Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Nerdy Teacher's #EduTour

The other day, I was hanging out around the house and I thought about driving to San Francisco this summer. I have tons of great friends in the Bay Area and two of my favorite groups (Evernote and Edutopia) are out there, so it would be nice to pay them a visit.


I have always been a traveler. I like getting out there and seeing what the world has to offer. When I finally became a full-time teacher, I booked a trip to London and packed it solo through Europe for a couple of weeks. Some of the coolest people I met where staying in hostels. Awesome people and amazing conversations. There is something about sitting across from someone and sharing ideas over a beverage that cannot be duplicated with all of the technology we have today. These ideas came together when I started thinking about a road trip out West.

"What if I stop in cities along the way and have Nerdy Meet-Ups?" I would have a chance to meet so many different people and talk about all things education. What do these people do in their classrooms, schools and/or districts? I could have so many meaningful conversations with so many different people. It could be a crazy adventure over the summer infused with professional development the world has never seen.

Some people have suggested that I could do Google Hangouts and meet people that way and have conversations. While I could meet many awesome people that way, I want to shake a hand, give a hug or slap a high-five to these people. Virtual meetings can be great, but I like to get out there and see people face to face. Those connections mean more to me in a way. As digital as I am, I still love a good analog meeting.

Chronicling this #EduTour would be exciting and I know I would be able to meet many of my PLN along the way. Using my digital devices to record what I have learned in the hopes of improving myself as an educator. What an awesome way to dispel the "Summers Off" myth that so many people have around the country. Like many of us in the PLN world, making our own PD seems to be far more effective than attending what the school has to offer.

This is my question to all of you, "Am I off base in thinking that I could learn many great things on this trip that is not possible doing digitally?"

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section and make a case to be a stop on the way from Detroit to San Francisco in August if I make this idea  reality.

Photo Credit: Espen Klem Flickr Creative Commons


  1. I think it sounds like an awesome experience. As a Communication Studies professor, I think there is something unique that is generated through in-person, face-to-face communication that can not be replicated to the same extent virtually. Virtual communication makes what was previously impossible possible, but it does not necessarily generate the same connections, ideas or results as in-person contact. Just my $.02!

  2. Although I am on the east coast and thus not included in your travel plans, I am fully convinced that this is one of the better ideas I have come across in a long time. Although I love all things tech, there is nothing that beats sitting across from someone and exchanging ideas. Your edutour strikes me as a way to create a number of different edcamp-style encounters in a variety of places, which would be fabulous! Not only would you get to meet a number of interesting people, but you would also get a snapshot of how a large part of the country is approaching education. Fantastic idea! And, if you change your travel plans, I would love a Nerdy Meet-Up in the Mid-Atlantic region!

    Pontus Hiort

  3. You could swing WAY down South to Baton Rouge and visit one of your favorite librarians! You would LOVE Louisiana. I know California knows how to party...but HONESTLY I think we do it better! :)

  4. I've always wanted to backpack in the Grand Canyon, imagine how much better a trip like that would be with a bunch of edutweeps. I agree completely that being f2f is better than digital.

    1. I've never been to the Grand Canyon. If you go to Arizona, I think we should round up a Grand Canyon PLN Trip. We can speak in hashtags if we need to.

  5. Nick, definitely go for it. We were once mulling over a bus tour and stopping off in cities doing chats, meeting PLN members and connecting. Just re route your trip to Florida. Hey, every time I see Southgate Shopping Center I think of you. In fact I was just there this weekend.

  6. I think your idea sounds fantastic! If you are willing to start east of the Mississippi, we would welcome you in Evansville, IN. We don't have any fancy canyons, but the food and the company won't disappoint.

  7. Love this idea! Stop by Okoboji High School located in Northwest Iowa, we would enjoy visiting with you. I agree, virtual meetings are good, but face to face is better. Get some video and pictures along the way and you would have an awesome presentation to share! Our location is not too far out of your way; I am cool but I guess could participate in a Nerdy Meet-Up. :)

  8. I'd like to make a case for Rapid City, SD. Enroute, you can drive through the Reservations, the Badlands, and end up in the Black Hills. Rapid City is a great place to visit in the summer. Plus, our school district is at a technology crossroads, and I'd love to hear your perspective.


Please post your thoughts here. Thanks!