Tough times have hit us all in a variety of ways. The cancellation of the Alabama Educational Technology Conference is one example. It’s an event I look forward to every year both in terms of what I learn and what I can share with others.

As a wise man once said, “The worst things are never the last things,” and a recent letter hammered that point home. The plan is for AETC to go ahead, but as a Virtual AETC. Sessions will be be offered through such means as Elluminate.

I have been on the receiving end of Elluminate sessions, but never on the presenting end. It’s an opportunity for growth. It’s an opportunity to take something I know nothing about and turn it into a way to reach people I might never see in person. When I read Don Marchant’s letter inviting those of us who have been regular presenters to step out of our comfort zones and step on to a plane that we are going to be building as we fly it, I immediately fired off an e-mail saying, “Count me in.”

It looks like I have a learning curve ahead of me. To be honest, I am at my best when the goal seems to be just a little beyond my grasp. I am the happiest when I am learning. Frankly, with all of the balls I have in the air right now, I really don’t have the time to tackle something like this. But, for this one, I am going to make the time.

Virtual AETC is slated for June 8-12. The plan is that it will be free! For those who have resisted going to AETC because the drive was too far, that excuse has been removed. For those who always seem to be out of town during the event, that excuse is gone. The event is wherever you are. For those who have resisted because filling out the paperwork to get professional development funding, that excuse is gone.

Yes, we are building the plane as we are flying it, so if you are looking for all of the information in one nice neat package, forget it. The package will probably change daily. In situations like this, a blog is the most efficient way to get the news out as it is happening, and the best way to get feedback from all of us. AETC has established such a blog to keep us abreast of developments. I have added it to my Google Reader. You can go to the AETC blog by clicking here.

Tough times are throwing us some lemons. Maybe it’s time to make a little lemonade.

When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and you are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.
—Barbara J. Winter