It has been almost one month since the ISTE 2009 (formerly National Education Computing Conference) and I am still abuzz about many things from it. I had the privilege of moderating a panel discussion on Professional Learning Networks, which is something that I have very strong feelings about. While I did not have a full standing room only crowd, after all I was competing against the likes of Steve Hargadon and Hall Davidson, I did have the perfect audience. Those who chose to attend my session provided valuable insights into their professional learning networks, actively participated in the discussion, and were a key component to a rich discussion along with the panel. I want to thank Kristin Hokanson for live blogging and participating in the discussion (she was multi-tasking brilliantly). I want to thank Alice Mercer who had to hustle to another session, but was gracious enough to set up the live stream of the session. And finally, I want to thank Paula White, Meg Griffin, Teryl Magee, Lisa Parisi, Adina Sullivan, and Dennis Grice for being the best panel one could ask for. The presentation slides that helped drive the conversation are here
I did receive a number of complements on a few things, of which I am extremely appreciative. The most important comment I received was that my panel was the most diverse and well represented panels some have ever seen. I think this says a lot about the Educational Technology landscape and something that was expressed by a number of people at the conference. There has to be a move towards being inclusive of everybody, rather than the same people doing the same things year after year. It has been mentioned within my PLN circle that perhaps new presenters work with an experienced presenter as a mentor and a co-presenter. This will foster a higher level of involvement and create a culture of inclusion, rather than exclusion. I would love to see ISTE and its' state affiliates develop a database whereby those submitting for the first time can request an experienced co-presenter or mentor to assist them in preparing for and delivering their presentation session or workshop. This would encourage many more to submit for presentations and increase involvement by those that want to be more involved, but just need some assistance. Feel free to post comments and suggestions on how we as an Ed Tech community can facilitate this change.