If you just found me because of a Learning 2.0 connection, welcome.

I’m at the end of a great conference in Denver organized by Bud the Teacher (Bud Hunt). I believe Karl Fisch had a lot to do with setting it up as well, so thanks to them both. How energizing and encouraging to be surrounded by 100 or so other geeky, web 2.0, mostly Colorado educators! I have met several people who have felt as I have–that they were the only ones in this part of the country besides Karl and Bud who were attempting to do School 2.0. Of course that was never true, but this has been my first opportunity to connect face to face with these folks and see that they are real, take names, converse… Even connecting with others via Twitter and the edublogosphere takes time; you only find friends and colleagues gradually by expanding the layers of your network. I’ve also met two school board members here; it gives me a lot of hope to see them learning, caring, and advocating for technology as a tool for learning. So I’m loving today!

We were tweeting, Ustreaming, live chatting, live blogging and all kinds of things all at once. Although my head is spinning a little and I feel as though I may now have ADHD, it was great.

I attended two sessions about Personal Learning Networks and/or Professional Learning Communities. I know that maintaining and developing my PLE is critical until I have peers within my local, physical community (and even afterward). I’ve picked up some strategies I may be able to use to develop a local community, like starting an “innovation group” comprised of people who voluntarily attend in order to further their effective use of technology in the classroom. Perhaps we won’t cause a revolution in my district, or even a tech revival in my own school, but I can find like-minded individuals from whom I can learn and with whom I can share.

(At the end of this post you will find some links to the blogs of a few of the excellent presenters and generous attendees.)

As important as all of the above is, I am finding it most rewarding personally to have time to reflect with and off of others on what is happening in my local education community, especially my own school. I have mentioned here in my blog that there have been tiny signs of life materializing in the district’s ed tech community (if there is such a thing). I realize today that via the District Literacy Coordinator and the District Media Specialist Coordinator we are getting glimpses of possibilities for Web 2.0 applications. Perhaps this means that someday these tools will be unblocked for students and used widely in core content classrooms instead of just in “Computer Class.” Right now a select number of literacy coaches have been granted access to experiment with PBWiki, so that’s real progress.

Therefore, I am starting to feel as though I can live in the land of the hopeful rather than the land of the frustrated at work. And I’m sure you, my friends, and my family will be happy to hear it; I have moaned and groaned quite long enough!!

On a slighly different note, I hope to blog soon on the outcome of my first round of digital storytelling projects at school. We are in the middle of the final stage: actually creating the movies with MovieMaker, Animoto, Voki, Gizmo, etc. More on that later.

Attendees and Presenters from Learning 2.0

Dan Maas, CIO
Ferrill’s Blog
Gaffney’s Personal Blog
Global Learners
John’s School Board Weblog
Learning and Laptops
Learning is Change. » What is LiC?
Library Power
Lynx Technology - Little Elementary
M A G E E’s Blog
Meyer Time For Change
Micki’s Blog
Moritz’s Blog
Mr Fisher’s Global Learner Blog
Mr. Lewis’ World Learners
Nancy Scofield’s education blog
Ramblings of a Technology Coordinator
St Vrain Science
SwitchSpace
Syers’ Blog
Teaching and Learning in…
Teaching to Learn-Learning to Teach
The dancing librarian
Web 2.0 in the classroom

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