The Post That Never Was – Things I learned at Northern Voice 2009

Writing this post was as fun as...
Writing this post was as fun as...

This is me officially throwing in the towel at trying to write some profound synopsis of the event that was Northern Voice 2009. I give up. I tried. I really tried.

I tried to capture how, inadvertently, a presenter from a consulting firm that shall not be named clue’d me into how important it is for us trying to create change (whether it be through learning or social action) to not uncritically adopt social networks explicitly framed with commercial motives.

I sought, but failed, to capture an ever growing sense that not all boundaries are created equal; that there are groups bounded not by firewalls and passwords, but by relationships and trust,  and that, far from this being an exclusionary thing, because of conscious acts and the intent to invite with a welcoming heart, they grow, are inclusive.

I struggled, and lost, with my growing understanding (born in part firsthand through my own thumbfisted ‘facilitation’ of WordCampEd – sorry!) of the importance of messiness, not just in teaching in learning, but in resisting reductive rational ‘frameworks.’

And oh how I wanted to tell you how I’ve given up asking for the secret sauce to becoming a good teacher and instead just to keep trying myself, everyday (but still watching and learning from those who can every chance I get to be around them).

But I failed, and all you get is this poor excuse for a post. To everyone I had the pleasure of learning with at Northern Voice, THANKS. You are the reason I keep coming back. The relationships we form, the trust built, is what helps me take bigger chances when I’m sitting here writing on my own. Although…apparently not in this post 😉 – SWL

WordPress for Education Camp – Vancouver version

Just wanted to put a shout out here to any educational technologist and educators in BC who are using WordPress (or WordPress MultiUser) in support of the educational practices, simple content publishing or resource sharing… If you hadn’t heard yet, on Thursday, February 19, 2009 (start time not announced yet, but we’re a fairly civilized bunch, so it won’t be *too* early I hope) a FREE ‘camp‘ for using WordPress in education is happening out at the UBC main campus.

The event is being held to coincide with the fantastic Northern Voice conference. The Northern Voice conference, while not free (WordcampEd IS, though), is very reasonable ($60 for the two days) and so if you were thnking of travelling to the mainland for it, sign up soon, as it is filling up fast, but also consider coming a day early and spending the day with us working on some wordpress in education challenges.

If you have never been to a camp/unconference before, I HIGHLY recommend it. Just make sure to bring your ideas, your laptop and your gumption! And please, dive into the wiki that D’Arcy has set up; the whole idea behind an unconference like this is that it will be what we make of it. Yes, there will be some pretty decent wordpress hackers thee, but there will also be those, like me, who continually fumble with it and are just as interested in *what* you can do as in how. So don’t be shy!

(And just to be clear – this shout out isn’t meant to *exclude* anyone outside of BC. Far from it; if you care enough to travel from afar, we’d LOVE to have you. Just trying to reach out to people in my particular region.) – SWL