Edubloggercon's not an unconference: here's why
Me, taking the 'mic' out of a conference-y intervention from Pearson at the unconference. Urgh. Pic: Will.
Within five minutes of arriving at Edubloggercon I've heard nothing innovative, I've had an advertisement from Pearson (surely the anti-Christ of unconferencing) who are here to make recordings of these incredibly innovative teachers for their own R&D. I'm just hoping that someone got a whole wad of cash from them to do that.
I've always been narked by the affirmation that Edubloggercon was the first unconference of its kind, when clearly we've been doing them since 2005 in Scotland. But it's not even that. I've shared what makes an unconference great before, but here are the cardinal rules that I think we're missing in San Antonio today:
- Voting on sessions
The physical space should try to respect the online space: there are no limits on time or space, so just hold all of the sessions, let people choose.
- There is no time limit
Sessions which are strung out to an hour where 7 minutes would have done, or which last an hour when three would have been better... that's a conference. Unconferences should know no limits.
No-one gets to advertise, even if they did give you a load of cash. They don't even have the right to present unless it's about stuff going on in classrooms here and now.
We don't do rows. Round tables, no tables. People need to circulate easily, which precludes rows and trying to hop over Sheryl Nussaum-Beach's flowing robes ;-)
- Free beer
Pearson should've paid for that. Well, we should have started off with some muffins and coffee, paid for by them.
- Get it started without anything conference-y.
Within no more than five minutes we should be hearing from someone's innovation. The people need to speak. Don't make us wait 43 minutes to go through admin.