I’m finally grounded again, sitting in my office, too early in the morning, with some nagging issues on my mind. ..and I wish that I could cause them to jell in my head so that I knew what I’m getting ready to write about. I guess I’m hoping that writing will cause it all to make sense.
The first thing I did, when I got up (afterchecking my Twitter listing), was to run a quick search on Technorati for the number of blog posts that mention NECC 2007 and compare them to mentions of NECC 2006. I searched for occurrances of necc06, necc2006, necc07, and necc2007. These, I reason, would pull up blog entries that are likely tagged, assuming that these are more sophisticated bloggers. As a second thought, I also search for blogs that mention “NECC 2006” and “NECC 2007” to include bloggers who are not yet tagging their entries.
As you can see, the blogging activity increased pretty significantly this year. I suspect that there are a variety of reasons. More educators are blogging, and many more opportunities to blog were available to us in Atlanta. It was certainly a conference that shined like no other, as it has already reached position 35 on Hitchhikr’s sorting of visited conference pages (the #1 position held by NECC 2006).
|Just a picture that I took in Charleston. Lots of energy.|
But I think my itch started with Steve Dembo’s June 28 Twitter..
Ok, I need feedback on this one. If EduBloggerCon and the Bloggers Cafe was the best part of NECC… Do we (bloggers) need NECC to do it?
and I very glibly replied
…i think we need necc. i also think necc needs us.
I just watched Chris Walsh’s NECC live wrap-up with ron Cravey, Donella Evonluk, Anita McAnear, and Linda Whitacre. It was mentioned that there were almost 20,000 educators in attendance in Atlanta. They were teaching, learning, conversing, and taking oh so much home with them —
and compared to that, we (bloggers) are just a cult.
I think that what we are doing is extraordinarily important. We are drilling through barriers that insist on keeping things the same. But the barriers persist. Too many schools still can’t view blog pages, podcasts, or other social sites. Most teachers have no time built into their work schedules to participate in these conversations. Way too many children do not have access to the technology they need to become in any way acquainted with today’s information landscape. The concepts of Web 2.0 remain couched in tech-speak that is either to esoteric for many to understand or it down-right turns people off.
I guess I’m just trying to force a reality check on myself, now that I’m back home in my office and planning for more work over the coming months. This year I’ll have a number of opportunities to speak to education leaders, both administrative and political. It’s a huge and humbling responsibility, and I wish, so much, that I could just bring them NECC, or at least its energy.
I know one thing. The cult is growing, and it’s happening because of the energy, passion, and inventiveness of the educators who are driving it. If that’s all it’s going to take, then we’re home free.