Today is my big catered affair. The 2004 Ocotillo Retreatis the 17th one for the Maricopa Community College’s “Ocotillo” program— something started to provide a faculty-led focus on issues of instructional technology.

Ocotillo is a desert plant that is also the creative metaphor for what has been a dynamic and evolving organization over the years (For more history, see a 1999 presentation reviewing what as then 10 years of accomplishments).

Starting in 1988, we have convened these meetings the week after Spring graduations, for faculty, staff, and administrators to reflect on Ocotillo’s ongoing projects, and to set the road for next years. I missed the first one, held at a Mormon Lake lodge in 1988– my first one was the week after I was hired in 1992. Ocotillo came my project in 1997, when I first had the gut wrenching pleasure of planning the 1997 retreat for 100+ colleagues, vice chancellors, presidents, etc.

For this year’s retreat, we are appropriately going to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. Our guest speaker Dr. Diana Oblinger (EDUCAUSE Vice President), has a morning presentation on “The Paradox of Agility and Stability”- she is one of the best, engaging speakers, who has visited Maricopa before and always brings a great deal of relevant data and ideas.

We also have some round robin afternoon discussion activities to seed the ideas for next year’s new structure of topical working groups.

Only 10 hours until Happy Hour!

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.