Yesterday was the kickoff to the World Council of Gifted and Talented Conference. The conference contains over 300 presentations from 45 countries. It is a very diverse group of people.
After meeting up with some fellow educators that I have met via Twitter I came to the conclusion about a few things yesterday.
These are just some general ideas. I have the seeds for some much deeper insights and discussions that will be forthcoming, but for now these general ideas will have to do.
- Being a world conference you would think that many of them would be connected via social media. It is rather amazing how many people here are not online. It has really surprised me quite a bit.
- Many people have interesting viewpoints on gifted education. I believe that everyone is trying to achieve the same thing, but based on location, politics, history, and personal story, people have such strong views about certain topics.
- Sitting in a session during the afternoon I really wanted to speak up and share my insight on what was being presented, but did not speak up. Later talking with Ginger Lewman she raised a really good point of speaking up to challenge not only the speaker, but the audience. That push back is essential to move ideas and spark people to challenge their own thinking. I have never thought of it in quite this format, but it is very true.
- As always, the best part of the conference as with any conference has been the discussions I have had with other amazing people between sessions, walking the halls, or a little get together. These conversations allow much deeper discussion and insight and really make the conference worth it. I know my ideas have been challenged already and I have some really deep thinking to do on a few topics.
The best thing about this conference is the diversity. The diversity is something that you just don’t get anywhere else. The key is to connect. Sitting at a table last night after the keynote I was surrounded by 7 other people and zero of them spoke English. Finally, a woman next to me spoke English and we had a delightful chat about teaching. She was from Denmark so it was very interesting.
I connected with some others for a Tweet Up and in the room were people from several states as well as Vietnam, New Zealand, UK, and Mexico City. There were also a few authors and others who I consider big time in the gifted world. It was a bit mind boggling to be chatting with these people who I consider experts.
Today is going to be a big day of learning. It all starts in a little over an hour. I hope to have internet today so I can tweet and share ideas throughout, but that did not happen yesterday. Believe me when I say that I have some ideas worth discussing developing on this blog soon. I just need a bit of time to craft them properly.