K12 Online Fireside Chat and More

Today was just a day but wow – exhausting, frustrating, exciting, enlightening. I was busy all day because grades were due to be exported and it was taken a little more seriously than the three weeks progress reports so there were a few problems to be ironed out underlining the value of that first export. Troubleshooting that should have been done happened today when we were under the gun.

The day that seemed to not end did and I came home and ate supper while I signed in to Elluminate for the K12 Online Conference Fireside Chat with David Warlick. This was my first experience with Elluminate which is a fee based meeting software package that donates the space to the K12 Online Conference. There are multiple windows. On the far left is a window that contains first a picture of an old-fashioned microphone, To speak you click on the picture and then click again when you are done. There is a hand icon that you can click to virtually raise your hand. There are emoticons and as people enter the session the list of names grows and automatically adjusts to remain in alphabetical order. There is a running tally of how many people are in the session. When things got going there were 105 people from all over. Mostly from the U.S. but some from other parts of the globe as well including Sudan, Seoul, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Scotland Click the thumbnail to see a screenshot.


There was a white board and video and as the session went on, questions were asked on the white board as a rapid, unending discussion by the attendees. I went crazy trying to concentrate on what David was saying as well as keeping up with the “stream of consciousness” instant messaging. I managed to speak a bit when we were divided into separate rooms at the beginning and I was able to text once or twice but by the time I could type a question the conversation would have changed. There was serious energy. These folks are jumping in the deep end of the pool and splashing for all they are worth. They are calling out to the rest of us to tell us to come on in – the water is fine. Some of us are dipping a toe in and shivering, some are paddling around with nose plugs and life preservers. Some of us are sitting it out and some are underwater with flippers and scuba gear.

There was a 14 year old student in the session and the possibility of adding a student strand next year was mentioned.

My favorite quote was ” become the guide on the side not the sage on the stage”.

I watched the keynote by David Warlick this morning and I’ll blog about it later. I want to let it marinate a bit but it was awesome. It is well worth the time – if you right-click and save link as you will have a copy of it to view whenever you have time. – which is the beauty of an online conference!