Adventures in hyper-reality: blogging from the NMC

Attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shewbridge/4686645180/

The next few posts that will emerge on this blog will be from the NMC summer conference. I am one of three “live bloggers” that have been asked to write about the event.

Those of you who know how I write know that the concept of “live” blogging, for me, is a bit of a stretch. Live blogging generally implies speed. I can tweet quickly, but I cannot blog quickly. So, if you are interested in the more staccato form of what I am seeing and what I am doing while here, feel free to follow the LLU twitter steam here. These blog posts, meanwhile, will take a bit more time.

First off: the conference venue. How perfect is it that the nmc chose Disneyland to host this conference? Okay to be clear, USC is the host but a decision was made to plunk us here, in the Magic Kingdom. And the more I think about it, the more perfect I realize this location is.

NMCers come in all shapes and sizes and represent all sorts of educational institutions: K-12, higher ed, libraries, museums, businesses who are trying to use technology to effectively reach their clients really creative and innovative ways. I guess if there were one characteristic that I think ties all nmc-ers together it is really important intersections between using technology to encourage creativity, to foster a spirit of play and as a means to promote learning… in all ways and in all contexts.

Metaphors abound: just as it is sometimes hard to see the magic in the Magic Kingdom when your body is on east coast time and is wandering the park looking for caffeine at an ungodly early hour, sometimes it just takes seeing a wee child, dressed to the nines as a Princess and actually MEETING a Princess here to bring the importance of the reality (or hyper-reality) of this place back into a perspective.

The NMC, I believe, is also about helping educators (of all types) find that joy, that omg!, that spark, that willingness to explore. Meetings such as these showcase ways we can get ourselves and our students to engage in what some call the willing suspension of disbelief as a way to explore, create, and learn using new media and new technologies.

So, now that I have labored over and written this post I realize I am already a day behind in my blogging duties. Sigh. So, stay tuned. I need to go through my notes and pull together my thoughts about the keynote my Mimi Ito from yesterday. I need to write about the amazing conversations we had in our “Hack Your Syllabus” workshop on Wednesday I’ll get there. Aaaargh. Bear with me. I will get there. I promise.

But first…more coffee.

Barbara has been working for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for about 15 years. In addition to teaching Spanish she runs a somewhat unconventional language center. Prior to this adventure in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and watch the Red Sox. Preferably not all at once, although that could be interesting. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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