Reflections on Learning 2.010

Learning 2.010 ended last Saturday and four days after the end of the conference I think I’ve recovered enough mentally to actually talk about my experience. This is the 3rd Learning 2 Conference that I have helped to organize and pull off with no less than 20 other educators from in and around Shanghai. Putting on a conference is a lot of work…and only after you’ve done it can you really know how mentally exhausting the time is during the conference. What I love about this conference is each year we focus on breaking the conference mold and giving educators new ways to think about learning not only through the content of the conference but the conference structure itself. We talk about the teacher needing to be a facilitator in the classroom, so this year we had no “teacher”. There was no keynote, no presenters just facilitators. I think we did a very good job of finding both international talent and flying in facilitators that understood what we were going for in this conference. You had to be flexible, wiling to adapt, and easy going in order to change as this conference progressed. Find another conference that 24 hours before it was to begin nothing was planned. Not one session, not one cohort…nothing. Yet some how when you allow yourself the ultimate flexibility to adapt and change, some of the best learning occurs. We started planning this conference with the notion that we can not foresee and meet the needs of 400+ participants without knowing what they want to learn. By using facilitators and the cohort/unconference model we were able to adapt and create sessions on the fly that hopefully met the needs of everyone at the conference in one way or another. I had a couple people approach me and tell me how great it was to actually attend a conference were you had to be activity involved. If you were not giving feedback to the facilitator in your cohort, or if you were not actively creating, leading or voting for unconference sessions you were out of luck. Participants were energized by the conversations and the flexibility to learn what they wanted to learn. I believe the best of this came out in unconference sessions around Prezi. Prezi was the hot tool of the conference and because of our unconference model it kept getting voted in for sessions....

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Shanghai: All over but the flight.

(Posted from Shanghai Pudong International Airport) Well that will do it from Shanghai. It has been an amazing three years living and working here. If you ever get a chance to visit, don’t miss it. Chinese people are great, I’ve really enjoyed living among them, getting to know their culture and watching them grow as a nation. Living in a foreign country is so different from just visiting a place. I still smile when I’m passing tourists on the streets, with their Lonely Planet Guide in one hand and their camera in the other…and that look. It’s the look of not really knowing where they are, where they’re going…but thinking that they are headed in the right direction (been there many times myself!). They stop and stare at what is common every day living. People walking around in their pajamas, clothes hanging from any available line, be it power, telephone or a rope that someone has thrown up between two trees. Some good friends of ours came to visit the first part of May. As we were talking about traveling and people around the world our friend made the comment: “People are people!”I hope we never forget that! Kids are kids and people are people. All of us trying to make it in the world, trying to find our niche in society. Daily living may be different but at the end of the day we are all people of this planet doing our best to make it. I’m looking forward to spending some time in the States, if feels as foreign to us as any other country at this point. We’ll be spending about 5 weeks catching up with friends and family and preparing for our next adventure in Thailand. So that’s it…time to push publish and head to the gate. Thank you Shanghai American School for the opportunity. Thank you Shanghai for the amazing experience. Thank you China, may you continue to grow and...

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Choose your own ad

While sitting in a taxi the other day I noticed that the taxi had installed new media ad machines on the back side of the passenger seat. So if you are sitting in the back of a taxi this is what you see. Pretty cool! You can touch one of the icons at the button and it plays you the ad for that company. You can see the last button on the row also controls the volume. I clicked on one of the ads and it was an matching game where you flip over cards. It had to do with the 2008 Master’s Cup of Tennis that was held in Shanghai. You had to match rackets, stadiums, players, etc. You could click on a player and also get their profile. Not sure if they have these in other cities but I found my taxi ride more enjoyable. [tags]Shanghai[/tags] Technorati Tags: ads,...

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Back in Shanghai!

and writing a post at techlearning…check out some of the latest pics at well. Feels good to be home! [tags]Shanghai, techlearning[/tags] Technorati Tags: Shanghai,...

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