Learning 2.012 Reflection

Learning 2.012 Reflection

I have been home five days now from my month long around the world trip (way to long…learned my lesson on that one!) and it is time to start writing down some of the things I was involved in, witnessed and helped to push forward in schools from Europe to Africa to the islands of Indonesia. But first I want to start with, what is still shocking to me, probably the best conference I get to attend. The Learning 2.012 conference that takes place in Asia every year. A conference that I helped to start back in 2007 and that continues, in my book anyway, to push the boundries of how conference formats need to change with what we understand to be good learning and good use of our time together. Learning2 when we started it back in 2007 was founded on a couple simple principles. Be different Be social Be a connector Push participants and our own understanding of learning Be Different Since this conference was founded never has there been a repeat of what the schedule looks like. Each year the orginzing committee has the option to start with a clean slate. Do something different, do something radical, try something new….and every year they do. Some thing work and some thing don’t work but you know what…we call that learning and that’s what Learning 2 is all about. Learning 2 was started, and is still seen, as a technology conference. But every year as people write reflective blog posts about their experience the shock is always; this is a conference about learning and technology just happens to be a part of it. Even in my session this year when I had people brainstorm in groups on what they believed “Flipped Education” was on a piece of chart paper with markers, I got looks. Yet this technology in a group setting is a perfect fit. Actually….I’m not really interested in the product (the paper) but the process of people talking, of coming to an understanding together. That’s what a conference is about. Be Social That leads me to the most important part of this conference. The idea that learning is social. I say it as often as I can that if you are going to a conference for content you are going for the wrong reason. Content is free and open, connections are not. This conference has some...

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Learning 2.012 Early Bird Registration Ends Soon

Learning 2.012 Early Bird Registration Ends Soon

    Excited to see the Learning 2.012 conference is filling up fast. The conference that I helped to start back in 2007 continues to explore the meaning of what it means to be a modern day conference. Every year the committee plays with different formats and different ways to get participants involved in the learning process. The one thing this conference has never had is a keynote speaker with the committee always trying to find ways to get participants involved in the learning process. For Learning 2.012 in October the breakdown of sessions looks like this: Two Extended Sessions led by Learning 2 Leaders (3 – 3.5 hours) One Learning 2 Leaders presentation: the big idea in a nutshell Two additional workshops or presentations Two ‘unconference’ sessions Three ‘cohort’ sessions in curriculum/common interest groupings Three sets of Learning 2 Talk sessions You’ll also want to check out the website and have a look at this years Learning Leaders. The conference continues to attract some of the best in the field and within International Education.  I’m honored that after stepping down as a main conference organizer two years ago that the committee has asked me to stay involved and has again invited me back to be a learning leader. It is one of my favorite conferences to attend and be apart of for no other reason in that it’s just different from any other conference I’ve been to. The Early Bird Registration ends this Friday (June 1st). If you haven’t registered already you might want to head on over and get registered quickly. After June 1st it will cost you an extra $50. I wouldn’t be so worried about the extra $50 as I would be that the conference will fill up. It’s limited to 500 participants. Have you been to Learning 2.0 in the past? What have been your take aways from the conference? If you are going in October what is it your looking forward to the...

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Learning, Processing, Reflecting

The end of BLC means the end of my summer is right around the corner. A couple days before I step on a plane to head back to Bangkok, and my thoughts return to all the educators I’ve been able to interact with this summer. No matter the conference, the session, the keynote, educators seem to quickly get overwhelmed with information and possibilities. Not that I blame them…there’s a lot of sessions on a load of different tools, ideas, theories, and just plain cool stuff! Add on top of that all the resources for all the sessions and anyone would quickly become overwhelemed.  The problem is once overwhelemed the brain stops processing information, you stop learning, and things go down hill from there.  Part of it is the schedule of conferences. Funny how we continue to talk about schools changing yet most conferences continue to look very much the same as they did __ years ago (I’ll let you fill in the date). We know we need time to process information and we tell ourselves during the conference that we’ll take time to reflect once the conference is over, but the reality is very few people actually do. You get on your plane, you get back to life and the notes from the sessions, the resources, are left for “another day”. What if we started building time into conferences to reflect? What if…..much like we talk about in schools….we cut back on the content….and up the learning…the depth, the idea generation. What if instead of 10 sessions there were 5?  What if we cut half the sessions and then added “Reflection, Unconference, Conversation” sessions throughout the conference to build in the time to process, reflect, and go deep in new learning during the conference itself? What if we made conversations the focus not the content (My EQ for my session: How do we make the most of our time face to face when content is free and avalible to all?).  This has always been the focus of the Learning 2.00x conference that I helped to start in Shanghai and continues. Each year the best feedback we get is “don’t stop the conversations”. We educators need to feel OK with taking time to stop, reflect, and allow our brians to be silent. Allow our brains to process the information. On Thursday at BLC I started feeling the anxiouty catching up...

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Laptop Institute: July 10 – 13

As I’m rolling out the PD announcements I can’t leave out my most looked forward to conference of this summer. I’m honored to be this years Keynote at the Laptop Institute in Memphis this summer. A whole conference dedicated to 1:1 classrooms. Besides keynoting I’ll also be doing somewhere between 4 and 6 break out sessions. We’re gonna get geekie with it!  While you’re there…also have a look at the pre-conference sessions. If your school is going 1:1 garunteed you can find a pre-conference that will fit your needs. There’s only about 5 I want to...

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Becoming an Active Learner

Just wrapping up from ITSC11 in Portland and a previous conference send me a link to a survey from participants. This one frustrated me a bit: Here’s the thing…first of all I’m never going to run a session that goes “Click here, now click here, now type here” I’m sorry, that’s not my style and if that is the reason your coming to a session at a conference then you’re telling me you are not an active motivated learner. That’s as bad as kids coming into our classrooms and saying “I don’t want to think, just tell me what to do, what to learn so I can learn it.” Learners take responsibility for their learning and me telling you to click here, then click here isn’t going to help you learn it because the learning is out of context anyway. How many times have you had previous show you how to do something only to go to do it a couple days later and not remember? Learning does not happen if there is no context for the learning to take place. I think the other thing that bothers me about these comments (this isn’t the first, and I’m sure not the last) is in every presentation I start by giving everyone permission to be off task and do what they need to do as a learner. If you want to click, go click, go learn. I never expect you to listen, or be active with what I’m saying. If what I’m saying isn’t motivating you, isn’t pushing you, isn’t what you need as a learner then that’s my fault not yours and go be off task.  On the other end of the spectrum of course you have educators like intrepidteacher in this reflective blog post about a resent conference who is frustrated that many sessions are still doing the click here, then click here type workshops. So here it is: If you are looking for a presentation that is all about the tool and has nothing to do with the pedagogy or how and why you would use it…I’m not your man. If you want a presentation where people just sit and get and don’t want to take responsibility for their own learning….I’m not your man. That doesn’t mean we won’t “play” or “dabble” with technology. At ITSC we played with blogs for 2 hours, but people were free...

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