The Power of Conversation

So I’m starting at a blank screen wanting to write something. Have you ever had so much to say that there was no way you could actually put the words together. I’m there. I opened my blogging app to start reflecting on educon and there is just so much. While sitting here thinking I starting to think about the conversations I attended this weekend (those who haven’t heard of educon, the sessions are conversations not presentations). That’s when it hit me, everything I learned this weekend was from a conversation.

So many of these conversations were in sessions. The session leaders would tell which direction to take the convo and give us the opportunity to discuss. We discussed amazing things that caused me to think. Things that have stuck with me long after I’ve arrived back home. I loooove walking around during my session listening to the groups brainstorm and question each other. I learned more from them than I am sure they learned from me. They had the freedom to take it in what ever direction they wanted to. And each group did.

When not in sessions, conversations didn’t end. And I learned from these just as much. It’s amazing when you sit down to eat with people how much you can learn from each other. Great things coming from hanging out in library, walking from place to place, while laughing at others singing karaoke.

It all comes down to this, when people have ideas & take the time to converse with others who also have ideas, we can learn great things. I think that is what happens with social media as well (twitter to me is an on going convo that I can pick up on at any time). I believe we can learn just as much, if not more, discussing (not complaining) out ideas than if someone is shoving information down our throats.

Sometimes as teachers we forget this. We get caught up in curriculum, information, delivering it, that we don’t stop and allow kids to just talk about it. We don’t give them time to state opinion. I’m really bad about pushing for class discussion instead of small group discussions. I know I wouldn’t have spoken out as much to the group as a whole as I did in smaller groups. I’ve decided I’m going to take 5 min each class (classes we aren’t already doing group work) and give the kids a starting point and letting them go. I am interested to see where this goes. I challenge you to aloud kids to speak to one another more as well!

8 Comments Add yours

  1. woscholar says:

    “We get caught up in curriculum, information, delivering it, that we don’t stop and allow kids to just talk about it. ”

    Great point, Amanda. We should all strive to include more student voices in our classrooms. I truly appreciate your voice being a part of my session at Educon, too. Looking forward to more at ISTE.

  2. Mr. McIntosh says:

    It’s amazing what we can learn when we are not being taught!
    Looking forward to the day when My school division has the $ to allow me to attend Educon!

  3. bethanyvsmith says:

    I think that is one of the reasons I love to go to Educon over any other conference. I feel like I can make a difference agin!

  4. Philip Cummings says:

    I’m with you. It’s the conversation–the sharing that is the best part of EduCon. I enjoyed most of the sessions I attended, but the best part, the most beneficial part was the informal discussions, debates, and exchanges I had with colleagues and friends.

  5. Tony Baldasaro says:

    Amanda,
    In particular, I love how messy those conversations are. I love how people pushback in what Dean Shareski called, “Civic Discourse” and everyone’s value is embraced and celebrated. There are 500 presenters…. participants….learners….teachers….etc. there. By the end fo the weekend I am exhausted, full, and in a good way… my mind is broken, but ready to be rebuilt again.

    Thanks for sharing, Amanda.

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