Thursday, March 05, 2009

Vicarious NAIS conference participation

As someone who uses Twitter to keep on eye on what others interested in education, technology, or both are talking about, I discovered that some of the 2009 National Association of Independent Schools annual conference attendees were sharing the proceedings through blogs and social networking tools such as Twitter.  As a result, I've now had a small glimpse of the conference through the eyes of those others who were gracious enough to share. Since I found some of my vicarious conference participation on Thursday and Friday worthwhile, I'd like to share some of the resources for others who might be interested.

Jason Ramsden (@raventech) and Sarah Hanawald (@sarahhanawald) encouraged live online conversation and blogged notes using the Cover It Live tool during the following presentations. (Click on the name of the blogger to access the notes.  Sessions with two bloggers listed have separate notes from each.)
  • Sarah: Setting a Course for IT Success
  • Sarah: Revitalizing the Veteran Teacher with Peter Gow
  • Sarah and Jason: Opening General Session with Dan Heath, author of Made to Stick, Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
  • Sarah: Creating Artists of Learning with Mary Cullinane
  • Sarah and Jason: Michelle Rhee on Reforming Education
  • Jason: Michael Thompson on The Impact of Technology on the Lives of Boys
  • Sarah and Jason: Guy Kawasaki on The Art of Innovation
  • Sarah and Jason: Closing Session with Oprah Winfrey
As you read through the recording of the Cover It Live session, you may notice comments marked with a Twitter symbol Cover It Live twitter symbol and some may seem like a non sequitur.  Those comments automatically appear in the blog session because the author thought that Twitter posts from selected authors or on specific topics might be germane and, therefore, interesting to those viewing the live blogging session.  This relates to the next resource.

Instead of creating a live blogging session dedicated to a particular presentation, many other conference attendees used Twitter to post short messages or quotes of interest while attending presentations.  Many people who posted messages to Twitter before, during, and after the conference marked these messages with the keyword #nais09 (called a hash tag).  That made it easy for people using Twitter during the conference (whether actually there or not) to follow some of the activities. You can see a list of all of the Twitter posts tagged with that keyword using Twitter's search tool.  The entries are listed in reverse chronological order, and people continue make Twitter "micro-blog" posts tagged with that keyword as they write related articles after the conference.  This is how I discovered most of the content about the proceedings. (If you are really bored, you can scroll through the that list of twitter posts and find the announcement I recently made about for this blog post.)

If you have read this far, you might be short on time, but you can quickly read some of the best conference quotes and highlights that were posted to Twitter according to Liz B. Davis (@lizbdavis) in her blog post Gr8T Quotes from #NAIS09.

Thank you to Jason, Sarah, Liz, and everyone else who shared the conference live via the web!

For those who prefer more depth and less conversation, there were also three official conference bloggers:
While I have not had the opportunity to explore all of their work, I did find Jonathan Martin's post "NAIS: Nine Highlights, Takeways, & Observations on Oprah, Rhee, Thompson, 21st. c. Learning, Chicago, and More" interesting.  Jonathan (@JonathanEMartin) also seemed to be a prolific user of Twitter during the conference so I believe he has included the input of others in his writings.

This experience provided me an interesting example of how blogging and social networking can connect people to a traditional conference when people actually in attendance are willing to share.  This is good news for us life-long learners who don't necessarily have the time or other resources to traditionally participate in theses events.

As I find other web resources of interest specifically related to the 2009 NAIS Annual Conference, I will post them under the nais09 tag of my delicious bookmarks, which you can access by clicking here.


Robin said...

Thanks for posting this Bill. Not only for the NAIS updates but for the great example of effective use of Web 2.0 activities. Have to share this..

Raventech said...

Bill - Thanks for the mention of the work Sarah, Liz, and I (among many others) did during NAIS '09. We had a blast and enjoyed the conversations surrounding the live blogging. Thanks for joining in! Jason Ramsden

Bill Campbell said...

@Robin Your welcome. There seemed to be so many people sharing conference experiences that there are probably many other blog posts I haven't come across, but this seemed like a good start. I suspect the #nais09 Twitter feed will be good place to find more information posted after the conference.

@Raventech Thanks again for sharing your experiences.