Saturday, July 19, 2014

#10summerblogs: My fear of the unconnected conference.

I have a confession. I have be to exactly one conference in my content area during my entire teaching career. I teach music and going to music conferences are usually expensive. I now work for a great district that has sent me to nearly 20 technology and education conferences in the past two years, and when they asked if I wanted to go to the summer symposium our state music organization holds each year I said yes.

So, here is the fear. I went to the website to look at the schedule. It was a PDF. There was no page. There were no presenter bio's with Twitter handles and webpages. It was a PDF. Additionally, every morning there is a keynote and multiple sessions had only one offering.

Most importantly...there is no hashtag.

I am so used to attending a conference where face to face is only one half of the connection. Where are the back channel conversations? Where are the posted resources I can go back and retrieve after the conference is over?

So, I'm going in with an open mind. But, I wonder what it will be like to close the Chromebook and stay off of Twitter. What will analog learning feel like? Will I miss the hashtags and the RTs and the back channeling?

We will see.

Your comments are welcome and encouraged,

Dane Barner


  1. I'm thinking that not only will you miss those backchannel conversations and connections to resources, but so will your PLN! We've all experienced the benefits of following the hashtag for a conference we could not attend: links to resources, motivation to improve, food for thought. Your district's fellow music teachers, even if they are not using Twitter, would benefit from your having the ability to more widely explore and then share the conference offerings in the fall.

    I look forward to reading your follow-up post when you return!

  2. Are there currently any music ed hashtags? I would go ahead and tweet out your learning. In the meantime, I guess it wouldn't hurt to talk to the organizers and let them know what you'd like to see in the future. But watch out, they might just put you in charge of it! :)