Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Innovative Educator’s Educon Picks

educon22EduCon 2.2 is both a conversation and a conference that takes place January 29 -31. It is not a technology conference. It is an education conference and innovation conference where educators come together, both in person and virtually, to discuss the future of schools. Every session is an opportunity to discuss and debate ideas — from the very practical to the big dreams.

Here are my picks for the conference.

Friday Night Panel: What is Smart?
When/Where: Come to the Franklin Institute, from 6pm-8pm
Conversation Description: See a group of societal visionaries speak about their vision of what is smart in a panel discussion.* Introductions by Dr. Dennis Wint, CEO of The Franklin Institute* Loren Brichter - CEO of atebits Software and developer of Tweetie Twitter software.* Prof. Martha Farah - Director, Center for Neuroscience & Society and Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania* Happy Fernandez — President of the Moore College of Art* Prof. Eddie Glaude - William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies. Chair, Center for African American Studies, Princeton University.* David Shenk - Author of The Genius in All of Us, Data Smog and The End of Patience (and others)* Moderated by Dr. Frederic Bertley, Vice President of the Center for Innovation and Science Learning.

The Franklin Institute casual reception will be held directly after the panel from 8:00-9:00pm.

Stager Certified Educators Executive Program
Who: Gary S. Stager, Ph.D.
When: Session One
Where: Room 204
Play your cards right and you can leave this intensive, immersive, engaging and transformative session a Stager Certified Educator, complete with I.D. card, certificate of awesomeness (suitable for framing) and web badge for use on your blog or web site. Some educators don't achieve this much over a lifetime, but you may in less than 90 minutes! You will also gain a greater sense of the issues, ideas and expertise a 21st Century educator needs in order to create more productive contexts for learning. Resources for post-certification learning will be shared.

Learning 2.0 -- Overhauling Classroom Best Practices
Who: David Warlick
When: Session Two
Where: Room 208
There are numerous metrics for measuring our students learning experiences for learner appropriateness and relevance to standards and life in a time of rapid change. In this conversation, participants will work to reshape suggested current learning experiences into Classroom 2.0 best practices.

SLA Student Experience
Who: Larissa Pahomov and SLA Students
When: Session Two
Where: Room 300
Talk and learn about Science Leadership Academy with the people who matter most: the students! The members of panel will describe their own educational experiences at SLA -- as well as what lead them to the school, and where they think the experience will take them.

What if school wasn't just like real life, what if it just was real life?
When: Session Two:
Where: Room 301
Who: Diana Laufenberg
Affiliation: Science Leadership Academy
Why we attend school, what we accomplish while we are here, how we spend our time; these are the issues I would like to investigate as we consider how to make 'school' more about meaningful and enriching life experiences, and less like hoop jumping and necessary evils.Conversational Practice:We will be looking to shared examples of success, brainstorming how to overcome obstacles and creating ways in which to extend learning into real world spaces.Website: http://laufenberg.wordpress.com

The "Decoupling" of Education and School: Where do We Begin?
Who: Will Richardson
When: Session Three
Where: Room 204
The next ten years promise to be hugely disruptive for the traditional idea of school as more and more alternative learning platforms are created and expanded. This conversation will focus not on technology but on the larger shifts that will have to occur for schools to evolve into a different role in our society. Driving the discussion will be quotes from Allan Collins and Richard Halverson's recent book Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology.

Using Technology to Foster Exploration and Reflection in Science
Who: Lucy Gray and Debbie Leslie
When: Session Three
Where: Room 308
Share and discover ways of leveraging technology in your classroom to support hands-on, inquiry-based science instruction. Come learn and discuss ways to promote observation, exploration, and reflection using engaging curriculum materials and a variety of technology tools. Bring examples of student work to share!

Educational Technology and the Law: Stump the Lawyers!
Who: Jonathan D. Becker
When: Session Three
Where: Room 309
In this "stump the lawyers" session, attendees will have an opportunity to discuss issues at the intersection of educational technology and the law with four uniquely qualified "expert" panelists. Limited only by being specific to educational technology, the topics of discussion will be generated by questions from the audience.

The Art of the Remix: Collaborative Writing in the Social Media Classroom
Who: Dr. Leif Gustavson, Vanessa Scanfeld
When: Session Four
Where: Room 311
Remixing is as old as art itself. As digital technologies expedite the transition from passive consumers of text to an engaged, read/write culture, we explore the pedagogical benefits of the remix in relation to literacy and tackle the thorny issues of plagiarism and illegal appropriation.

The Caring Classroom
Who: Zac Chase, Bud Hunt and John Pederson
When: Session Four
Where: Room 307
This conversation will focus on what can be done across subjects, grades and schools to build a climate of care.

Taking Play Seriously
When: Session Five: Sunday 12:30pm–2:00pm
Where: Room 204
Who: Brian C. Smith
Affiliation: Monroe #1 BOCES
Conversational Focus/Audience: Elementary School
Conversation Description: Diane Ackerman's quote, "play is the brain's favorite way of learning" is oft used to describe the learning that takes place in elementary schools. Despite that belief, a simple visit to any school in the country will reveal a picture that flies in the face of Ackerman's statement. We know why play is being squeezed out of schools, but bringing it back will take creative thinking, ideas and sharing. Together we will discuss and construct ideas for bringing the aspects of play into more learning experiences.

Beyond Standards; The Road Ahead
Who: Joseph J. Bires
When: Session Five
Where: Room 207
The current focus on standards is misguided and will result in students prepared for yesterday's world, rather than ready to create tomorrow. In this presentation, we will explore alternative concepts for organizing teaching and learning that will allow students to solve problems which they face now and in the future.

On the Development of Learning Spaces
When: Session Five: Sunday 12:30pm–2:00pm
Where: Room 208
Who: David Jakes
Affiliation: Glenbrook South High School, Glenview, IL
Conversation Description: There are five axioms that form the foundation of the Educon experience. The axioms focus on the characteristics of school, of the role of technology and what learning can become. They provide a framework for informing what we can andshould do as educators.When we discuss pedagogy, when we discuss the skills that we wish to see develop in students, when we discuss the role of technology, and when we discuss learning in general, it is of critical importance that we also discuss the role that learning space has in supporting what we do. Excellent practice, high-quality learning, and successful institutions all require a place for the interactions of teaching and learning . Yet, the concept learning space is rarely discussed among educators as a "one-size- fits- all" classroom is the accepted expectation and reality in today's schools. As we critically examine educational practice this weekend, it is imperative that we also carefully reconsider the importance of where learning occurs.This conversation seeks to do just that.
Conversational Practice: In this session, our conversation will be based on developing the perspectives that move participants from a classroom-based model of teaching and learning to one that is rooted in the concept of a learning space. Our conversations will help participants clarify their expectations for a learning space, and how such a space can support an expanded and relevant educational experience for students.

Leveraging the Wisdom of the Crowd: Collaborative Action Plans
When: Session Six: Sunday 2:30pm–4:00pm
Where: Room 204
Who: Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
Affiliation: 21st Century Collaborative
Conversational Focus/Audience: All School Levels
Conversation Description: If using Web 2.0 tools is so easy, why is implementation so difficult? Preparing students for the 21st Century calls for collective action of all stakeholders and this session looks at the steps needed to build momentum and garner buy-in from the entire school community. Participants will discuss ways to plan collectively and strategically for the future, develop a collective professional development plan for 21st Century skill building, and make sure all students have equitable access to a 21st century education.
Conversational Practice: This will be a fast paced, facilitated session that will result in a collaborative action plan that truly leverages the wisdom of those in attendance. The goal of the session is two-fold: 1) to develop and capture a synthesis of thinking around- barriers to the shift, proactive solutions for overcoming the barriers, and development of specific, measurable action statements that can be implemented in your local context. 2) to model a protocol that can be used to garner buy-in at your school or district for managing change.
Website: http://21stcenturylearning.wikispaces.com/educon10

A Student's Vision of Personalized Learning & Real-time Collaboration
Who: Evan Morikawa, Andrew Pethan
When: Session Six
Where: Room 301
How do we easily cater to the individual learning styles of students through technology; and facilitate collaborative, project-based work? Join a conversation hosted by a group of students from the project-based Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. Your thoughts will likely be implemented in a wide-release online software package called Alight Learning, which is actively being developed by us.

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