The first night of the Learning 2.0 conference has come to an end…and I’ve actually finished my presentation tomorrow…if you can call it a presentation. We’re really pushing for conversations during this conference. Twitter and Ning are allowing that to happen. It’s been interesting to watch as teachers start to understand how these two sites are being used and what you can do with them. I received great feedback from the panel on the use of Twitter, and the audience seemed to enjoy it too. By the time I got home there were 15 more people waiting to be added to the account for tomorrow.
I explained to everyone about the unconference. For many this will be the first time they have ever had an opportunity to take part in an unconference. Someone twitted and called it an ‘unschedule’ session. That might be a better way to describe it. A session that is unscheduled until the participants tell us what to schedule. Some of the specialist I think are excited as one Art Teacher stood up and said “I’d love to talk about these tools with other art teachers…are there any here?” Others raised their hands and one other teacher stood us and yelled “Yes!”. That’s what were talking about. Making this conference meaningful for everyone! You design your conference, you get out of it what you put into it.
I’m frustrated with Twittercamp at the moment. It works for awhile and then just stops updating….not sure what’s wrong. We ended up having two of our GeekSquad kids sit and manually refresh the twitter page…not as cool…but still did the job.
That brings me to our GeekSquad: 50 students 6-12 grade who are volunteering to help out at this conference. The great part has been watching some of the 12th graders step up and take control and become leaders. 3 of them now know the username and password to our twitter and ning site…I trust them and they are doing a great job of keeping things up-to-date. It’s so great to see students helping teachers. We trained 15 students at 2:00 on how to connect to the wireless and sign up for ning and twitter. Those 15 trained the others as they came in. Some know mac, some know pc and they are learning from each other, creating their own learning and their own network. My favorite part is when they come and ask me for help because they’re stuck. As I sit down to help solve a problem they gather around to watch and learn…at one point the teacher who’s laptop we were working on was completely pushed out…they wanted to learn, they wanted to know how to fix it. Tip #1 when planning a conference: INVOLVE THE STUDENTS!
The opening forum when well tonight. Of course how could it not when you have Will, Wes, Sheryl, Alan, Jamie, Chris, Gary, Laurie, and David on stage. I really liked this format…of course we could have gone all night. When we talk about learning 2.0 we talk about sharing our knowledge, about giving control back to our students allowing them to be apart of the learning process…engage them in process. We want our conference to reflect that. We did not want a keynote that was the “sage on the stage” we wanted a conversation….and we got one. I hope the podcast is up tomorrow to share with all of you…it’s about an hour long….and worth it.
I’m looking forward to learning….to discussion and to expanding my own knowledge on what Learning 2.0 mean in this new digital connected, highly collaborative world as the conference continues.