Felicia Sobhani emailed me the other day. I did a presentation at her school, International School Turin, last October. It’s one of my favorite presentations to do…the ones where I get to talk directly to students. Anyway…she shared with me her following TEDx talk from November. Have a watch:
It seems like forever since I’ve sat down and blogged…..and yet at the same time it seems I spend all day blogging. Between school, COETAIL, and students I’m spending more time then ever in WordPress.
But tonight I’m closing everything else to reflect on some articles lately that I can’t get out of my head.
Wikipedia has its first 1 million editor. Stop and think about that for a minute. That’s pretty amazing that someone would take the time to sit down and make edits….for free…for others to use. What worries me most is Wikipedia is seeing a decline in the number of editors yet the website is as popular as ever…..and all I can think about is are we creating a generation of takers and not givers? How many teachers have taught the true meaning of giving on the Internet…..or actually given themselves. We all take, I haven’t met a teacher yet that hasn’t gotten a resource from the web, yet very few share and give back. The generation in our schools today are some of the heaviest users of Wikipedia and I hope that we’re challenging them to give back at least some of what they are taking. Wikipedia is a project waiting to be using in every subject I can imagine. There has to be away to use it in our schools.
Many schools, including mine, have expectations that students put in community service hours. I wonder if there is a way to count Wikipedia editing as community service. I’d love to be on that interview:
“What community did you support?”
“A community of about 1 billion people.”
TED-ED launched their new site recently which has some interesting features and an interesting twist to the flip approach. I need to dig into the site more to see how it all works but from the readings I’ve done and exploring the website it looks be be a pretty useful resource. But teachers will be the ultimate judge of that!
And lastly the Internet officially received its own Hall of Fame. Great to see those who invented this thing be recognized. It has been fun to read through some of their bios. It’s great to see people like Raymond Thomlinson who years ago looked down at his computer keyboard for a symbol that would separate the username from the domain host. He needed a symbol that wasn’t in use yet and choose the @ sign. Forever changing the world of communication. There is a great article that I re-read every once and awhile called How the Web Was Won that talks a lot about the pioneers of the Internet and the early days. A great historical read if you are interested.
Take 9 minutes and let your imagination fly:
It’s about the learner!
This conference is about allowing you the learner to take control of your own learning, to create opportunities for yourself to learn. We have done nothing more than to solicit the help of professional learners to help you in your own learning journey.
We talk about teaching students to learn how to learn. Next weekend….you get to learn how to learn. This conference is not designed for you to sit and listen to sessions for two days. This conference is designed to peek your interest with 45 minute presentations and then allow you to go explore, to grab a friend, a professional….a learner and learn together, create something new, or just chat about your classroom.
We (the conference organizers) know that the best conversations during a conference happen in the hallways, by the pool, or outside the conference all together. We have made the hallways our conference, we have provided you with breakfast, lunch and unlimited drinks (thank you Coca-Cola) and have created spaces that allow you to learn and carry-on conversations where you feel most comfortable. There is no pressure to go to sessions if you are having an in-depth discussion that is a learning experience. In fact you don’t have to go to a session at all. This is about you taking control of your learning. You decide how to spend your time, where to spend your time, and we’ll do our best to make sure you have the time you need to go as deep as you want with your own understanding of this new world we are now learning in.
If you are expecting to sit and get, for everything to be black and white….this conference is not for you.
If you find yourself wanting more, wanting time to sit and talk, or sit and play with a digital tool for hours….this conference is for you.
Bring that digital camera you have been wanting to learn how to use, bring that laptop that you know can do so much more. Bring a website you want to learn how to use, or bring a thought you would like to explore. We have done nothing more than create an atmosphere for learning.
Thursday night we will start with our inspirational speeches. Taken from the TED format our invited learners will have 10 minutes to inspire you, to push you, to help you start to think about a different type of learning, a different type of conference.
We are excited to bring you Learning 2.008. A conference like no other!
We had a great planning meeting last night looking at the latest numbers for the conference. Not a good sign when we have more presentations then people registered for the conference. 🙁
I’m not to worried at this point, but then again I’m not the one in charge of the money. 🙂 This is why there aren’t many educational conferences in September. The timing just isn’t good. Schools are just now really looking at finances for next year and many teachers are not sure what their PD funds will look like until they get back in August. That, with the fact that in the International system we have so many people changing schools every year that their heads aren’t on the conference, but on moving. Last year we saw some 300 people sign up for the conference in August. I just hope we see that again this year.
So those of you in the Asia region. Talk to your school heads and let’s get signed up!
Also I’m proud to announce that this year we will be running an EduBloggerCon. It will take place Thursday September 18th at 9am. Matt at Catshanghai and Amanda at From the Outside Looking In will be helping with the planning.
We’ll start at 9am and we’ll go until we’re done or until we need to leave to head over to the conference at about 4:30pm. What a great opportunity to meet other bloggers, talk Web 2.0 and just hang out in Shanghai. So come join us!
Also last night the group came up with a great idea to create a Diigo bookmarking group for the conference. This will allow people to share links to great resources before, during and after the conference as well as expose them to social bookmarking.
Last night we also took some time to play with Twitterlight. A Twitter application that runs on Microsoft Silverlight and looks really sweet (FYI…I’m sure we’ll play with this at NECC as well). SCIS where we will be holding the conference this year has 42 and 50 inch LCD TVs in every classroom and through out the school in hallways and common areas. Are plan is to have the conference twitter feed playing on these TVs throughout the conference!
The conference schedule is also coming together nicely. Two full days of intense learning…that’s what we want. We had the people at Chinesepod.com stop by last night and have a look around to help us create high quality podcasts of all the sessions (ChinesePod is one of the top downloaded podcasts on iTunes). Our plan is to release all sessions under a CC 3.0 license as well as Ustream four channels at the conference (depending on bandwidth).
The conference will kick off Thursday night with in a TED type style. Where our 8 invited presenters will have 5-7 minutes to motivate and excite the audience. Our hope is that it will push our presenters to come up with something new and different…get your point across in 5 minutes. Motivate and excite people in 5 minutes. It should be an interesting experiment for all of us.
Excited? I hope…now go register!