ECOO 2009 Reflections

Whew! I’m finding it hard to describe how I’m feeling about my ECOO Conference experience this year!  Speechless, no…but overwhelmed by some amazing things this morning, yes!

The Conference Committee was incredible!  Here I was, a first time conference organizer, and I can’t believe how dedicated these folks were along the way, and how they came together to make this such a great conference experience for the attendees and for me as well.  I’m feeling incredibly grateful to have worked with these 16 people this year!  Thanks to all!

It was such a thrill to see Minds on Media happen and be enjoyed by so many people, and @peterskillen did a superb job putting it together and making it a new ECOO learning experience for all.   The facilitators and guides who gave of their time to plan and organize an amazing event really did an outstanding job that was appreciated by the participants – I received overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Times, they really are changing!  I fully expected to finish up with the ECOO Conference yesterday, head home to my son’s commencement,  and have a few days off to decompress after a busy year of conference planning.  Instedianecollagead, much to my surprise, my amazing PLN has pushed my limits once again and I’m already dreaming and visioning about the possibilities for next year!  I’m not a details person, but instead am really energized by ideas and this immediate connection to my online network last night and this morning has been an added bonus this year.  One of the best things about the conference was our twitter meetup that happened on Thursday night when so many of us who connect online via twitter were able to meet f2f,  reinforce those connections,  and get to know each other a little bit better.   Jamie Weir and Doug Peterson have already shared their impressions of the impact of networking.  Thanks to @windorsdi (Di Bedard) for a pic that captured our event!

What a thrill to finally meet Stephen Downes, Alec Couros, and Jutta Treviranus and to see Ben Hazzard, Ian Jukes, Mark Lipton, Jim Carelton,  Mali Bickley and Roger Wagner once again!  These keynote and spotlight speakers inspire me in my personal journey and in my work with students and were a great addition to our conference this year.    Many of the best compliments I heard came from people who attended the many one-hour sessions led by teachers and vendors, and they enjoyed the practical tips for integration of technology into classroom practice…the real deal!  Thank you to all those teachers and vendors who presented one-hour sessions for ECOO this year.

Many thanks to the teacher attendees who came to ECOO and really immersed themselves in the networking and learning.  Barbara McLaughin and I had spoken last year about the conference name “Inspire, Connect, Teach” and thought it really appropriate to add “and Learn” onto the end and I’d have to say that I’m still feeling that way.   Many of the teachers I met were also enjoying a walk around the exhibit hall to talk about new products and to see demos…it looked gorgeous and our sponsors provided generously to our prize draws with some significant prizes this year!

I don’t know what’s in store for us for next year, but I’m really excited about the prospects of working with the ECOO Community again, and looking forward to meeting up with many of my network at the RCAC Symposium in December.