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Podcast: Conference versus Conversation

Yikes, this is starting to become a habit again! This podcast recaps a few conversations that were scattered around NECC and the DEN National Leadership Conference. I’ve heard from many people that the most valuable part of the last few conferences they’ve attended have been the conversations that have occured with other attendee’s and presenters outside of the actual workshops. If that’s the case, then why aren’t we creating more opportunities for such conversations? Perhaps it’s time for a new EduBlogger’s unConference, utilizing the Open Space format. Anybody want to take a trip to Chicago if I put it together?

Enjoy the show!

Direct link to the podcast Had some trouble getting it uploaded, should be working now

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  • I would be glad to help if you are serious…

    David Jakes


  • Same here. We need an “unconference” in the PA/MD area.

    Aaron Smith


  • “Anybody want to take a trip to Chicago if I put it together?”
    You buying? 🙂

    Casey Hales


  • Count me in…it is high time we got this ball rolling…

    Regarding paper…you, me, and others listening ot this podcast would most likely love to do away with paper. However, our culture includes professionals that have grown up with paper and feel comfortable with paper. I think the school of the future should include digital applications that allow staff and students to transition away from paper by helping them construct for themselves the benfits of capturing and communicating information digitally. It is our job to facilitate that process.

    3 shows in a month….Steve is back!

    Clint Kennedy


  • Here’s the question though, if you could handpick your teachers, and have a perfect network, what exactly would you be using paper FOR? If we still need it, then what are people doing with it? I must not have aritculated that piece of it on the podcast! What do you think?



  • I do agree that we are moving from a hi-touch to hi-tech, some states faster than others. I wonder what the brain research has to say about how we learn in this hi-tech environmnet? ENjoy Boston!



  • Glad to hear you again! Do you have any writely invites left?
    I would want paper! What would I make paper airplane with? There are many project my kids use paper for.



  • Steve: I still need paper, because when I’m teaching an origami lesson I can only fold a laptop one way.

    I tried turning one into a paper crane once. It didn’t end well. 🙂

    Aaron Smith


  • […] The DEN-NLC conference went a long way towards recognizing the power of informal networking and learning from each other, as opposed to relying on presenters to be the sole source of knowledge and expertise. Recognizing this dynamic in the planning of the conference made the experience stronger, more diverse, more powerful, and longer-lasting. Perhaps this is because of some of Steve Dembo’s observations. Read his quick blog entry (Conference vs. Conversation), and listen to this podcast. Some of the ideas that he shares really resonated with me. An increasingly powerful part of most conferences, anymore, is the networking that happens. (As opposed to the keynotes and sessions, which are key to getting conversations going, perhaps, informal networking are the more dominant, change-inducing experiences.) […]

  • I resonate with much of what you say here, Steve. You mentioned “hand-picking” conference attendees. That’s what happened at the DEN-National Leadership Conference.
    See my blog post re-capping the event here:

    Ed Warkentin