This weekend I will be attending the Meeting of the Minds in Richmond, Vic. with some people I have wanted to meet for some time. I am quite looking forward to it but am not quite sure just what to expect as it is an “unconference”. As Andrew Williamson says on the Conference blog:
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could get a group of these people in the same room over a couple of days and have our thinking challenged through sharing, exploring, and learning together? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could create new bonds as well as solidify old ones through a face to face experience where the participants were empowered to drive the direction of the conference? Wouldn’t it be a brilliant idea to carefully curate our own ‘unconference’ invite all our online personal learning network peeps and call it “The Meeting Of The Minds Unconference”?
This is sort of how I have been thinking for some time now after a number of years of Conferences and other events and I am looking forward to being challenged to participate in a different way. Conventional conferences have their place (I still think Ulearn is the pick of the offerings in our region) and recent CEO Sydney Showcases and the energy of Teachmeets provide lots of inspiration, sharing and challenge for many of our teachers and need to continue and be developed. I am becoming increasingly concerned for those energetic early adopters who have been carrying the elearning torch in our schools for many years now and who need to be developed themselves in ways beyond competency in some new area (Mobile Technologies and Google Apps are the latest waves to break on our shores).
Our game is Teaching and Learning, there will always be a new tool. Sure we have to know how to use the new tool but we also need to feel that we are moving forward as learners and educators in this rapidly changing world. My hope is that MOTM13 and the people I will meet there will challenge me to reflect more deeply about my own thinking and practice. I followed MOTM12 online a little bit and am hopeful of being immersed in an experience that I may be able to bring back to our organization to enrich the many great educators with whom I work!