Well maybe not all of it–that being my previous criticisms of NECC–since most of NECC has not been a satisfying experience for me.
But I did go to a workshop that was great. It was almost as if someone read my previous post. It was billed as a workshop on web 2.0 tools and open source software. It turned out to be a think-tank…a very abbreviated one, since it only lasted a little over an hour…but it was the most valuable experience of the conference so far.
Steve Hargadon facilitated…and I mean he really just facilitated. He opened up the floor (an extremely large room, about the size of a Broadway theater) to hear from us, the attendees. People stood up one by one and shared either a web 2.0 tool or an open source resource, explained it a bit, and then others who were also using it stood up. People were chatting with each other, surfing, but also totally engaged. The mood was light. People were laughing and clapping for each other. I learned a lot of new resources and a new awareness that I was not alone in my enthusiasm and usage for this type of material.
It was also refreshing to see ALL types of educators participating enthusiastically and holding their own. There are a lot of “tech guy types” here (you know who I mean…the usual bloviators who like to hear themselves talk…endlessly) and most of the workshops I attended were run (yes RUN, as in directed) by them. There were some in this workshop, but they didn’t rule the floor by any means. All types of folks from all over the country (and Canada, and the Ukraine) got involved. In short, I Loved It. A very large room became very intimate almost immediately. Community in action!
Now if only others could learn from this example…