Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Participation REQUIRED?

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I'm really excited about NECC and especially the Edubloggercon, but I am also a bit nervous. The last time I went to NECC it was my first National conference and I was just dizzy with excitement. I read a few blogs, and was excited to go to the first edubloggercon at a bar in San Diego. The group was small and I had no idea who Wil Richardson, Jeff Utech, or David Jakes were - I just talked to them - like they were normal people. Now two years later after reading their blogs everyday - I am completely afraid to make a (well you know) of myself.

Now, those of you who have met me may find it hard to believe that I can keep my mouth shut, but speaking to your "education idols" can be quite intimidating. My ideas feel feeble and unworthy. My work is so last year or my blog not updated enough. So when a cry goes out that I "should be participating in the discussion," or implying that if I'm not there to share I'm not contributing to the conversation and therefore "unworthy."

From Drape's Takes

In doing so, I had also hoped that others would follow suit, eagerly adding their names to the list of Short Talks, Speed Demos, and Facilitated Discussions.
Sadly, at this point in time, only a handful of people have followed suit.
It’s pathetic, really - to phrase it honestly.
As I think about the throngs of Twitter enthusiasts that continue sign up for Monday night’s Twitter dinner, I can’t help but feel sickened by “our” overall hesitancy to teach - particularly in light of Twitter with all of its “educational value”. Are we not teachers?"
From David Jakes

So here comes NECC, with the Blogger CafĂ© and EdubloggerCon. I can only imagine what a scrum for attention those could potentially turn into. But EdubloggerCon provides the opportunity for those who have blogged and twittered for a year to step up-let’s hear what you have to say face to face. Are you ready for that? Are you ready to earn it-really earn it?

Did it ever cross anyones mind that this is taking us out of our comfort zone? I'm going to a national conference - would teaching VoiceThread be old hat to some? Does a participant in an conference already define you as cutting edge? What can I offer?

I mean every time I can get the gumption to leave a comment on one of the "education idol" blogs - it is either the 10th of several or just comes out sound stupid and insignificant. The comment challenge, grant us nubies some leeway - but for some of us this is still really hard.

Now I understand that sometimes people need a push, and that some are dismayed about the lack of participation, but sometimes people need some time to scaffold their experiences. I may be a big fish in a small pond (i dare to presume), but when I get to San Antonio I may as well be a guppy.

So keep us little fish in mind. Yes we may be in awe of you, but don't take it to heart - one day we won't be.


David said...

Hey Bethany:

We are normal people... :)

And you shouldn't be afraid to talk with any of us. I feel bad that you feel that way. I hope that we can meet and sit down at EdubloggerCon and chat. I'm looking forward to it.

The comment that you cite from my Twitter post was certainly not aimed at you. If you don't feel comfortable yet, that's certainly understandable.

You know, I've never used Voicethread, so yes, I would like to hear you explain it. I know nothing about it and it would be new for me. And there are others as well that have not heard of it, others that have and would like to balance their experience against you. Everyone has something to contribute.

Yes, I have considered that it might be taking you out of your comfort zone. Good, I say. That's when growth occurs in my opinion.

Looking forward to meeting you in San Antonio.

Sincerely, David

Bethany Smith said...

I think that sometimes we "lurkers" forget that we are not participating in the discussion. When we watch the twits fly between you and Wil - we feel apart of it so to speak. Now that may be a bit creepy and I'm sure that there will be those that demand that you "follow them" - (I have a Monty Python bit from The Life of Brian - "don't follow me" now stuck in my head.) Yet most of us are just excited to go to our one National Conference a year

But it is nice to know you may be quite normal after all :)

Oh & I'd be glad to show you VoiceThread...