SLearning 2.008 Pre-Conference

Yes we try and make the Learning 2.008 Educational Technology conference a little different each year. We don’t just talk about changing the was we teach and learn, we try and model it as well. We don’t always succeed but it’s about taking risks and pushing ourselves as educators. We can not expect educators to go to a conference where we tell them that they need to take risks, learn something new, and reflect without us as conference organizers doing the same. We continue to try and do that sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding. We’ve already learned a lot this year about the hassle of trying to accept Credit Card payments. It’s not as easy as one might think and then put China on top of it and…well…let’s just say we took a risk and this time it didn’t pay off. But we learned something! We learned that Pay Pal is not the answer and that if we do continue the conference in the future we’ll have to rethink some things. We’re also rethinking how to hold a pre-conference. With over 150 teachers (at this point) flying in from all over the world for the conference during a school week we had to think about how we best utilize time. We wanted to run a pre-conference but found that many schools and educators weren’t willing to release teachers (or didn’t want to miss time with students) for a pre-conference day or two before the actual conference. David Gran one of the main conference organizers contacted Chris Smith who owns International School Island in Second Life. Together they’ve been working to create a SLearning 2.008 Pre-Conference not only for those who will attend the conference in Shanghai, but for all of you who want to participate virtually. Chris has created an amazing setting on International School Island in Second Life for our 3 pre-conference sessions. Below you will find the dates, times, and events. I hope you can make all three events, but I’d like to draw your attention especially to the third date, Sunday, September 14th. This event, one week before the “Real Life” conference will be an open forum for our Learning 2.008 Committee to meet and talk with participants. Note that this will be 9 PM Shanghai Time. Dates (Sundays) 31st August : Alan Levine (CDB Barkley); David Warlick (Suriawang Dapto) 7th September : Ewan McIntosh (Learning Loon)...

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Morning in Manila

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...

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