Making Things Happen
A month or so ago, Twitter colleague Dave Meister (@phsprincipal) sent out a tweet wondering if any of the educational leaders on Twitter would want to attempt a "virtual" meet-up sometime this summer. Being a generally social person who enjoys exchanging good ideas with smart people, I thought this would be great. Dave threw together a quick interest survey on GDocs and over 40 school and district-level leaders expressed interest in the event.
Being fresh off the modest success of the Learning 2.0 event at my school, I volunteered to help out. We'd gotten pretty adventurous with the online portion of Learning 2.0 so I wanted to see how much farther we could push the virtual conference paradigm. Being that all of our districts are cutting back on PD money and that we all have other things we like to do in the summer, we thought that a virtual, half-day event would be ideal.
Dave and I spent a lot of time DM-ing and emailing and collaborating to determine an appropriate format for the event. We wanted a format that would provide a loose structure, but not too much structure, and that would allow participants to network, share what they're passionate about, and form learning groups organically.
The theme for the day, "Making Things Happen," was inspired by this Tweet from Dave. We talk about change a great deal. For this event, though, we hope to focus on action; on leaders who are - well - making things happen in their school or their district. Big successes or tiny victories, we want to learn from them.
We've attempted to structure the event in the spirit of a Barcamp or Unconference. We are exploring WebEx Event Center as a possible vehicle for collaboration, and will probably open up the agenda-creation phase the Monday before the event. We will not be calling for proposal submissions or anything so fancy or sophisticated as we really want this to be as open as possible. We wanted to create a space and time where everyone is welcome and anyone can claim a session and share a good idea, a powerful tool, or a success story.
We've created longer session slots for big ideas, as well as a pair of 10-minute "micro-sessions" that would be perfect for showing off a tool that you use in your practice. We're also building in some "networking" time as well and working on an opportunity for participants to submit a 2-minute video on a topic of their choosing which we'll string together to create a session in the style of "TED" or "Ignite."
I hope that if you're a reader of this blog, you'll at least mark your calendar and plan to spend some time with us this June. It'll be a first of its kind event and I am very much looking forward to connecting with colleagues I've never met and sharing more than the confines of Twitter allow.