I double dare ya. With a cherry on top. Whipped cream too.

It’s just around the corner, the flip of the monthly calendar, but so soon, The University of Mary Washington Faculty Academy will be happening- May 16 & 17 here in Fredericksburg.

Let’s see- you will get a keynote by David Darts, an NYU Art professor who will bring forth issues on digital media, copyright, and cultural complexities. The guy behind the PirateBox, I am eager to have him autograph the one I have.

But wait, there’s more– featured presentations by the Canadians! Giulia Forsythe will be Drawing Conclusions in her talk on visual literacy and Grant Potter wil be sharing ideas on tinkering -it’s connection to learnin, and the possibilities created via the “adjacent possible”.

But wait, there’s more– an opening “Carnival” of hands on sessions on web radio stations (Grant Potter showing ds106 radio), live video streaming (Andy Rushaw and Jim Groom showing the DTLT “kit”), Visual Notaking (practice your own skills led by Giulia Forsythe), and 3D Printing (Tim Owens and the MakerBot).

But wait, there’s a lot more – 2 days of panels and sessions by faculty at UMW, sharing a wide range of innovations in teaching, learning, and technology. This ain’t no buzzword flipping, this is the real deal. You are not left bludgeoned by powerpoint nor will will you be inclined to be heads down in email.

But wait, there’s more– you get fed! And not conference chicken!

But wait, there’s more– a lively party at Casa Bava.

What’s it like? Not exactly disco lights, but the energy and fever will be high

So how much would you pay to attend an awesome conference? $800? Seriously? What kind of excuse will you make? You live in Europe? Pshaw, its a short hop. You are busy saving baby seals? Do it next week.

What could possibly be a justification to miss out on FA12?

Get this- Faculty Academy’s registration fees are….. $0.00 for not only UMW faculty and staff, but anyone from the educational community.

So what are you waiting for? go now and register.

Are you still here? Are you INSANE? Go register, willya?

Okay, for me this is exciting, because I am attending Faculty Academy for the first time as an insider, having joined DTLT and UMW in March of this year.

My last Faculty Academy experience was 5 years ago, when I was an invited speaker – Wow, that post was a stream of conscious, the event being meeting for the first tome Barbara Ganley as well as getting to see the UMW crew of Jim Groom, Martha Burtis, Andy Rush, Steve Greenlaw, Jeff McClurken, Patrick Murray-John, Chip German, and of course Gardner Campbell who reached out and gave me the Caravan welcome, the start of a friendship I cannot put enough value on.

This was a pivotal presentation for me, maybe one of the first times as a featured presenter, but also in assembling material for a talk on “Being There” that I find I still draw upon many years later. But it was not about my stuff that I recall Faculty Academy, it was the buzz and camaraderie of the people here, many of whom I am getting to know anew as colleagues.

It was a conference that stands out from the other conferences.

So for me, its sort fo coming home in a way. but for you– I do not buy any excuses.

Get to thee Faculty Academy! I expect you.

No excuses accepted.


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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.

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