So, after all my reflections on NECC, I have to say that my favorite part was the people-watching. During the keynotes, sessions, the volunteers, outside the conventions center, at the receptions, the vendors--there was so much going on! And surrounding the many aspects of this conference, a city was bustling with workers, vacationers, families, etc.
I think I saw it suggested somewhere - that we have a "conference without walls." And we are definitely at a time when all of our sessions do not have to take place in rooms in the same building. We can be "out and about" the cities where we are having the conference doing some great hands-on learning and discussions.
One of my favorite parts of my NECC-plus-vacation was the Fourth of July parade. Instead of watching the parade, I found myself watching the spectators. With the countless phone, photo, and video gadgets, the people--children, adults, seniors--were involved in the parade in more ways than just as viewers. There were flags being waved, but more often than flags, I saw cameras and cell phones flying high above the crowds trying to get a great photo. Here's where our learners are. Here's where our educators should be. Here's where the collaboration, sharing, and learning by doing are taking place. They've got the tools and we can facilitate the learning - taking it to the next level - outside where things are happening...
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