The past three weeks have provided wonderful professional development opportunities for me and at the same time have created a tension which these new opportunites create. During this time, I have been trying to keep with the content and conversations provided by both the K12 Online Conference and the New York City Independent School Technologists conference in Mohonk.
Because both of these conferences have made their presentations available via a variety of different modes, podcasts, vidcasts, and screencasts. Via the variety of blogs and aggregators, such as hitchhikr, I have been able to gather the notes and follow the conversation not only of the attendees, but of those who are like me who are remotely participating in the conversation. There are also the new wikis that many are creating for their handouts which are like a siren inviting me to participate and share my thoughts and ideas. Unlike an actual conference where I am physically limited to what I am able to do, here I can have it all.
From these experiences, I find myself invigorated by the conversations and the intellectual challenges that these experiences allow me. But not being physically there, I am contently pulled back into reality by both personal and professional demands on my time. While having the iPod and car adapter does allow me the opportunity to listen hauling my children around, they are getting tired of hearing about Ed Tech and would rather listen to their own musical choices.
It is especially difficult this week, as it is Interim Week at our school. This is a week where classes are suspended and students select a week long, immersive experience from those which are presented. I am once again offering a film-making interim, where students create films of their own choosing.This year I have 15 students who are creating five different films. This being Thursday, they are trying to get their last scenes shot and trying to get their films edited so that they can be shown to the group Friday afternoon, at least a rough cut. I have been interrupted four times since starting this to help troubleshoot various different problems. I really enjoy this week at our school, although it is more exhausting than a normal week due to the fact that you are always on and having to guide students who are equally immersed in their projects. There is a tremendous amount of learning going on.
Layering my desire to continue my learning when the energy levels are tapped has been tricky. I will continue to try to keep up with the pace, but I am finding myself lagging behind. The fact that these conversations are just beginning and will continue and that I can participate a when “life” is a bit more relaxed is reassuring, but I wonder when that time will come.
So I will have to continue to persevere and forge onward. I look forward to our future conversations.