K12 Education Hypercamp, the Concept

Ok, it’s time to put this idea out there. It has been on a back burner for a few weeks, and may not be something I have time for at the OCDE, but whose to say it has to be done by the OCDE.

So, a few weeks back Will Richardson posted some thoughts on a k12 bloggercon. The idea of implementing an online version of this conference really took off as a grassroots effort, as you can see. However, my initial thought was of a face to face version of a k12 bloggercon, and the Orange County Department of Education is nothing if not a well oiled event planning machine. So I set about considering what this might look like.

I was particularly interested in designing a conference format and schedule that maximized opportunities for informal conversations between participants, and with presenters or speakers. Over a lunch, Robert Craven and I brainstormed some ideas, and the initial result was a schedule that included as much discussion time as “session” time.

After meeting with the rest of the team, I sent this email to Will:

I noted your call for a “lower ed” bloggercon. It’s great to see such enthusiastic responses, too. In fact, when I read it, my first thought was that the Orange County Department of Education is in a unique position to make something like this happen. The other managers in the Educational Technology unit agree and we did some brainstorming on it this morning. Our administrator has given us a tentative thumbs up and we want to roll.

In fact we went so far as to consider possible names, venues, and dates for a conference. Wanting 6 mo. at least to prepare, and not wanting to run it in the summer, we have picked September 29th as a target date… and Anaheim as a target location.

We would love to work with you on this. We’ve often referenced your work in our read/write web for educators trainings and I refer to you often on my blog, Educational Technology and Life, at http://mark.blogspot.com as well.

Would you be interested in chatting or communicating further about this?

Will was gracious enough to reply, and I received this message:

Wow…what a cool idea. Thanks so much for the offer. A f2f conference would be great, but I’m wondering (as, it seems, are others) what an online conference might look and feel like. Might be able to get more people involved. I’m conflicted…

Let’s keep throwing the idea back and forth.

I sat on it for a few days, but scheduled another meeting with my colleagues in the Ed Tech unit at the OCDE to brainstorm more ideas. During those few days, Dave Winer posted his diagram illustrating his idea for a hypercamp face to face blogging event. So I went into the meeting with what I thought was a marriage of these ideas that was meant to be:

What about a K12 Education Hypercamp?

The team at the OCDE was excited about the idea, and had hopes of announcing it at the CUE Conference next month, but we (and especially I) have had to put it on a back burner. Even so, I thought the idea should not be confined to emails and meetings, but ought to be shared in the blogosphere.

So, is anyone else interested in this idea? And, most importantly, would you attend? (Or, for that matter, would you want to be involved in organizing the event?)