Thursday, June 23, 2011

All Write!!! Consortium Summer Institute-Reflection #1: The Power of Twitter

The thought of reflecting on such an amazing 3 days of learning and friends is overwhelming. So, I decided to do a series of posts on the All Write Summer Institute over the next few days. Who knew that a little idea like this could become such a great experience for so many of us? Mindy Hoffar, of All Write Consortium, runs an amazing event and even though we felt like we were crashing a REALLY good party, Mindy and her group welcomed us and made us feel right at home immediately. I think that happens when you are with like-minded people who are passionate about children and literacy.

Last year, I spoke at the 2010 All Write Summer Institute.  It was an amazing institute and I realized that Indiana was not so far away from Ohio and that I should pay attention to all of the events they sponsored so that I could attend.  This year, I got to attend the 2011 All Write Summer Institute as a participant.  But here is the incredible thing--I attended with a huge group of friends,  many of them were Twitter friends.  A group of us on Twitter decided that this year's conference looked like an amazing line-up of speakers and that we would all meet there to learn together.  The more a few of us talked, the more others joined in.  Our tweeps came from all over. Donalyn Miller (@donalynbooks) came from Texas. Teresa Bunner  (@RdngTeach) flew in from North Carolina.  Mindi Rench (@mindi_r) came from Chicago.  Katherine Sokolowski (@katsok) and Paul Hankins (@PaulWHankins) drove in.  Our Dublin crew included Mary Lee Hahn (@maryleehahn), Katie DiCesare (@Katiedicesare), Tony Keefer (@tonykeefer), Deb Tyo (@ChocolateAir), Meredith Young (@mereou), and two friends who are not yet on Twitter (but who hopefully will be soon.) We also met a new Ohio Twitter friend, Stephanie Shouldis (@WizardOzTeacher). Ruth Ayers (@ruth_ayres) is part of the All Write Consortium and it was so fun to have a chance to see her and to be part of her community.   If you are on Twitter, I would follow every one of these amazing people.  If you are not on Twitter, you are missing out on some great learning from so many smart educators.

I can't tell you how wonderful it was to be with this group of people in person.  I have learned so much from each of them through Twitter and online but to be sitting at a table, eating lunch together, talking books, family and stuff was amazing.  Such smart, thoughtful people. At one point, I was looking at the rows of my Twitter friends in a keynote and was struck by how incredible this was.  The fact that we somehow all connected on Twitter and then somehow came to learn and hang out together at All Write.  Without social media, I would never have had the opportunity to learn from this group. WOW!!!

More reflections to come!

4 comments:

  1. Wow! Sounds like a fabulous conference with some amazing educators. I am constantly in awe of Twitter and how it can connect us to like-minded people and help us learn and grow so much.

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  2. Thank you so much for all of the #allwrite tweets you all were sending. It almost felt like I was there at times. After showing some people in my district all the learning that was happening, by showing them your tweets, I was able to help get All Write in the budget next summer. I CAN'T WAIT! Thanks again.

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  3. Even though I was not able to be at the conference. I hope to learn more from all of these people by following their tweets.

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  4. Reading this the first time (right after the link went live) I felt like you were reading my mind. Now, reading it again after letting it settle in I realize how BIG it really is. To connect online and then in person adds a really cool layer to relationships. I'm glad to count you as a friend both in cyberspace and in person.

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