OTRK12- 2014

I’m sure the blog posts and reflections will be forthcoming from many an attendee of this week’s OTRK12 conference.  I was self reflecting practically during and after every session I attended, my mind swirling with so many ideas.

Firstly, I want to note my satisfaction with presenting.  This is not so much about the content of what I delivered ( because you can’t please everyone) but more the fact that I stood up there at all.  It can be hard to get up in front of a room full of strangers, colleagues, critics, and state your piece. I had to be brave. It’s a big step between attending a conference  and actually believing enough in myself to be leading a session at one.  I still have a lot of improving to do, but if I never present again, I can walk away satisfied with what I accomplished.

Next, I want to express how motivated and inspired I was again this year.  The great thing about attending this conference is that there are so many like- minded professionals who want to improve their learning for their students, classes, colleagues, school boards.  There were so many sessions to choose from, you almost couldn’t go wrong. You had an opportunity to learn new things or reinforce and practice ideas you are already starting to implement.  Support was everywhere you turned.  People were excited to share and help, answer questions, dialogue and compare best practices.

Additonally, the chance to network is amazing. I can’t add much here, because I practically hid in my room the whole time, but this is an area or action plan I can work on to improve in the future. A number of people I follow on twitter attended,as well as  a few people I’ve seen present before and some new people whose ideas I’d like to explore.  I wish I was able to express myself better or introduce myself to them or ask more questions, but I’ll have to work on that.

Finally, since it was the first conference I ever attended (last years) , it will probably always hold a special place in the mind of my professional career.  It opened doors to me, it expanded my horizons, it allowed me to meet people, and up my game!  I can say I presented at a conference! I continued being an elearning teacher. I started a blog and opened a twitter account. I’ve met some leaders in the online learning field. I’ve become a better teacher and collaborator. This sounds like a lot, but you never know what one thing can lead to the next when you are given an opportunity to explore.

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