Way Beyond Outside the Walls; My Reflections on RSCON3

When I started this blog my intention was to share ideas of how we can and must expand learning so that learning isn’t limited just to the walls of the classroom. To be honest my focus was on student learning. However as was echoed often during this weekend’s RSCON on- line conference what is true for our students is true for our teachers as well. Therefore teachers need to expand their learning beyond their classroom, their school and their community. There is no shortage of ways of teachers t o that with Skype, wiki’s. Google chat and video, and Google+ hangout just to name a few.

However then there are times when you experience something that is just way out and blows all of that away. That was my feeling this weekend when I participated in the RSCON3 on line conference. Where for three days people came from all over the world to learn and share ideas together of how we can reform education. To say it was inspiring and that I was inspired would be an understatement.

The learning was amazing. Whether it was about technology, 21st Century Learning, Differentiation, or my topic about building relationship between teachers and administrators you heard from Educational leaders and true education rock stars (present company excluded).

However the learning was great the ideas were great and I didn’t attend as much as I wanted and it may take me until RSCON4 to digest all the learning. But that wasn’t what made it so inspiring.

If I had to sum up in one word what inspired me I would have to say “passion”.

Even over the Internet you felt the passion that the presenters had and how much they care about reform education and helping teachers and students grow.

What was even more inspiring was the passion of the participants. Over 200 people on a Sat night in the summer listened to the ending day 2 key note.  Hundreds if thousands of people participated in PD when for most of us we are on summer break.

I challenge someone to find a profession with more passionate people than educators. I am truly blessed and privileged to be an educator.

However as I was participating and presenting I did have one other thought. It was great the so many people came but for the most part we were probably preaching to the choir or to the already converted and those that already passionate about education reform. Our challenge is how do we reach the others who are not yet passionate?

 

I don’t know what the total number of participants was but whatever number that is let us make an effort to ignite that passion in others so that we can triple the number of participants for RSCON4

6 thoughts on “Way Beyond Outside the Walls; My Reflections on RSCON3

  1. I agree, passion was the underlying tone of this event. Preaching to the choir is not necessarily a bad thing. Hearing the same thread in presentation after presentation confirmed for me that I am on the right track. There were attendees who were encountering the possibilities of global social media for the first time and have already acted as a result. May I present: @ICETeachersara who is now on twitter because of #rscon3.

  2. Akevy,

    I completely agree with you, word by word… But some things called my attention. You mention that learning isn’t limited to the walls of the classroom. It resonates greatly to me and also reminds me of a plenary I attended at a conference about 2 weeks ago, by Shaun Wilden (he is also in ELT, like me, but the plenary and what he said applies to all education in my opinion… He wrote an article on it > http://shaunwilden.com/and-the-walls-come-tumbling-down/ . I agree… we HAVE to. It’s senseless trying to deny this change, this need. It’s useless not accepting and using it to our benefit – both as learners and teachers.

    Another thing you said that hit close to home ( maybe too close) is that it will probably take you until the next RSCON to digest all the learning. I feel the same way… there’s just sooo much. But after feeling like that a couple of times by now, I decided we just have to accept we can’t do it all, so I’m choosing 3 things I learned during this break (it’s winter here in Brazil) and implementing them into my teaching practice. This I know I can do. And it helps control the anxiety of trying to do everything 🙂

    And last but by no means least, I loved when you challenged people “to find a profession with more passionate people than educators. I am truly blessed and privileged to be an educator.” That’s the strongest feeling I left the conference with. It moved me when I heard people talking after the closing keynote. We make a difference. Events like RSCON make us, the “choir” you also mentioned (the super passionate educators) feel we’re not alone in feeling like this. It fills us with pride, it gives us energy and motivation to keep working hard, caring for our students, taking steps (even if baby ones) towards change. Towards more respect for the profession.

    I am very proud to be in a profession alongside people like you. Thanks for the great, moving post. I hope to see you in RSCON 4 🙂

  3. Heidi
    Thank you for your comment. I agree that having a common theme is important so that people feel good and are encouraged to keep doing what they are doing. I am also happy to hear that the conference had already paid off for some.
    Thank you again and I look forward to share more success.
    Akevy

  4. Hi Akevy,
    First let me apologize for not paying closer attention during your presentation, but a colleague from my district was presenting at the same time. I set up two laptops and tried to learn from both of us at the same time, but my brain is not wired to do that. So I am anxiously waiting for the archive of your RSCON3 session so that I can really listen to what you have to say.

    Second, don’t get discouraged and feel that you are “preaching to the choir”. The most amazing thing that I am taking away from RSCON3 is that the word is spreading, slowly but surely. I was so excited to see that there were five of us from my school district here in Louisiana attending these sessions this weekend. Five from the same district! My heart is still singing. Two of the teachers are in my graduate school cohort, and have heard me gush on and on about how wonderful the online PD opportunities are for the last two years. The other two are in my technology model classroom cohort and are more active in social media. Both of them tell me that they have learned so much by following me on Twitter. Tinashe was even brave enough to jump at the chance to present for RSCON3 when she found out there was a late opening. I realize that people have been listening to me and are “getting it”. Keep spreading the word.

  5. Thank you for your your comments.
    I do agree with all of you that there is a benefit to at times “preaching to the choir” as the choir does need encouragement and that “pat on the back” that says you are doing amazing things keep it up.

    I wouldn’t say that I am discouraged and truth be told I thought long and hard as to whether or not I should put that comment in. In the end I did because I felt that if we realize that there are still so many educators who “don’t get it” then perhaps that will ignite more of our passion and push us to do more.
    Again I appreciate the feedback and the comments.
    Akevy

  6. Pingback: Learning from Teaching & Sharing and the Secret Garden – What I got from #RSCON3 « Box of Chocolates

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