NECC Sessions DUE October 3rd: Time To Dream It All Up Again

The deadline for submitting a session proposal for NECC 2008 is October 3rd, 2007 – next Wednesday. Edubloggers have already started writing about this… Warlick before anyone else I think (though I couldn’t find the post with a quick search); he seems to plan ahead more than most. I also saw someone (somewhere) post about how hard the NECC application is and I completely agree. A few other posts prompted me to comment tonight, and my comments have been shaping my thinking about this year’s submissions. Here’s two of the comments I left this evening that capture my thinking – influenced by many others of course.

In response to Will’s post Thinking Disruptively About Conference Presentations, I posted the following (note: I’ve added hyperlinks to compliment the original comment):

Great post, Will. I think you’ve captured something that a lot of us have struggled with… how to model this new kind of two-way learning while still getting the point across in 50 minutes – not to mention still getting selected by the conference planning committees.I like the 15 minute preso followed by discussion format. In fact, it reminds me a lot of Dave Winer’s hypercamp idea. I’ve wanted to see an educational hypercamp for a long time, and the edubloggercon was very close. It would be great to bring the format to NECC as a grassroots movement – however small it might be.

As for the formal submission process, I don’t see why we can’t be a bit subversive (as Tom March might say [streaming media link, NECC Live 2006]). We can still submit our topics with just as detailed a submission as we might usually… and then run the session in the format we prefer when we get there (if we’re selected, of course). Eveyone expects that the content of the session will be updated to account for the intervening nine months (despite the flaw ddraper points out in the system)… so why shouldn’t the format of the session also be modified to account for the lag between something like the edubloggercon and a formal box to check in the NECC submission process?

The remaining problem might be (and Draper didn’t touch on how NECC apps are worse than many other similar conferences) that NECC online applications are just too darn detailed.

In any case, I hope you (and many others) take the ideas you posted to heart and that there is a whole new breed of session at NECC in 2008. :)

A great conversation has developed in the comments to Will’s original post, so click on over and check that out, too, for greater breadth of perspective.

Then, in response to Vicki’s post Declare war on the Ruts, Boundaries & Comfort Zones, I wrote the following, which in my mind compliments the thoughts above:

Vicki, the most striking part of this post (for me) was the quip about buzzwords. With the NECC deadline approaching (and the CA CUE deadline just past), I’ve been feeling like my own workshops were in a rut. I’ve moved from slides to wikis for the most part, but often with the same basic structure. And even the workshop titles/content are feeling old (at least to me). So this post has struck a chord with my resolve to lead all new sessions this time around.I also look forward to seeing what everyone else imagines in the next week (and the following nine months), too. In some ways, this week is a very important one in our field, isn’t it? Educators around the world will define what ruts we stay in and which new paths will be explored. Hopefully the good new stuff gets accepted…

So this week it’s time to go away and dream it all up again. I hope the edublogosphere, and educational technologists (actually educators) in general really bring it this week. ;)

UPDATE: Just this evening (perhaps because of Will and Vicki’s posts and others) folks started twittering about putting together panel presentations for NECC. As I read through all the tweets I found myself wondering if collaborative planning for sessions will play a big roll in this year’s NECC – and if it might not even be an essential element of the “new” NECC session. I know any session I could submit would be very dependent on others’ work and contributions (standing on the shoulder of giants, as they say), but I wonder if I’ll wind up including more of a collaborative planning element myself…

And yes, that’s a U2 reference and an Oasis reference in the same post. :)