K12 Online Conference LAN party…Update

K-12 Online Conference 2006WOW, my idea of getting a bunch of people together and taking this online conference offline here in Shanghai has been getting some attention. Glad to hear it and I hope more people around the globe will take this opportunity to show just how much things are changing. So, I thought I’d give you an update of where I am with my LAN party as it is beening called.

My goal was to get at least 10 educators together. So far I have 8 people committed with about 4 maybes. I have one principal and will probably get another (Alan are you in?) I’ve also extended this to another International school here in Shanghai and thanks to some contacts there (David and Melanie) we’re extending this out of my school and creating a even larger network of educators. My LAN might turn into a WAN :)

I’ve been looking for a place that is centrally located as people are scattered throughout the city, and have decided on my place. (Cleared it with the wife this weekend!) I have a wireless Internet already in place (1.2mbps..included in my rent!). The view is great, and all we need is some food and drinks (we’re thinking pot luck style with a small fee for drinks) and we’re ready to go. We’re still waiting on word from the University to see if we can give credit for people that attend. If so, my numbers might jump and then I’ll have to look for another place to host the party….I mean conference.

So here are my thoughts so far:

I’m planning on having four 3 hour sessions over the two weeks. That’s two sessions a week for a total of about 12 hours.

At each session we will listen to the keynote address for each strand and then discuss it as a whole group. I will podcast these conversations to link back to the conference to extend the thinking of each strand.

After that, participants will be able to go to their “break out” sessions to listen, watch, or take part in any of the 10 sessions being held for that particular strand. I can then help each person as they try to work through some of these new tools. Whether it be setting up their first bloglines account, setting up their first blog, or wiki or what ever it is. At the end of the 3 hours we will come back together and have a conversation on what everyone learned/tried this session. I will again podcast this and add it to the conference.

Those are my basic thoughts so far. Now I’m hoping I can some how work these fireside chats into the mix. That of course will all depend on timing. If not in the middle of my work day I will definitely be there. If the fireside chats where on a Saturday or Friday night in the states that would work best for our time here in Shanghai, and allow us to take part in the conversation. Of course I’ll be taking pictures and putting them on my flickr page as well so you can see the learning taking place.

I’m excited about this…a real opportunity to do something new, cool, and be part of a conference while not having to pay $1200 for a flight to the states.

If you have any other suggestions please let me know. I’m pumped about this and so are others who are attending. A bunch of teachers sitting around with laptops figuring out how to use web 2.0 tools…what could be more fun!

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