USDLA Guerilla Session: At lunch time today, I talked to the people at my table about the fact that the 1:30 timeslot didn’t have any good options for K12 videoconferencing folks. So I started asking a few VC buddies if they wanted to meet and have a conversation. When I asked Ken Conn, he offered to ask the USDLA program committee if we could have a room and make an announcement. Ken and I both thought that we would only have a 5 or 6 people, but we ended up with 30 people. It was pretty funny to see what someone referred to as the pied piper with a trail of people following to a room that the hotel graciously opened up for us.
After we did introductions, it was clear we had a group of online folks and a group of videoconference folks. So we split in two and just started to chat. Of course, I was in the videoconference group.
First we talked quite a bit about professional development. We discussed the difference between PD to teach about videoconferencing (technical assistance was the term suggested by Ruth Blankenbaker) and actual professional development about relevant teaching topics that just happen to be shared via videoconference. We talked about quality issues, possible topics, issues around training the presenter etc.
We also spent some time discussing bringing content, specifically experts to the classroom. We shared stories of experiences we had with various experts and content providers.
I heard from several people afterwards that they loved the conversation and were glad to network with each other. I didn’t have my laptop open so I didn’t catch all the great ideas, but it was wonderful to network and share with everyone. Many of us exchanged cards afterwards.