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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Preparing for November

My wife left early this morning for Hawaii. I know…completely lost on her. From Bangkok to Hawaii….. She’s off to visit a friend, one of the benefits of taking a year off from working and having frequent flier miles to spend. So that leaves me with a week of no school and time to myself to prepare for what has shaped up to be one heck of a busy November. Nov. 1-4: EARCOS Admin ConferenceNov. 7-9: Jakarta Weekend Workshop: Learning in a Digital World Nov. 21-22: United Nations International School of Hanoi This week I’ll be creating my presentations and focusing in on what my message will be. I’ll be pulling a lot from Presentation Zen. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it. It just might change the way you teach. Also, make sure you subscribe to the Presentation Zen blog. It’s one of those books that simplifies the process down to something that just works. In fact Garr Reynold’s simple idea of going off line to plan your presentation has completely focused my presentations the way I want. I spent about 3 hours on Sunday sitting outside on the balcony outlining the four presentations for EARCOS in my notebook. It took me 2 hours to outline the four presentations. Now the fun part of just putting them together. This book has quickly made the rounds at our school. I loaned it to Kim Cofino after I finished reading it right before Learning 2.008. She got such great feedback on her presentations that she ended up holding a whole unconference session around Presentation Zen. The book has made the rounds at school as well, and our school just ordered four more copies of it. The best use by far has been watching a couple teachers use the technique as a way to present information in their classes and have all given feedback on how well the students liked the format, were engaged, and attentive. It’s not a hard format, actually….it’s quite simple, and Garr does a great job of explaining the process that one should follow. A process I now use. As I’ve been working through my presentations I keep coming back to a common theme of communication. On how technology and the Internet really boils down to allowing us to communicate in new ways. As I was doing some research yesterday I found this article...

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Shift Our Schools Podcast: Season Two!

The second season of Shift Our Schools kicks off tonight as David and I along with Kim Cofino reflect about the Learning 2.008 Conference in Shanghai. We’re changing things up this year starting with a new website dedicated to the podcast. Click on the link above or the picture to head to the website. We are in iTunes and ready to go! Click here will take you to our iTunes page where you can subscribe to the podcast to be downloaded automatically. Once again this year we will broadcast live on the web. (Click on the Live page on the website). We have also set up a Skype account for the podcast and will try and have live call-ins for those that want to join the conversation. We’ll see how this goes in the first couple of weeks and decide whether or not to keep the feature (link down the sidebar on the website). We’ve also started a Diigo group so that listeners can share links around our essential questions. Please bookmark them with the episode number that the link refers to. As usual each podcast will revolve around an essential question. Here is just a taste of some of the questions we’ll be struggling with this year. Where do you start the shift? How to infuse information literacy throughout the curriculum? How to shift wehn the administration is not on board? How do you shift administrtors? What are some shifted practices? Why do I podcast? It’s a different conversation, it’s talking through rather than writing through your thoughts. Honestly I was not planning on doing the podcast again this year, but I had people at NECC and at Learning 2.008 tell me they were waiting for us to start the show again. So, I do it not only for my own reflection and thought process but for those that listen as well. It’s about sharing ideas, thoughts, and knoweldge and I hope that is what we do on some level. You can get a schedule of the podcasts on the website. We record live at 7pm Bangkok Time (GMT+7) or 8pm China time (GMT+8). The podcast focus on International Schools and International Education, we hope you enjoy this small glimpse into the world in which we...

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Do you give yourself permission to reflect?

I’ve been thinking about reflection lately and how we use it in our classrooms. I can remember being in elementary school and being asked to reflect in a journal. Reflection is a great process…a proven process of learning. We’ve been asking students to reflect for years in education so one simple question: Do you give yourself permission to reflect during the work day? and another question: Do your administrators give you permission to reflect during the work day? I say during the work day because I truly feel if we are to become better educators we need reflection time built into what we do. To often we end up like Jenny: When you spend a considerable amount of time learning about how we transform learning with the use of new tools you find yourself online a lot. Most of this effort happens outside of my working day which impacts on sleep, family time and time spent with friends. And that’s not good! Why is it the educators place a high value on the reflective process yet do not give themselves permission to do it during their own working hours? Every educator has prep time. We use that time in a multitude of ways, yet how many of us set time aside just once a week to take 30 minutes or so and reflect. You don’t have to blog, or even write. Reflecting could be reading an educational journal, it might be sitting and staring out the window, or it might be writing down your thoughts. Andy Torris, an administrator, finds time in the back of the car when he’s going from one campus to another in his “Dispatch from the Road” posts. Andy uses his working day time, to reflect and write about his thinking. New comer to the blogosphere David Hamilton has an excellent post on reflection and the act of reflecting. But lest we forget, reflection is hard work. Whether we are sorting out our emotions and discerning personal values and attitudes, or discovering the shaky underpinnings of contemporary truths, reflection takes work, and, I would suggest, it takes practice. As I prepared to write this blog, I was amazed at how difficult it is to keep focused on a single abstract topic for stretches of time over several days. Yes, reflecting is hard work! It takes practice, but more than that it takes time. Do you give yourself permission to...

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Learning 2.008: A moment

I think these pictures tell the story better than I can. I always have this weird feeling when the conference is over. Part of me is so relieved that it’s over and another part of me never wanted it to end. I was tired, running on pure adrenalin by the end of it but so excited to see educators learning together and from each other. On Thursday night I challenged the participants to walk away from this conference with two things. 1. That they understand that learning happens through connections. Whether it is connecting people, thoughts, ideas, or knowledge just understand that learning happens when we make connections and that this conference was about creating and fostering those connections. 2. That we try and wrap our heads around what it means to learn how to learn. We say this is a skill our students need to learn, this conference was about participants taking control of their own learning and using that time so they could learn how to learn. I wonder how many people walked away from this conference having a better understanding of these two concepts. There are so many little snippets that I want to write about, but I’m sure they will come out over the next couple of blog posts. For now I leave you with these pictures. If you want…and I do encourage it. You can visit the ning site where the participants once again this year came together to create collaborative notes for each session. Visit any session and you will get an overview of what was talked about or discusses. My hat is off to the folks at Praxis Language and specifically Ken Caroll who over the coming weeks will be editing and uploading some 70+ audio files for us. We figure we captured about 70% of the conference. Not bad for handing the whole operation over to 7th and 8th graders who organized themselves and made sure the job got done. I really don’t know what to think or feel at this time. Where do we go from here? What does the future hold for myself and the conference? As Warlick put it, I come away with more questions then answers. Thank you to everyone who attended both near and far. Thank you to the amazing team of organizers each one of us finding our niche, playing our role that made this...

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