Tuesday, January 28, 2014

East Meets West: Transcontinental Chat Magic

Shiver me timbers! When could be more entertaining that a dress up party for the launch of the first transcontinental NYEDChat and TLAP online chat last night. It may not have been the Golden Globes or the Bammy Awards, but it was a celebratory event just the same.  The lead pirate, Dave Burgess, author of the well-know professional text, Teach Like A Pirate, brought together an amazing cast of pirates from coast to coast to sail his PIRATE ship. Along with Dave, three members of the moderating team, Vicki Day, Carol Varsalona, and Blanca Duarte, dressed in high seas' garb, brought a sense of revelry to the launching of the East meets West online connection. Co-hostTony Sinanis of the Bammy Award for Elementary Principal fame, charted the course while the moderating team of Bill Brennan and Starr Sackstein cheered from their quarters on land. 

When East met West on January 27, 2014 there was no ceremonial golden spike as on May 10, 1869, the day that marked the completion of the first transcontinental railway. What occurred last night during the linking the #nyedchat and #TLAP professional learning communities was a celebration of educational Voice. Fun was in the house. Rapid fire conversations, cross-tweeting, and an amazing flow of thoughtful answers were the fare of the day. While the Twitter chat flowed online, the team in the photos above enjoyed "hanging out" on Google as Dave's first mates and firing replies to the parade of questions posted by the evening's moderator, Tony Sinanis. As the ship set sail, Shipwreck Tag was offered to lure tweeps on land to join the conversation. Pam Moran, among others, heard the call and jumped on board, while Tom Whitby could only send his regards. 

Throughout the chat, technology rocked the ship back and forth with Tweet Deck, Tweet Chat, and Twitter providing the platforms for the firing of Qs and the reporting of A 1s to A 6s. To navigate the sea of responses that were floating in the Twittersphere, multiple screens were used by the crew, a phenomenon unbeknown to the pirates of yesteryear. Thanks to the craftsmanship of the lead pirate, Dave Burgess, the ship that set sail at 9:00 pm EST disembarked one hour later, laden with a rich bounty.  Gold coins were not plundered during the trip. Instead, golden words for a week of charting new waters in education were captured from the take away booty. East and West Coasters left, voices linked in unison and map in hand to chart new waters to bring passion to the classroom.  

History.com notes that the linking of the east and the west upon completion of the first transcontinental railroad was the "realization of a dream." So too, the virtual connection of East and West Coasters was the realization of a linked world of passionate and committed educators who look beyond the dream to reality.  

Aye, I believe all would agree that our sail last night was worth the trip and that a pirate's life is grand. Signing off, until we meet again.