Northern Voice. Finally. After trying to go for the past 2 years, 2010 was the year my stars aligned and I was able to make it across the straight for the big show. If you are not familiar, Northern Voice is an annual conference that began in 2005 as a conference for bloggers by bloggers, and has since expanded to include other types of social media.
Now, while the sessions and topics are interesting and all (some were recorded, but better yet, check out this set of graphics created by Rachel Smith on her iPad), the big draw for me was the opportunity to reconnect and put faces to avatars with so many people who I admire in the academic and technology space I haunt. My PLN was IRL. OMG.
This isn’t going to come close to capturing everything, but here are some personal things I’ve taken away from the weekend.
- Movements I need to learn more about: Rhizomatic Learning and Community as Curriculum, Steampunk, the threats to the open web
- Things to add to my reading list: You Are Not a Gadget, Making the Invisible Visible, The Wheel’s on Fire
- Things I need to watch: Be Here To Love Me, Festival Express, Heavy Metal Parking Lot (all about music & not a single one has anything to do with education or technology)
- Blogs I need to read: Infocult, crib chronicles, Factory City
- Tools I need to play with: Wookie, an iPad/tablet, a turntable (I really need to bring my albums out of storage), Layer, the VR app I have on my droid, but never seem to find a reason to use. Had I been more skilled, it might not have taken Grant and myself 1/2 hour to find bacon in downtown Vancouver.
- Things I need to do more of: Revel in the mystery, draw, aggregate my distributed online presence.
But the biggest epiphany that I had over the weekend was with regard to the great debt of gratitude I owe my colleague and friend, Scott Leslie. If I had to point a finger at the connector (in the Gladwell sense) within my personal learning network, Scott is the one. He has spread his coattails wide and has graciously allowed me to ride on them, which has given me the opportunity to meet people whose work at the junction of education and technology I admire. He’s like the friend who manages to get backstage passes to the best concert in town and invites me along for the ride. I feel I owe a lot to Scott, and am grateful to have him within my circle as both a colleague and a friend. Oh, and he unorganized a kick-ass altmoosecamp.
Here’s what others thought of Northern Voice this year (although after reading a few of the more mainstream articles, I was left wondering if we were at the same conference).