Infusion 2011

Beautiful North Bay, Ontario was the host to Infusion 2011 conference at Nipissing University.

 

The journey to get to North Bay, Ontario from Port Lambton took me on multiple small aircraft.

 

The excitement of travelling hit a crescendo when I met Mike Babcock (coach of the 2010 Gold Medal Winning Canadian Olympic Hockey team, and the Detroit Red Wings).

 

It was a real treat to meet Ken Waller face to face, a professor at Nipissing’s Faculty of Education, who I’ve known via the SMARTBoard Lessons Podcast for sometime.

It was a privilege and an honour to present the keynote address along with @kellypower.

The keynote address is below.

What if “Educon” was a Franchise?

This weekend Educon 2.3 occurred in Philadelphia.  All the edu-twitterati, who are hip at all, were at this educational mecca.  I, however, was not there.  My participating was limited to online tweets and watching some streams since I was presenting at Infusion 2011 in North Bay, Ontario.  However, I love the concept of Educon (and my experience attending last year confirmed my love).

I fell in love with Educon.  I did not fall in love with Educon because of the people, although the people attending are wonderful.   I did not fall in love with Educon because of the riveting sessions, although some of the sessions truly were captivating and built my thinking.  I did not fall in love with Educon because of the food, although Philly cheese steaks could be my early death if I lived there.  I fell in love with Educon because it’s context enforces truth, authenticity, and real discussion.

Educon occurs at a school, Science Leadership Academy (SLA) to be exact, and its Principal lead a team that practices what they preach.  The students aren’t just on ‘show’.  Attendees interact with students.  Students interact with attendees.  Basically, no exaggeration allowed.  You see what SLA is and what it is not.  No myth of perfection.  Just the refreshing view of reality and how one school is trying to serve the needs of students.  The beauty isn’t in the perfection, it is in the reality.

Educon had gotten me to think: what if all conferences used this model.  What if all of our conference learning was placed within the context of a school and included the students.  That is the discussion that emerged this afternoon on Twitter.  Below are the tweets that discussed this with @akamrt, @robwall, and I.  As usual, the tweets are in reverse chronological order, so read from the bottom up.