One person showed up.
Now, to be fair, I wasn't expecting many. I originally imagined maybe 15 but as of a few days ago, I knew that only 3-4 people would be in attendance. One person showing up wasn't overly shocking...though it did throw a wrench in my plan. I couldn't very well launch into my routine in front of one person. As a result, it became less of a presentation and quickly turned into a conversation. The teacher in attendance was a middle school science teacher from inside the district. It was very strange to hear the other side of the secondary scale. The students, the curriculum, the setting are all completely different from what I'm used to dealing with. In the first few minutes, it became clear that I wasn't going to be launching into uncharted territory today, I was going to start with the basics. He was just looking for a solid way to make videos.
We spent the next two hours going through YouTube, Camtasia, and Weebly as I showed him the basic steps for video creation and posting. At the end of our session, he was visibly excited to get started on his new project. He said he hoped to get one or two videos made by the end of summer and would be sharing them with me soon. It was a refreshing change of pace.
After the past few meetings I've been to (PETE&C, FlipCon, EdCamp...all great conferences), there are so many tech-savy people all trying to out simplify/complicate each other. Everyone likes to (whether they'll admit it or not) brag about how paperless they can be or how many pedagogies then can merge into a single digital experience, or show what sorts of advanced projects their students can create. While that's great, there needs to be someone on the bleeding edge, it's exhausting. Every year it seems like you have to throw out everything just because it's now old and jump onto the new thing. The other option is you have to defend yourself aganist a wave new ideas out to tell you why your "old" view is now outdated. What we have to keep in mind though is that there's many many people out there who haven't even begun. They don't need a uber-complicated virtual reality game...they just want to make a cool lesson, or some videos, or find one great app.
While I've had bigger sessions, and taught more complicated things, today was nice because it was concrete. I wasn't just talking about "all the things you can do if you want", I got a chance to say "here's how to do what you want to do...go for it". I look forward to seeing what my attendee comes up with. As for the rest of you....maybe next time?