I was very disappointed when I learned earlier this week that I have pneumonia. I was bummed because I feel bad, but even more bummed because my physician told me I could not attend the MACUL Conference! I look forward to the conference every year. This year, I had more responsibilites than ever before… facilitating sessions, writing/posting to the MACUL blog, helping run the SIG-EE annual meeting, manning the MACUL booth, and supporting all the presenters from my district.
So I decided to do what I can virtually. I started with Twitter. The conference has Twitter buzzing for sure! I started following everyone who was following MACUL. People at the conference share tips, links, and ideas. As people share links, I tag them in my delicious account as macul09. If you would like to see all the links I tagged, you can see them here.
I attended Thursday’s Alan November keynote through the eyes of Ben Rimes and Kevin Clark as they used Cover it Live. It was almost as if I was there. When they wrote about students being creators of content, with Audacity being one of the tools mentioned, I shared some Audacity video tutorials. Shortly afterwords, I received a nice note by email from Kent Manning, a technology coordinator from Belleville, Ontatio, Canada. He also was not able to be at the conference and was “attending” the keynote virtually. We have similar jobs. He wondered if my tutorials were on iTunes (they weren’t) and told me an easy way to get them there. We are now Twitter friends and I’ve invited him to try out Plurk. Plurk is a Twitter-like network that allows more conversations. Try it out if you have not yet. Steve Dembo likes it; if Steve likes it, you probably will, too. Anyhow, this is an example of how a PLN can help you learn and grow professionally.
Later, a friend (Krista Hanna), saw that I was online and had Skype open. She called me and I was able to listen in on two of the sessions she attended. Awesome. Krista and I were to co-present this morning. Since Skype worked so well, we planned that if I was feeling up to it, that she would Skype me in for the presentation. I don’t look too great, so I did not turn on my webcam; I didn’t want to horrify the participants and have them run out of the room! However, I was able to pipe in with comments during the presentation. VERY COOL.
I’m also taking the opportunity to reflect on the conference, something that is difficult to do when you are rushing from place to place and networking with others. I have some ideas for the conference planners on ways to make MACUL 2010 even better!