Day 1: SWDE’s third year is a different experience.

I recall attending the first SWDE conference in 2015. It was a small conference, but the information was overwhelming. I’d come to get a handle on best practices for online programming. That topic was well-covered, as well as just about any topic you could imagine. I came away feeling well-informed, and a bit wrung out.

In 2017, the focus of the program is Elevating Social Justice (hey, it’s right there in the title of the conference), and the focus provides a different feel. While the focus on useful applications and course design is present, the angle on social justice adds to the social work focus.

For example, I attended a presentation on social justice teaching through distance education technology yesterday, a presentation that I don’t think would have happened six years ago. Maybe that’s not accurate, but I just don’t recall educators embracing the notion using web-based technology in this way in the not-to-distant past.

The venue has changed; after two years in Indianapolis, social work educators are gathering in San Antonio, adding to the sense of a focus shift. The train has left the station; In three years, distance education doesn’t have to defend its existence; it’s a part of the landscape of social work education.

UPDATE: Sean Errenger (@stuckonSW) created a #Storify of #SWDE2017 Day 1 – Check it out here.

Last note: Personally, I’ve never been here before, so at least for me the whole impression is “new”. (Random blog fact: one of my seven-year-old son’s favorite movies is a ’80s film shot in San Antonio. He’ll be pleased to know I was here for this reason.)

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We’re not in Indianapolis this year.

Heading to SWDE 2017!

I was up at 4:00 this morning. Typically, I make room for conference travel, but this time, I’m practicing the art of cramming. I’ll be at the hotel right before the conference starts today. This is the third social work distance education conference, and I’ve attended them all so far.

My scheduling trade-off has an unintended side effect; seeing friends and colleagues already at the conference site, posting to social media, does make me feel like I’m missing out. I have to remind myself I need to work yesterday and would have needed to stay put in my hotel room if I was in San Antonio last night (or suffer the consequences of bad decision-making). I also recall bailing out of my last conference, switching to an earlier flight to save half a day and get back home sooner.

Going to #SWDE next week?

I am starting to blog again doing what I did last time: writing about my conference experiences. Next week I’ll be attending the 3rd Social Work Distance Education Conference, and I’ll write about it in this space. Good times!

If you plan to be in San Antonio next week, I hope to see you there.

New home.

Or perhaps not. I am still experimenting with this. I’ve been devoted to using Evernote to blog using Postach.io. That’s a simple setup and process. Many colleagues use WordPress, however, and I understand why; it’s really simple and robust at the same time.

By the end of this week, I’ll commit one way or the other.