Colette Cassinelli's visionary use of information literacy and educational technology

Building at PLN at NCCE

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.

Hanging out and learning in the Blogger's Cafe at NECC09. Photo by Kevin Jarrett.

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.



1 thought on “Building at PLN at NCCE”

  • Colette, I’m really sorry to have missed meeting you this time. I share your frustration over not having a hangout and share spot. A couple of thoughts.

    I was AMAZED at the number of first time attendees, when they were asked to rise at the opening keynote – a vast majority, like maybe 2/3? I was AMAZED at the number of classroom teachers at my preso (95%?). And 90% of those were elementary classroom teachers… So, lots of new folks, and I’m guessing many of them with little time to devote to pushing the ed/tech envelope. That’s NCCE.

    Would it be different at a national conference in Seattle?

    About 5 years ago NECC, the biggie, was in Seattle. I worked with Andy Carvin to set up a birds of a feather session – for wwwedu list followers and anybody else interested. Andy got a nice conference room all reserved for it. Attendees were Andy, Art Wolinski, Doug (Blue Skunk Blog) Johnson, and me. That’s it. We shot the breeze for a bit, and I was embarrassed at the lack of regional buy-in.

    At NCCE 2008 in Seattle, I put out feelers before the conference with Seattle folks, but got no interest. Ended up at a small spur of the moment gathering with some special folks: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ahlness/2299248555/

    So I’m stumped, but not surprised, that nothing happened like you were hoping for at NCCE. If something is going to happen out here in the great northwest, it will arise from informal and unofficial efforts. Like Edubloggercon. I know you worked on it at Portland last year. I bet you’ll be one of the organizers for it next time – when it really happens. Hope so. Thanks for sharing your thoughts – Mark

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