Down the Rabbit Hole

“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”
― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland


bringittogetherpromoLast week I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario’s Bring it All Together14 Conference.  The line-up of keynote speakers was extraordinary with each presenter sharing their own perspective on technology, pedagogy, connection, creation and communication. Throughout the three days, participants were provided with a wide selection of sessions to attend.  Presenters were well versed and obviously very passionate about the benefits of effectively using technology to engage students, staff and the broader educational community.  The cheers, claps and head nods reinforced the messages that those of us in attendance believe to be true.

As I moved from session to session, tweeting out thoughts, ideas and strategies which resonated with me, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Why don’t more of our colleagues ‘get it’?”

I often hear people say that they don’t have the time to be more “connected” or that they are self-proclaimed luddites when it comes to using technology.  We would never accept that excuse from our students, if we asked them to learn something new or something that was going to create the conditions for them to be more prepared to meet the future and yet somehow we feel, as educators, it’s acceptable.

During a lunch break, David Fife and I met and chatted with Mark Carbone the Chief Information Officer for the Waterloo Region District School Board Ontario, Canada and our conversation turned to this very topic. I equated the world of technology to Wonderland and shared that it’s such an exciting place to be, I can’t imagine not sharing it with all my friends.


In revisiting Alice in Wonderland, I found this quote, “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then”.   And just like Alice, I can’t imagine going back to a time when I didn’t have a connected Professional Learning Network.  I learn so much from educators around the world who teach me, challenge me and motivate me to stay current and contemporary.



If you haven’t ventured down the rabbit hole yet, take a page from Alice and take the plunge.  You’ll find it an incredible place to be.

5 thoughts on “Down the Rabbit Hole

  1. Thanks for your comments Sue. I find many are interested, but need someone to guide them into the rabbit hole. I am meeting with a group tomorrow in taking those first steps:)

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the conference, Sue. It was a real highlight for me to meet you in person. We’re no longer Twitter ships that pass in the night.

    Your comment about time is one that I’ve heard so many times. In the beginning, it might be true. After all, you do have to work to register, sign up and then put forth the effort to create a presence that others will want to interact with. I get that.

    But when that’s done, it’s important to note the payoffs. Once connected, however it’s done the rest is gravy. The connections and the learning just never stops. Classroom and Leadership take off in leaps in bounds. Once connected, you look back to the unconnected days and wonder how you could ever call yourself a progressive educator.

    In my early years of teaching, our school’s teacher-librarian was superb at clipping research and newspaper articles and putting them into our mailboxes. We really appreciated the fact that he took such delight in supporting the learning and growth within the school. I’ll never forget how important it made me feel that someone else cared that I learned.

    Of course, today, we have better tools and not nearly the effort is required than it was so many years ago. We also don’t rely on just one person to help us grow – if we’re in a great community, we help each other constantly. Therein lies the value.

    I suppose just like our students have differentiated needs, teacher professional learning runs a parallel course. I just hope that we don’t stop promoting the continuous learning. That’s what makes a good system great, to coin a term.

    I hope that you continue to lead the way by example in your district and the province. I can tell you that there are lots of us who appreciate your work.

  3. Sue, thanks for posting your thoughts on #bit14 and the importance of getting our colleagues to see the value in technology. Ron Canuel’s, during his keynote hit the nail on the head when he challenged us to bring someone new, someone who has never been the conference. I think this is a challenge that we all need to take up. I’m just wondering if the convention centre in Niagara Falls will be big enough! 🙂

  4. Yes, our experiences and who we connect with change who we are and how we think. Thank you for your leadership and for your contribution to our event last week. I am glad it was a good opportunity to connect.

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