Unleashing the Potential-a China approach

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I have to start by giving David Jakes a big thank you for inviting me to be apart of the techlearning.com blog. If this is your first time visiting The Thinking Stick I welcome you and hope you find something here thought provoking, useful, or interesting. If not, oh well I tried. 🙂

A quick background for those that are new. The header that David likes so much is a picture from my 31st floor apartment here in Shanghai with the Thinking Stick added. The Thinking Stick was given to me by my best friend during my first year of teaching. I carried is around with me while teaching and soon it became known as the Thinking Stick. It went to Saudi Arabia with me and now here in China. When I was thinking of a name for this blog I was walking around the computer lab holding the bat when it hit me. Maybe not the most educational technology title in the blogosphere, but hey…it works! (Check out more pictures on my flickr map)

As for Unleashing the Potential the online K-12 conference David discusses let me tell you what I’m in the process of putting together here at my school. I will submit a proposal to present at the conference but I wanted to take this a step further so I’m in the process of taking this online conference offline here in China and creating an opportunity to learn.

My plan is to gather everyone who wants to ‘attend’ this conference, give them all a laptop order a bunch of pizza and beer and listen, watch, and read the conference online. We will then create a podcasts of our discussions as we discuss the various presentations. I will then load the podcast either here or talk to the organizers of the conference and load them directly into the conference as a way to add to the conversation. Just think of the possibilities, the discussions and the learning. My goal is to get at least 10 teachers/administrators to attend the conference. I plan on making it a relaxed affair at someone’s house with drinks and food. Now, who wouldn’t want to come to a conference like that! I’m even working with our PD person to try and get teachers who attend credits through our partner university, University of Plymouth. I see that David Warlick has already set up a hitchhikr page for the conference which adds a whole new level of being able to follow the conference conversations.

This is a unique opportunity. If you have other ideas of how to extend this conference please share!


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I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Gwen Martin Reply

    Congratulations on the TechLearning spot! I know the new readers will enjoy you as much as the older, er, the ones that previously have enjoyed your blogs.

    Sign me up for the on-line conference. Blogs, beer, and pizza. Nirvana.

  2. This is absolutely the coolest idea ever! A Lan Party K12Online style.
    I have just become your biggest fan. You get major points for creativity here. Wish I could come… but I will be busy behind the curtain.

    We need to get all of you to log into Elluminate for a live portion of this event.

  3. Ha ha yep and a pajama party here 😉
    Don’t know about ur NeoCounter map pics – not quite there for NZ…

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