I’m not sure yet that I’ll be attending NCTE in San Francisco in November, but more and more I’m hoping I can. Pat, the true Web log sensei, is doing his typical yeoman’s job of making the most of the opportunity, setting up Manila training with Erin Clerico and Bryan Bell (both the best in the business) and then an all-day NCTE workshop later in the week. For even intermediate Manila users like me, the training session would be worth the trip. And even more, it would be great to get the opportunity to once again spend some time with fellow edubloggers.
Pat also raises some good questions about the formality of these meet ups:
Such a connecting of edBloggers was first mentioned more than a year ago as the edBlogger 2003 convention idea. But it’s not a convention anymore. It’s just one gathering, this one in San Francisco, hopefully more in any number of places during the year….To return to an old theme, blogs are just digital paper. What writer wants to attend a paper convention? OK, OK, a few: folks that are interested in the qualities of a particular kind of paper – its resiliency, its pliability, its longevity, its manufacture, its shipping and storage and distribution systems, etc.
I also like how he gives a rationale for attending NCTE and other discipline specific conventions for blogging purposes:
It follows on the notion of blogs and websites as simple digital paper, and of computer technology as, among other things, an increasingly user-friendly form of communication for teaching and learning. The more invisible that technology is, the more powerful it is. This is, in fact, the beauty of weblogs and content management systems. So I think it’s a good idea to root communities of tech users, of bloggers in this instance, in various disciplines other than technology. Why convene at tech and ed events? Hell, let’s people the actual content areas and pedagogies. Besides, funding to attend traditional conventions is easier to come by than for “blogging” events. Bloggers, as users of digital paper, can and should comfortably show up at conventions of English teachers and teachers of writing, at art education conventions, at science and math and dance and physical education and remedial reading and auto mechanics teacher conventions. edBloggers can, should and will be represented in all teaching disciplines.