“They Say It’s Your Birthday!”

Can you believe it? Ten years?

Podstock is officially a decade old. Way back in 2009, we saw the need for a tech conference. But not just a tech conference. A tech conference with a personal touch, with some fun, an event where people became friends and learned together.

We wanted to create a sense of connectedness, of family.

Kevin Honeycutt suggested that we try and replicate Woodstock. It was the 50th anniversary of the music festival – an event full of peace, love, and oneness. We wanted to highlight the cutting edge technology of podcasting. So it made sense to name the brand new ESSDACK tech conference Podstock.

Eighty brave souls showed up that first year and we had a blast!

Since then, many more of you have made Podstock a yearly must-attend event. And together we’ve learned a ton. made some great friends, and generally had an awesome time.

But . . . every great idea evolves over time. So we’re switching things up a bit this year. And like many of the things we try out at ESSDACK and Podstock, we’re jumping off and nailing on the way down.

Here are just a few of the things that will be different for 2018:

– We’re going to have three hour breakout sessions. Yup. Three hours. We wanted more hands-on. More collaborative. Less talking at and more working together. We want people making things, trying new ideas, maybe failing and starting over. You know . . . more like real life. This gives people time to dig deep, connect with others, and walk away with actual products.

– There’s a Reflection Rally instead of a Pre-Conference. Nothing wrong with the Pre-Con – people loved it. But so much of learning is connected to meta-cognition and we want to encourage more thinking about thinking. So . . . after two days of learning, we’re settling in for half-day of facilitated deep reflection and sharing.

– Our actual customers are too often pushed to the side during professional learning. We think students need to be part of the conversation so we’re finding ways to get kids involved in both the teaching and the learning that happens at Podstock.

Different schedule. Different learning. Different people.

Maybe Woodstock should have copied us.

Way back when . . .

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  • “They Say It’s Your Birthday!”