I was extremely fortunate to happen upon a twitter mention about something called RSCON. I followed this mention and found a site called reformsymposium.com. It was a gathering place for many of my favorite EdTech people on Twitter and also the home of the Reform Symposium Virtual Conference, or RSCON. This is the third year of this virtual conference so it was called RSCON3 on Twitter and other social media sites. The conference was to be over 3 days, multiple time zones and with participants from all over the world….hmmm free and global. So, I registered to see what it was all about. Recently, I paid a bit of money to attend ISTE2011 Remote. The sessions were good but overall for the money, I felt there should have been more for the remote viewers. What was stranger was there was a limit to how many remote people could sign up. Since this event didn’t mention anything about “few spaces left” and it was free with a great schedule to pick from over 3 days, I decided to give it a try.
I am so glad I did….
This had to be one of the better events either virtual or face-face that I have attended and it was free! Every event was chock full of great ideas, inspiration, resources and people to network with. Because it was a very “plugged-in” event, it could be followed via Twitter and other Social Media sites for further idea sharing and networking. I made more positive contacts in one weekend than an entire year. I must have logged and followed tons of sites, blogs and Twitter profiles. I left each session rejuvinated with ideas for the teachers, that take workshops at my center, as well as those that I teach with and most of all for my students. I came away with ideas for global digital projects, PLN improvements, PD topics and more. It was also neat to hear the voices and sometimes, via video chat, see the faces of people I had found so valuable to follow on Twitter as part of my PLN. I’m honored to have these connections in my PLN as they are just incredible with the amount of ideas and resources they make available to others. I found it a very positive atmosphere and hated to have to “unplug” from a minute of it. (Although my family did want to be fed at times.) One of the biggest messages that I came away with and plan to share with others is the major importance of a PLN for educators and how powerful a learning and sharing tool Social Media can be for us and ultimately our students.
If you are looking for a positive learning experience, the reform symposium is definitely it. If you missed it this year, don’t fret, they are even posting the archives of all sessions online for all to see. So check to the reformsymposium.com site and watch some incredible session from presenters from all over the globe. You will be glad you did and feel as rewarded as I do right now. I’m already looking forward to RSCON4!