Blogpost 6 for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
Yesterday I attended educampPalmy. Over the last two years I enviously watched educamps take hold in many regions feeling isolated and too far away to attend.
I happened to be in Wellington for another hui the same day as EducampWelly in February so went along and met lots of people- known and unknown.
So when edupalmy started to be advertised I had to consider it. The power of networking is so immense. And just because we are physically isolated, we need to not use that as an excuse.
Many of our staff use social media to network- a group of us are active on Twitter, another group on Facebook. Some blog regularly. And these are all great. But there's nothing quite like the opportunity to meet up face to face with a few people.
So although it is a 5-6 hour drive through some roads that aren't very forgiving, and despite being able to drive those roads very rarely without a bout of carsickness I put the wero out there and found two other staff willing to take it on.
I attended a couple of sessions centred on leadership- thanks to Carol and Laura from Edlead and Bede Gilmore from Opiki School. I offered a session facilitating a discussion around the things we need to do to lead in new environments and allow innovation to flourish. Great discussions all round in all three sessions.
But the true power came in the networking. Putting faces to names, or rather to Twitter profiles.
Chatting to both like minded people and being challenged by people that aren't like minded. Talking learning and possibilities is always so exciting.
Ive returned to a life of absolute hectic- with four trips away in the next three weeks, and three uni assignments due in the next week. But I feel incredibly invigorated for someone who's driven from Te Karaka to Palmerston North and back. (Well actually been driven- thanks to Morgan for doing the majority of the driving.) The talking with Morgan andTtara in the car all the way there and back was fabulous. We never ran out of things to reflect on the entire way there or back! And even though the old carsickness did kick in between Napier and Wairoa- gotta love that road- I have no regrets about putting aside Friday afternoon and a full Saturday to get there and back.
As we left after six hours of great networking in Palmerston North the hugs goodbye from new friends were fabulous and the requests to keep blogging and sharing our journey so appreciated.
Sometimes you just have to make the effort to get to places in person. Social media is awesome for building networks. But its also great to meet up and know that those things you blog and tweet are being read and valued by real people. And to have those conversations you cant have on 140 characters. and the be replay human.
Thanks to all who made EducampPalmy a reality. Your efforts were worth it.