Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Safety Net

I fell off the horse months ago and made the mistake of not climbing on again right away.

I'm amazed at how easy it's been to ignore my blog and voice my thoughts, ideas & opinions elsewhere (in 140 characters or less).  All of the things I'd traditionally use my blog for have been replaced by micro-blogging - sharing current projects, highlighting resources, networking with colleagues.  I never intended to remain silent for so long on the blogging front, but I find some comfort in the fact that I'm not the only edublogger who's ever taken a little reprieve from publishing in this format.

But the time has come to break my blogging silence.  And the reason is simple.  I have a favour to ask of my professional learning network.  You are my social net and, in this case, I'm hoping that I can count on you as my safety net as well - in place to catch me if I fall ;-)

Image Credit: 'Greekadman'
In just a couple of days, Darren Kuropatwa and I are being put to the test.  We've been tasked with educating a live audience of 200+ for three hours on the opportunities and challenges that exist with social media in a classroom setting.  While we're thrilled about the prospect of taking this audience on a journey and challenging them to try new things and see new possibilities, we can't shake the fear of having our plans backfire.

That's where you come in - the social network, the professional learning network.  You see, we've structured the afternoon in such a way that our virtual attendees could get just as much out of participating as our live audience will.  In fact, with increased virtual participation, the participants in the room will get that much more out of their experience.

The entire afternoon will be streamed live over the web and you can catch the Livestream on the Create Faire website.  The focus for the afternoon will involve having participants work together to create content which, ultimately, could be re-purposed in any number of ways down the road.

We'll be encouraging participants to tweet throughout the afternoon using the hashtag #createfaire - this will serve as their feedback and provide them with an opportunity to voice their opinions or concerns.  Participants will be asked to tweet with the prompts 'I like...' or 'I worry...' with regards to the social media opportunities and challenges that are raised throughout the morning.  If we could have you tweeting with these same prompts, or using the #createfaire hashtag and engaging some of these Twitter newbies by pushing back a little, that would be fantastic :-)

A portion of the afternoon will involve participants (did I mention we'll have students in the room along with teachers & administrators...) using their mobile devices to snap some pictures and e-mail them in to us for inclusion in a collaborative slideshow.  All photos will be auto-tagged and licensed under a Creative Commons NC-AT-SA license.  We'd love to include your pictures as well - just send them to:
So, I've filled you in on the basics, but there's so much more in store for everyone who is part of Create Faire.  We'd love to have you take part in this event in some capacity.  

Please consider joining us virtually for Create Faire this Friday afternoon, March 11th, from 1:00pm to 4:00pm CST.  Darren and I are confident that (if everything works according to plan) this will be a professional learning experience unlike any these folks have ever had the opportunity to participate in before.  And, with your participation, it'll be that much more meaningful for everyone involved :-)

Please leave a comment if you'd like to participate virtually and I'll make sure that all relevent information is shared with you...


John Evans said...

Hey Andy!

We'll be there for you my friend with virtual jujubes for everyone as well!

Was hoping to be there live but the event proved too popular with you and Darren headlining the afternoon.

The afternoon is going to create a stir I believe!

Looking forward to it!


Mike Nantais said...

Hi Andy,
I am drowning in marking as classes at BU are wrapped up and students head out to student teach, but I will TRY to take part and do my work at the same time!

In any case - best of luck, I know you and Darren will knock their socks off!


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Les K said...

I would love to watch AmberMac in the morning and tweet out in the afternoon. I work in Adult Ed and don't know if it is still possible to be there for the Keynote.

Andy McKiel said...

Thanks John, Mike & Les for the comments :-)
We're hoping to have several folks participating virtually via the Livestream - we go live at 9:00am CST & Amber's due on stage about 9:15 :-)

Hope to 'see' you in the backchannel...

Anonymous said...

Wish I could participate in a meaningful way, but I am already committed to another PD event tomorrow. We should be wrapping up by 3pm, so hopefully I can catch the last hour or so.

(And I'll try to sneak a peek at my twitter stream now and again on the sly)!

Sandy W.