The COABE LAPCAE 2013 Conference in New Orleans was a great experience! I got to meet dozens of adult literacy providers from Florida to Seattle at the New Readers Press booth, and my workshop on Teaching Adults: A 2014 GED Test Resource Book was a runaway hit. We were expecting maybe up to 80 people and ended up giving away 151 raffle tickets! Wow!
You can view or download the session Powerpoint and handouts in the COABE online repository. What a great service!
I’m excited to bring that same training to OAACE in Dublin, Ohio today! I’d love to bring the workshop to your state, too. Please feel free to email me or check out the training page for a list of upcoming workshops.
Here are some other random thoughts I had during COABE 2013 about the potential of social media:
From Facebook to Face-to-Face
I met a lot of people that I’ve only communicated with by phone, email, LinkedIn, and Twitter…including my editor and business manager at New Readers Press! There is nothing quite like meeting someone in person and shaking their hand, but the continual contact of working remotely meant I showed up to the party with a lot of friends already.
And the Conference expanded the number of people using social media, as well. Thanks to the National Coalition for Literacy coordinating a Tweet Up workshop and initiating the #coabe13 stream and archive (with over 1500 Tweets!), I followed everyone who used the conference hashtag and got to expand my amazing network even more. Tweeps who continue using the hashtags #adulted and #GED will probably see themselves pop up in my GED Test Weekly paper before long.
I am still amazed and blessed that I get to work with people all over the country and world while in my home office in Cleveland, Ohio. I’m not devaluing consulting via distance at all. But in the world of Twitter and LinkedIn and The Cloud, these national conferences have an even more special place in my heart. It’s like Easter chocolate when you’ve fasted during (most of) Lent. I think it helps me a lot with interpersonal communication to be able to envision the person’s facial expressions and body language.
The social-to-real-life transition wasn’t perfect. There were still a couple people I meant to connect with that I did not, particularly other exhibitors like i-Pathways (sorry again!). Jason Guard got stuck at home having a cute baby or something. But all in all, because of my online social network, I went in feeling much more comfortable that I was continuing an existing conversation, not trying to just find my way around. The same is true of OAACE, where I look forward to meeting the face behind the Parma Adult Education Twitter account, and hopefully make some other real life connections that I can continue to converse with thanks to social media.