators — whether you are a blogger or not. (perhaps including the word blogger is a misnomer — it is sort of by bloggers but for all educators.) We have a calendar in airset and anyone who signs up as a global greeter can add dates.
- What is a global greeter? The goal is to have someone from every country. It is time to truly have international cooperation. In fact, several groups have already been created on the ning for other countries, but we need more. But a global greeter is someone that a new person can contact to say “Hey, give me some direction here – how can I connect into the edublogosphere, SLedusphere, webcastedusphere, or whatever your interest is. “
But it is about connecting real educators who help each other. And as we sign up the greeters, we hope to help facilitate a core group to help with this sort of thing using wikis, and some smart, planned tagging.
- How do we plan and talk? We have a wiki to discuss and talk, and it is a work in process. We're all so busy, but there are some things we need to hash out.
For example, there are some incredible presentations that got rejected for k12online this year (yes, yes, including Julie's and my ambitious plans to create a flat classroom project for as many educators as possible that wasn't accepted either) that need to be brought out.
I want to hear one colleague on assessing in a Web 2 world, and from several others. We want to facilitate an edubloggercon of sorts, where you can post that you have an idea for a session — and express the type of method you'll use — an elluminate room you operate, a skypecast, a webcast, or just a post and intentional discussion about a topic — then, via the wiki, people interested in attending can “sign up” to attend — you come up with a time, post it on the group calendar and have the meeting.
My background is in being left out. In fact, I relive it every day with two middle schoolers who have many of the same issues I had. ( My daughter and I had a good cry tonight on her being chosen last for everything today.) I know what it is like to feel like you have something to contribute and to be ignored.
This is an effort to make a place where we can contribute and learn from one another — where newcomers are welcome and we talk about how to improve communications between ourselves.
For example, I've been very “out of it” in July and August and feel like I know nothing of what is “going on.”
There should be a place that facilitates people plugging in to the great free resources out there and be a place to facilitate people BEING great free resources out there!
Join in. I'm hosting a small gathering in Elluminate on Thursday at 3:30 pm EST – 4:15 pm EST — and will post the link on the edublogger ning on Thursday. (To convert the time, set yourself up on airset, and then access the calendar, it will convert all events to your time.) It is your chance to come in and for us to use the whiteboard to talk about some ideas and issues we have with the way the edublogosphere is going and to talk about how we can make things better.
This doesn't mean that what we're doing is broken — it can just perhaps be better. I have a good non-blogger friend who reads the blogosphere — that often talks about the problem with the blogosphere is that we read each other's work and we think “that's it” — if you don't blog, you don't exist.
Then, you've got the majority of people who bloggers often lament “don't get it” – it is not that they “don't get it” but that no one has connected with them in a way that makes their lives better. In fact, who says that everyone has to be just alike anyway? I don't like it when people say “they don't get it” — we all have the same aim (hopefully) a world class education. And if that is so, if it is relevant and we show them tools that will help them do their job better — it doesn't really matter if they like us or not — we've helped enable better education. And that is what most of us are about, I hope — helping others who are in the same boat as we are!
The bottom line is that we have got great ways to connect and we need to be using them more effectively to connect more than just bloggers. So, come on over Thursday and I'll share some ideas but mostly get you to talk about some of yours — there will also be some sessions in SL and in other forums as well! (And I only have seats for 50.)
Conspiracy theories always abound and some say something about “control” but you know what — no one has to join — this is for those who like the idea of some cooperative efforts to facilitate communication — if you're not passionate about that, you'll still be just as much a part of things blogging on your own. I just think it is time to stop whining about how others aren't joining in and make it easier.
And there are some easy way to add things to the calendar, if it is an event in 2007, tag it edubloggerworld2007 and if it is 2008 edubloggerworld2008 — in delicious and in your blog — and it will be fed to the resources over there for those who will be looking at it for calendar information.
So, join in, even if it to use the tag when you find an event — such a painless way to share events. And remember, we're looking for free educational resources available on the Internet — this isn't for commercial promotion.
If you come over to this project expecting a neatly packaged uber-planned out idea, you won't find it. We've been working for a while putting things in place — but those who have planned it — we're calling ourselves connectors, that is it.
I speak as a person who is pretty much an island unto myself at my school and I had to find out everything the hard way and trust me, I had to screw up a lot! I remember going into Tapped in for a session and getting stuck in the reception area!
I don't have a lot of time but when I do, I'd love to immediately go and say — Hey, this is happening over here and I want to learn about it– and join in. It just needs to be easier so we can be more efficient and effective. (Spoken like a true Georgia Tech Grad.)
Ok, so hope to see you there on Thursday!
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