During the months leading up to NECC, I was excited about seeing new things. I was also looking forward to meeting some of the people whose blogs and Tweets I’d been following. I don’t believe I got as much out of the experience as I thought I would. Now that I’m back, I’m rethinking my personal, informal professional development.
First, I am pulling away from my Twitterrific. Despite the good stuff that is bound to come from the collective Tweets of so many intelligent people, I no longer think I need to read about it in Twitter. If something truly great happens, it will be written about in depth somewhere else. Anything of world-shaking magnitude will come through on NPR at the top of the hour. Beyond that, I don’t need to know about every bathroom break and website misadventure of the educational technology leaders on the planet. All those fun geographic Tweets for conference attendees, I’ll leave those to people who make their living out of requesting and providing them.
Second, having gotten over my fascination with the bloggers, I will check my RSS reader less often. I will also get myself out of the echo chamber by reworking my subscriptions to once again read as many non-ed-tech blogs as I did before. Educators don’t have a monopoly on innovation, and when so many blog ABOUT each others’ blogs, do I really need five different paraphrased versions of Here Comes Everybody?
I did see some excellent presentations at NECC, and I learned quite a bit. However, I think this refocusing of my work is the most important benefit of having attended. I am an ITRT, and all those outside blogs and Tweets are not as important as providing encouragement and support to technology users in my district.