Learning @ School 09

It’s hard to come up with that the absolutely best thing about #lats09 has been but one of the best is actually getting to meet all the people I’ve been tweeting with and blogging about for several years (PLN).

Sitting around the table at the Bloggers Cafe in real life instead of just virtually is fantastic.

It’s also been a great time to add new people to my twitter friends list; to watch people sign up and start tweeting during keynotes or sessions at the Blogger’s Cafe.

One of the cool things is to meet people like the keynote speakers online via their blogs or tweets and then to talk with them during the conference.

One of the other things is going to conference with colleagues and you see another side of them – and you also have amazing professional discussions at all times of the day and night.

I’ve discovered that I can access our entire twitter stream that we hash-tagged and take another look at our conversations – http://hashtags.org/tag/lats09.

Another of the great things about L@S09 was the collaboration. Not just through twitter feeds with questions and answers flying thick and fast; but right from the first keynote when @heheboy opened a collaborative document and 8 of us took notes together – and then opened another one so some more people could take notes. People helped others tweak their presentations, suggested content, loaned equipment, shared the load. I’ve already posted the blogger photo of 12 of the conference bloggers/tweeters who enjoyed the chance to meet f2f. But perhaps the very best example of collaboration can be found on @NZchrissy’s website and on a youtube video – planned by @Allanahk it was a kind of flashmob event where those of us in the know (mainly conference tweeters) invaded the front of the auditorium at the start of Wes Fryer‘s keynote (note that he joined in as well) and while @Allanahk‘s collaborative video was being shown on the screen we were doing the dance – and @NZchrissy was dancing in Bangkok – international flashmob!

Wil Wheaton and eBooks

I note that Wil Wheaton has just offered a $5 pdf version of his latest book – Sunken Treasure

Every year, before the summer convention season gets underway, I pull some excerpts from whatever I plan to release in the fall, take them to my local print shop, and make a deliberately lo-fi, limited edition chapbook to take with me on the obligatory summer convention circuit.

Two hours ago he posted this on twitter: “Hey Twitterverse: how would you feel about a digital version of Sunken Treasure for about $5?”

One hour ago he posted a link to where it could be downloaded.

23 minutes ago he posted this: “This is unreal. The PDF sales of Sunken Treasure in the last hour are over 1/5 of the total print sales in the last 28 days.”

Now I know that we’re talking about a very high profile person with a huge fan following (~124,000 people on twitter alone); and he’s self-publishing via Lulu but the maths for this is interesting.

Say he sold 100 books in the last 28 days – @ $13 each – that’s $1300.

Based on his comment he therefore sold 20 eBooks in the last ~30 mins – @ $5 each – that’s $100

However, say he sold 500 books in the last 28 days – @ $13 – that’s $6500; and 100 eBooks @ $5 is $500 (in ~30 mins)

Those are very cool figures.

Depending on how you manage your book sales you could actually end up making more money from eBooks than from print books.

It’s a great example of Web2.0 marketing!

And as an aside – yes i did purchase the $5 book – and it was followed by an email from the man himself (ok it was an automated email but still a nice touch) thanking me for buying the book!

Hard week

It’s been a hard week at school – last Saturday a former teacher & friend, Sarah, died unexpectedly. She was 26. On Wednesday a number of us travelled up to Hawera for her funeral. It’s hard to say goodbye to someone so young. It’s hard, in fact, to believe that she’s really gone! And it’s hard working amongst memories of her.

I came away from the funeral with the thought that I need to enjoy my kids (my own) more – do more with them – take more photos of them and with them – because sometimes life doesn’t always pan out how you plan it to.

Take some time and hug your kid today – even if they’re adults.

New Year …

I’m always excited at the start of a new year. There’s something about a new class full of students – the challenge to get to know them and their quirks; the challenge to inspire and excite them about learning; and the challenge to stay creative and forward-thinking in my teaching.

I spent 5 weeks in the USA – Montana – over the holidays and had a blast! I even managed to fit in a couple of school visits which were very interesting. Kiwi teachers would find US classrooms/teaching practise very different in many ways.

I’m heading off to Learning@School in a week or so – and am very excited to be able to meet up with some more people from my twitter and blogging lists. I was there in 2007 and met Allanah, Chrissy and Simon. I’ve since met Andrew, Suzie and Rachel at another conference. This time I hope to meet Erin, Heath, Amanda, Toni and some others at the Bloggers Cafe.

I’m also watching the bushfires very closely at the moment – my brother lives in Pakenham which is south-east of Melbourne and south-ish of the Bunyip fire – what an horrific loss of life and property – and I , like many teachers, have been thinking of the schools and the children who have been lost – and when they are able to start up the gaps in classrooms.

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