100 Cups of Coffee: The Year-Long Conference

cupsofcoffeeI can’t remember where I was introduced to the concept of 100 Cups of Coffee, but it may have been The $100 Startup book.  All I know is that the concept of meeting with many people to discuss ideas and thinking around a particular field rocks. 100 cups of coffee is simply meeting one hundred people for coffee. It’s like an extended education conference that can last the whole year long for considerably less than a plane ticket, hotel, and conference fee. Not only that, but it can be personalized to your current learning needs. Tom Whitby recently posted about the relevancy of education conferences, and there has been amazing discussion on Twitter about the topic. It reminded me that the individuals I met and the discussions we had are what made EduCon 2.4 an amazing conference experience.

I know some are tired of the conference bandwagon…. maybe it’s time to make your own conversations? To buy 100 cups of coffee? To find the interesting people and learn from them like Chris Fancher mentioned this morning:

Conferences are a great starting point for conversations. Twitter can also be a starting point… the whole reason I met Chris at #educon was from his tweets inviting people to join him for dinner prior to the conference. Pick your starting point… then start.

As I learn about academic advising in order to better meet the needs of my personalized learning students at E3, I find the need to start those conversations. I am beginning locally through some traditional networking, but plan to meet over coffee with others via Skype or FaceTime. I can even email a Starbucks card to pay for the coffee. Voila!

You can too.

(And if you are an #acadv professional bridging the high school to college gap, please contact me or comment below. I’d love to talk with you.)

Links:

Learning 2.0:A Colorado Conversation

CO LearningToday, I attended COLearning in Loveland, CO with a very intelligent and forward thinking group of 21st Century educators.

I began the morning listening to Melinda Miller in “A Principal’s Perpective: Leading Tech Integration with Regular People”, which I quickly realized was well beyond where I needed to be.  Using the CO Learning policy of “two feet”, I stood up, and walked into another session that was more suited to my learning needs- the “Got PD?” session with Michael Wacker & Ben Wilkoff.

Bud Hunt shared “Show & Tell for Everyone” in Session PD2.  He challenged us to, “Think of something educationally awesome.”…. then share that story, tell why it’s important and post a link to your “show and tell” on the Ethernet.  Homework!!!! The things Bud has to share about transparency really resonate with me.  And I’m going to have to read my own Twitter feed in order to remember other things from his session.

For the final formal session of the day, I chose “Vodcasting: From Capture to Distribution” by Brian Hatak.  This was probably the most practical session of the day for me, and I left encouraged to start creating simple podcasts tutorials for the computer lab.  It is exciting to see how educators like Brian are using technology to move learning beyond the classroom, and also to free up classroom time for learning.  He had software, hardware, and application suggestions for us- all of which are appreciated.

The Unconference Session of the day was on Elementary Education & Technology.  The group was primarily composed of people from my district, which enabled us to have some very specific discussions regarding software, firewalls, server issues, and general tech implementation issues.

I’m still thinking over these things, but wanted to post in the spirit of “it doesn’t have to be perfect” that Brian Hatak mentioned.