If at Ulearn - Find a blogger you admire, shake their hand and take a selfie with them to post on your blog. Then find a new blogger and do the same! If you’re feeling really generous buy them a coffee! Write about it too!
This last week I went to ULearn15 at Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland. This is my fifth ULearn in a row, and at each one I have found inspiration and met amazing people and reconnected with old friends from many areas of my life.
This year the networking was awesome. I got to meet bloggers and tweeters and inspirational educators who I've been connecting with for up to four years (the amount of time I have been on Twitter as I joined at the end of ULearn11). This is how I have built up and widened my Personal Learning Network and become a connected educator through Twitter and going to ULearn, Educamps and EduIgnites.
On Wednesday night I attended the Twitter Dinner. There were about 55 people there, not all of whom were attending ULearn. @digitallearnin organised the evening and had us interacting with a game of Twitter Bingo, as you can see below.
First up for the selfie challenge was @st3ph007 or StephT who has the blog Four Seasons in One Kiwi. I've always really enjoyed reading her blog posts. They challenge me in some of my thinking. Often I agree, at times I do not. @st3ph007 has also supported @kerriattamatea in her establishment of the #BFC630NZ quick education chat each week day morning of term which I have participated in on occasion. @st3ph007 also is a regular participant in #edchatnz and has been known to put her wisdom out on Facebook pages I frequent too. It was fabulous to finally meet Steph and hear her passion for education in the flesh.
One of the Breakouts I went to at ULearn15 was presented by @Cherie59789095 and it was about networks and clusters, a hot topic currently. It took me a few minutes to click on to the fact that I had been interacting with the presenter on Twitter for quite a while as I wasn't able to click into the online resource for about 10 or so minutes. I had the opportunity to have a long chat with Cherie later in the evening after the Gala Dinner and I was thrilled to make the face to face connection with such an amazing leader.
During Brunch on the last day @vanschaijik who is also known as Sonya, sat beside me, and soon after we were joined by @mrehu. Sonya is one of the admins for #edblognz and is a big driver behind TeachMeetNZ, a virtual PLD meeting space. Sonya has also been a connected educator in many other ways too, which you can check out at http://sonyavanschaijik.com/.
I have been following @mrehu for nearly two years, I think, and at the Gala Dinner I met one of his teachers, @KNgarangione, who had come to ULearn15 with a group of the staff and she raved about working with him. So it was a bonus to sit down with Maurice for a few minutes and shoot the breeze about our highlights at the conference.
And lastly, after a false start the afternoon before where our timing was out, @mjbuckland and I finally caught up and had that f2f meet up and chat about the conference this year and in the past, Twitter and the "take homes" we have.
Alas, I failed to meet any new bloggers at ULearn15, but if you are a fairly new blogger and you are reading this and would like to help me out with a virtual meeting, or a f2f if you are in Hamilton, Cambridge or Te Awamutu, drop me a line at @melulater or through the comments.
It was great to meet all these people in the flesh for the first time this year, but also great to meet up with many other awesome educators that I have been meeting over the last few years, especially since 2012's ULearn.