I got home last night from the Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE) conference in Seattle. I’ve attended this conference off and on for many years and have presented sessions the last two. I was really looking forward to meeting more of my NW friends in my PLN. There wasn’t much activity on #ncce10 the week before the conference but I tried to reach out to those who said they were attending and say Hi and introduce myself.
I arrived Wednesday afternoon, and to my disappointment, I found out that there was no designated “Blogger’s Cafe” or “PLN Plaza” for folks to meet one another, share new ideas or just hang out in between sessions. I found this time so valuable last June at NECC09.
Throughout the NCCE conference there were a few people Twittering about their sessions and I gleamed a few good ideas from their tweets and even added some new folks to Twitter – but never really had the opportunity to meet very many people face-to-face except a few GCTs and DEN folks.
I was expressing my concern about the lack of a designated hang out space (that had free Internet access) with fellow GCT Martha Thornburgh at lunch and she agreed and she suggested we bring up this idea to the NCCE Program Chair, Becky Firth. We caught Becky in the hallway and explained our idea of the PLN Plaza and offered our assistance for next year’s conference. Becky was open to the idea – so now we need to figure out how to make a PLN Plaza some place people want to hang out, share, and learn from each other.
Developing a strong PLN takes time, commitment and leadership. If you have any ideas of how you have organized or participated in the planning of this type of space at a conference – we would appreciate your ideas.