Sunday, November 14, 2010

Learning in E-lationship

There was a conversational buzz that dominated the ECOO2010 conference experience. It began with ""Hey, I know you..."

Ed-tech conference attendees across North America, are experiencing conference events with networked colleagues, on a level never before seen. This past week, a great number of Ontario educators (and a few out-of-province tweeps) were energized to meet face-to-face with members of their personal/professional learning networks.

It's been a relatively short time since Twitter has been embraced by e-literate educators, but this tool has become a major difference-maker in the spread of good ideas. Conference attendees are readily self-identifying by Twitter ID, and are cross-pollinating their networks by introducing their 'followers' to colleagues.

To their full credit, the ECOO organizing team made a concerted effort to engage participants in the use of Twitter as a networking tool. Throughout the conference, attendees had opportunities to engage in back-channel discussions, to join in a Twitter scavenger hunt, and to attend a Super Tweet-up event.

I've written before about the critical role of the fourth 'R', but now I'm thinking of spelling Relationship in a new way. The positive vibes that result when meeting e-learning colleagues, might as well be referenced as 'elation-ship' or 'e-lationship'. It's difficult to explain to the disconnected, but it is empowering and invigorating to engage in first time face-to-face conversations, with familiar co-learners.

As part of my commitment to attend ECOO2010, I agreed to deliver in a Pecha Kucha talk during the last day of the conference. I couldn't have chosen a more apt topic: 'Twenty Things I've Learned in Twitter'.

It used to be that conference-goers could count on meeting peers who shared their passions and interests, but in 2010, conference attendees are counting the opportunity to meet with fellow tweeps, as the most rewarding part of the conference experience.

In assuming that you're already on Twitter, I'd be interested in your take. If you've yet to join us in shared learning year-round, what are you waiting for?
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