Why you shouldn’t attend conference sessions

If you don’t live in Michigan this post may not be for you. On the other hand yeah it is.

Unsession that I "attended"

Unsession that I “attended”

So our big edtech conference MACUL was this past few days. I can’t really tell you much about the sessions I attended. There were some good ones, but I won’t remember them next year or even in a few weeks. What I will remember is all of the people I met.

Conferences for me have become all about meeting great educators and learning from them in conversations in the hallways. Even one session that I did attend on setting up gaming in your classroom while interesting did not leave me feeling ready to try it in my classroom. But I “knew” the presenter virtually and met her this weekend. So I tweeted and set up a meeting to get some help from her. Admittedly during her session I zoned out a bit (it was the last one of the day so I was beat) because I knew that I would just talk to her later in person.

I could go on and on about what I learned from conversations with people. I will keep it short by saying my main takeaway is that Michigan is full of great educators and many of them “live” under the hashtag #Miched. I have participated in the chat a few times and knew some of them but after this conference I am committed to being an active part of the #Miched community rather than a “driveby tweeter.”

If you are looking for community online I can not recommend a better group of people than #Miched! I love learning from people online, but it is so much more powerful when it is with people that you also get to know in face to face conversations.

3 thoughts on “Why you shouldn’t attend conference sessions

  1. Ben

    viva #michED!

    The conversations that can grow, and more importantly the pushback and critical questions we all wrestle with in the #michED chat and in face to face conversations around the state are vitally important, especially at this point in time. Your self described “rant” during the lightning talks is just the tip of the iceberg, and it’s what a lot of us are feeling, and trying to channel into positive action both within the chat and our school districts. Looking forward to more conversations in the future, you can #StandardizeThat ! 🙂

    1. Michael Kaechele Post author

      Ben, I leave MACUL feeling like we are getting beyond a group or early adopters and reaching a critical mass of educators who are doing the right things to make education human and about students. I also feel like this group is ready to unite to spread the message to other teachers, administrators, parents, and communities.

      It is time for us to take back education from politicians and “ed-reformers” who are only looking to make a profit.

  2. Caitlyn Barton

    Hi Michael,
    I loved this post and the title really caught my attention! This is such a great perspective on conferences. I will keep this post in mind for when I attend conferences in the future. I will also start following the #Miched hashtag and see what I can learn from that!

    Thanks for a great post!
    Caitlyn Barton

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