08 June 2016

Friends - #100DayProject - Day 069

One of my favorite parts of my trip out east has been the chance to meet up with friends who live on the opposite side of the country from me. Over the last two days, I've been able to meet up with two different groups of friends who help me to be a better person and a better teacher.

Image Source: Marialice B.F.X. Curran
On Tuesday, I was able to visit the both Liberty and Ellis Islands as part of my #D2T16NYC trip as I've been running around New York City in the search for U.S. History. Beyond the life-changing experience of learning first-hand about immigration, I was able to reunite with two of my #DigCitSummitUK colleagues, Marialice Curran, and her son Curran Central. Even though I hadn't seen these amazing people since January, we've had many digital connections that have helped us keep our friendships current.

After learning together at Ellis Island, we were able to head back to Manhattan and visit with some of the Buncee team. If you're an educator and don't know about Buncee yet, listen up because you're gonna need to change that, soon! Buncee is a drag and drop tool that allows you to create amazing multimedia presentations that are fun and extremely educational. Your students will thank you for letting them play instead of working and yet, you get the last laugh because they are learning and creating beautiful art that helps them learn. I was able to meet with Marie Arturi, the CEO and founder of Buncee, along with part of her team at their New York offices and was amazed at their level of concern for their product and customer care. While at Buncee, Curran Central was able to interview Marie on Periscope, so go check out how amazing he is and remember, he's an ELEMENTARY STUDENT! Wow!

As much fun as we were having, it was hard to say goodbye, but it was okay because I knew I'd see these awesome pals again soon. Hopefully, it will be at the next #DigCitSummit, scheduled to take place at Twitter HQ on October, 28th! However, I wouldn't mind if it was sooner than later.

Chris, Me, and Stacey after a great meal.
Then today I was able to hop on a train to New Jersey to meet up with the one and only Chris Nesi of the #HouseOfEdTech podcast! Chris and I have been friends ever since I was lucky enough to be a guest on episode 22 of his show and I've enjoyed that friendship greatly! After exiting the train I didn't follow the instructions very well because I got lost, but never fail, Chris showed up along with a special surprise, another friend, Stacey Lindes, who I was also hoping to meet up with but wasn't sure if I'd get the chance. It was so fun to finally get to meet these amazing educators face-to-face and enjoy some time together. After breaking bread, we went for a great walk around New Brunswick, the designated meeting place, and just enjoyed one another's company. It was like I was hanging out with old high school friends and yet, we had never met in-person. Again, it goes to show the power of connecting digitally and creating bonds that are more than just words typed into a computer.

Even though I came across the country to study about U.S. History, I was able to do so much more, I was able to increase my relationships with two different groups of education friends I met online. Creating an even stronger bond amongst friends due to the chance to meet in-person and learn from one another is one of the most precious rewards I will take home with me. So even though you can create friendships online, friendships that are real, be sure to take any chance you get to increase their strength by meeting face-to-face if possible.

Thanks friends for allowing me to be a part of your lives and thanks for being a part of mine!

Note: Due to my crazy #D2T16NYC schedule, I missed yesterday's post, so I'm just gonna add another day to my total and continue on. I've combined the two posts because they had similar content and worked well together.

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