Last week I wrote about some of my thoughts about keynote talks at major conferences. It was pretty well received, and elicited some interesting comments from people I respect in the education world. I also posted a less than interesting video that I created for the post. Don’t go watch it, it really isn’t that intriguing, despite my attempt to spin it as such in the original post.
The story about the iPad that I used to create the video is probably
much slightly more interesting. You see, after setting the iPad up at the front of the large ballroom of the Devos Place in Grand Rapids to capture Adam Bellow’s keynote from his perspective, I sort of forgot about it. I had set it up to take time lapse photos every 5 seconds, with the intention of picking it up at the end of the 60 minute session. I got caught up in my volunteering duties (I can be a bit overzealous when it comes to being helpful at conferences), and forgot to grab it at the end of the session. When I finally realized my mistake, I rushed back to the ballroom, only to find that the room had been re-arranged, and my iPad was no where in sight. I didn’t panic. I tweeted:
HELP! I've lost my iPad! Anyone at #macul14 seen a light blue one covered with stickers? Please RT!
— Ben Rimes (@techsavvyed) March 13, 2014
Do you see the love in that tweet? It’s right down there in the corner; 66 retweets. Sure, there are plenty of people that amplified my call for help because I know them, and we connect often enough on Twitter that I can call them friends. But many of those retweets were born out of the sense of community that was (and is) the #macul14 hashtag; individuals that I’ve never met, and may never have a chance to become acquainted with. It’s a small example of the power of Twitter, but it was a powerful one, and I’m grateful that it’s become an important part of how I connect with others in my personal and professional life. People started to ping me every few minutes to check in on me and my lost iPad. Friends who knew how miserable I was feeling at the potential loss of the device, acquaintances that I have only met once or twice at other conferences and weren’t even in attendance at MACUL 2014, and concerned colleagues all checked in on my throughout the day.
I felt loved….well, as much as anyone can feel loved through 140 characters. And yes, I found my iPad. Some kind soul had moved it off to the side of the table where it had been placed, and I missed it the first time I went to check for it. After nearly 6 hours of taking time lapse photos, and a dead battery, it had just shy of 4,000 photos from the conference on it. Oi!