Like most of you who are a part of a variety of social media networks, I'm hyper-connected. My cell phone is WAY more than a phone. we have no home phone or alarm clocks, I text more than I talk, at night after I shut down my laptop, I check my phone before going to sleep. I can go days and only get texts, not actually speaking to our kids.
My home office is equipped with a laptop, dual monitors, an iPad and google chat is always open.
Today, I have had a Vidyo meeting connecting Rochester IN with Napa and Oakland CA. , exchanged tweets with students in Michigan and Indiana. I have chatted with teachers in Texas, Ohio, North Carolina and Oregon, none of whom I have ever met in person. In about an hour I have another virtual meeting where three of us in 3 different states will be collaborating around a project.
I work from home and can go days without seeing anyone face to face except my husband and my dog, Brinkley.
Don't get me wrong, most of the the time I love working from home! My morning commute is about 15 steps and I don't have to wait in line for coffee! The dress code is pretty relaxed, too.
But I miss people!
A few weeks ago I was able to attend the CoSN conference, conferences, for me, have become a place where I get to meet f2f people I've already talked to via Twitter or blogs for months or sometimes years. I had no idea how conferences would change in nature for me as I became a "virtual girl". They are still places of inspiration, learning and conversation, but now, they are so much more.
I'm super excited about the upcoming New Tech Network summer conferences. I'll get to see educators who I've been working with online face to face, to laugh and think together in person.
Also for Indiana's Summer of E-Learning conferences, I'll be attending and/or presenting at many of them. Indiana is the home of my very first PLN by way of the HECC list and #INeLearn.
Ohh and I can't forget two more!
EdCamp Fort Wayne is coming up in May, this will be my very first edcamp and I cannot wait!
Then another brand spanking new conferences in Grand Rapids, MI called Nova Now.
I also miss paper
Not all paper, just sometimes. At NTN we use google docs for pretty much everything. I have more docs than I can count (or sometimes find) but for some tasks, I do better with paper. I like my to do list on a yellow legal pad. I make a new one everyday at the end of the day, prioritizing a la Stephan Covey's quadrants. I have yet to find an app that is more effective for me!
During those virtual meetings, someone is always keeping notes on a Google doc, but I am also taking messy, scribbly notes of my own on that same legal pad.
As we move towards blended learning, online learning, and less face to face, if we don't need to keep in mind that our students might miss face to face (and paper) too! Let's make sure they get time with people and with paper as needed!