Started July 18 - completed July 25.
I have only been at this conference for a day and I am very impressed. There are only about 300 people here, which means that you actually get to see the same people over again and continue conversations started earlier. A reception held yesterday allowed people to meet each other and talk. Alan makes sure he talks to everyone and truly wants to encourage community building. I remember Frank Greene, who taught at McGill, saying that when you go to a conference - walk the floors. Meet people. Alan November just said that it's not the sessions that are important, it's the conversations.
July 25 - the conversations were great - and so were the sessions. But it's that lasting impression of being part of a buzz, part of a larger community that is buzzing. Will Richardson talks about the education he has had through his years of blogging and I have to agree. But what is so special is that the education is not just one way. You read, reflect and really think deeply about the ideas. It's much better than any university course I ever sat through. And how do we get students involved and excited about this kind of conversation? Learning is heady, exciting, especially when the learner is constructing his/her own understanding of ideas and issues. What is astounding is how supportive this community is. We scaffold on each others' learning to build something better. It is not about competition.
Oh that the world could learn to work that way......