Camp Plug and Play 8.0
Not many know my personal story. Let's just say AZK12 Center's Camp Plug and Play in Tucson June 10-14 were the best days in my personal and professional life, to date.
I received much affirmation and resources from great educators from all over the great state of Arizona.
Watched hockey, ate sushi (well, went to a sushi shop), hung out until midnight and talked with great people about almost anything under the sun. (sound familiar, yet?)
I gained a better understanding of who I really am and how others viewed me. Not that it should matter, but everyone needs that type of reminder and confirmation, every once in a while.
Yes, I took pictures in Tucson of those whom I met, but not such a large scale like #iste13. I got the idea from a high school mate, who takes pictures with people he meets so he could remember the occasion. Thanks, Bill.
I learned that they are people like
me, with issues, challenges, and victories, just like me. Why did I think they were different? Because I saw the good they presented online and in the brief moments in person. Fair enough, sure. We don't want the world to know all the hurt and pain we have going on back home or currently in our heart. But we are still people. I loved my time with @classroomawesom, @edrethink, and @joelwisser, @techbuzzin1st and Jamie Vought. They are authentic and genuine people.
Fast forward eight days to San Antonio, #iste13.
Wow! What a ride! At last count, (yes, I counted) I met over 111 people and took a picture with over 100 of them.
I love lists and I wanted to make the best of the time I had to meet those on my bucket list.(No, I'm not dying nor going away soon) I went into this blindly, not knowing what would happen if I asked for a picture.
Was I surprised? Yes!
Selena Ward was the first person I met. Going to get the Windows Surface RT issued to my school, I saw her in the hall walking out. I recognized her because of her glasses, but I couldn't think of her twitter name. She was very patient with me in my flustered state. I shared my twitter name and she knew who I was. I was over the moon! Took the picture and finally let her go on her way. Normal person.
At "dinner" I and Len (best friend and co-worker) went to meet Paula Naugle and Jan Wells. I had never seen him was so excited to go. Big hugs and smiles all around. Educator who had known and worked with each other for years. A bystander would have not known any of us hadn't met face to face before. There was an orange glow over the whole situation.
Shannon Miller walked by and I almost came unglued. I had admired her work and shared it with teachers all over my district. She did want a picture with me. Normal person.
I posted this about my current mental state:
Trying not to be a silly mess while here. I think I have kept most of it together. It is a blast meeting so many online PLN f2f. #iste13Shannon tried to bring me down
— Rodney Turner (@techyturner) June 23, 2013
Jenny Ashby brought me down even more:
Don't forget everyone is just as excited to meet you also and are probably just a silly mess inside also. Enjoy!
Amanda Dykes. Why her? Not sure, but I know that we have professional commonalities. Many times we have helped each with technical issues over twitter (very hard to do within 140 characters), shared resources, and laughs about life at work and home. Len can't count how many times I told him about what Amanda and I tweeted about. I spent time talking to her and it was like we were continuing a conversation from yesterday. Effortless. Normal person.
I had to meet Ginger Lewman. She gave me the inspiration for my current and relevant tagline - NWOPBETTI - Not Wires Or Pliers But Educational Technology That Inspires.
Extended time with people like Michelle Baldwin, John Spencer, Joan Young, Philip Cummings, Jaime Vandergrift, Chad Segersten, Crista Fairman, Tony Baldasaro, Kate Petty, Paul Shircliff, Adam Taylor, Bill Selak does something to you. Five days in a conference and seeing them almost everyday does crazy things to the 2D relationship. It morphs in to 3D, deepens it, and strengthens it. You begin to believe that they will help you in any way possible and that is comforting and validating.
Kyle Pace has this thing about twitter celebrities. There are none. We all are teachers and educators who share what we do and what we live.
After this week, I agree. In Atlanta at #iste14, we all should find an educator who is new to the conference, get to know their story, take a picture with them, and share it. Mutual admiration celebrates every person's wonderful job they are doing to better the future through students. We need to focus our attention where it needs to be, students and teachers who work with them.
At #iste 13, I chose to celebrate those who I know who do just that.
What people at #iste13 struck you and what did they do to have that type of effect on you?