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