I woke up this morning to find myself in Manila. You know, one of those you roll over open your eyes and can’t remember where you are mornings. I’m just getting use to waking up in our new home in Bangkok and I’m off to Manila to do some consulting work with EARCOS (East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools).
I equate EARCOS to an Educational Service District (ESD) back in the United States. According to the stats on the website:
The East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools is an organization of 110 member schools in East Asia. These schools have a total of more than 72,000 pre-K to 12th grade students. EARCOS also has 87 associate members— textbook and software publishers and distributors, universities, financial planners, architectural firms, insurance companies, youth organizations, etc— and over 19 individual members.
Basically, they support international schools in the region as well as hold conferences every year for teachers and administrators. Once again this year I’ll be presenting at both the administrator’s conference in November and the teacher’s conference in March. I’ll also be helping with the GIN Conference this year (Global Issues Network Conference) a conference for students. Student groups from EARCOS schools come together and present different global issues projects they have been involved in. Using Jean Francois Rischard’s book High Noon 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them students present different ways they are helping to solved or are involved in these global issues. Last year the conference was an amazing event in Beijing and this year it will be hosted at ISB in Bangkok (Isn’t that just perfect!).
Last year the director of EARCOS approached me and asked if I would be interested in doing some consulting work for EARCOS. Dick Krajczar is a long time international educator and now head of EARCOS which is based here in Manila.
“I don’t know what we need to do, but I know we need to do something!”
Is what I remember Dick telling me when we sat down for a chat last year. Dick understands that you don’t need to know it all you just need to know people who can help you learn what it is you need to know.
Today my wife and I will go out and explore a bit and relax here in Manila and then I’ll spend Monday and Tuesday at EARCOS headquarters trying to help them help schools in this new digital age. When you think of the potential EARCOS holds in a new connected world. The ability to connect 72,000 students in 110 schools across multiple countries you can see why I’m excited to talk to them and figure out a way to use the web to help these students and schools communicate more effectively.
It’s also good to note that EARCOS is the main organization supporting the Learning 2.008 conference in Shanghai again this year. They have always been strong supporters of grass roots conferences like this and have helped to fund many weekend or mini-conferences over the years through their member schools.