I agree, Shanghai is quite an amazing city.
Today I walked part of the way down Nanjing Rd, and was privileged to have the company of Alan Levine, Brian Crosby and Clarence Fisher. About half way down, heading towards the Bund, Alan started to get his panoramic camera going so I took off down a side street as I was on a mission to buy a tenor saxophone for my daughter. (I look forward to seeing you pics/panorama Alan!).
So, 15 minutes later I find Best Friend music store amongst all the other music shops on the same road. It's a bit like the Middle East where we have the gold souk and the hardware souk etc with many of the same types of shop clustered in the one area. Best Friend music also happens to be the Yamaha dealer on the block and claim to be able to have a Japanese made Yamaha tenor sax in the shop by Sunday before I fly back to Qatar. Well, I have put a deposit down and they escorted me to the bank to change currency......
Leaving the street where the music never stops I wound my way back towards the Bund and spent some time extremely open-mouthed walking along. Open-mouthed because it was not like this 23 years ago, and open-mouthed because of its vibrancy and life. What I really like about this part of the Yangtse River is that it is still a working river. Boats and other floating devices were hauling all manner of things down stream with the tide, while tourists watched, tour boats cruised and the bustling city life went on around it.
Hopping a taxi back to the hotel I was pleased to run into Tod Baker from Tianjin International School in the restaurant. Todd was off to finish his presentations after lunch while I hopped into anpther taxi to meet Simon May at the Puxi campus of Shanghai American School. Simon is one of the main conference organisers, and a Flat Classroom Project 2007 teacher. SAS has a lovely, and functional campus. Not only did I see through the Middle and High school areas I was able to sit in on one of the admin/tech planning meetings. Similar to Qatar Academy they are trying to define what their 1:1 program will look like and, in conjunction with this, therefore what their classrooms will need and look like to support this. I was heartened to hear the same conversations we are having at QA with the same concerns and expectations. Should the students own their laptops? What grade levels shall we make compulsory for 1:1? What peripherals are needed? SAS is already a blended campus with imac labs and DELL labs (just like QA now!) but sound like they may be moving to become an Apple campus over the next 3 years.
Back at the hotel I wait for Kim Cofino and Chrissy Hellier to get in from the airport. Very excited to see them both, Chrissy for the first time. Some of you may know Chrissy as nzchrissy or Teaching Sagitarian. She is now an international educator and working with Kim at International School Bangkok. Dinner with the girls was fun and informative. We were joined later in the hotel cafe by other presenters, including those I had not caught up with yet David Warlick, David Jakes, Chris Smith, and finally Jeff Utecht (Mr Learning 2.008). It is certainly humbling to be at the same table as so many influential educational technology educators and visionaries. I am looking forward to the next 3 days!
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