So what happened at Learning 2.010?
Led by Jeff Utecht and conference team (many thanks for hard work putting this together!) the event was based on two main ideas:
- Cohort groups working together over 2 days to work through ideas and objectives and to come up with a useful 'product' whether it be personal or group
- Unconference sessions offered by anyone based on interest and expertise at the time
Scaffolding these two main strands were essential information giving sessions, food opportunities and times to talk and network. There were no keynotes, there was no official razzle/dazzle opening or closing, however there was a gathering at both the beginning and end deliver acknowledgements.
As an invited cohort leader I was in Shanghai 2 days before the event officially opened, meeting and working with other cohort leaders to make sense of what we were charged with. Essentially we were given a general topic and asked to make sense of it, build a learning relationship with our cohort and provide the means for further development, learning and sharing. By the end of the conference participants should have worked through certain activities, joined teams, discussed and created a 'product' to take back with them. The cohorts were diverse including 'Education in 2020', 'First Steps in Changing the Classroom', 'Leading the Pack: Leadership for Change'. My cohort was 'Relationship between Teachers and Students'. Many of the cohort leaders joined forces, or there were enough people to make two separate cohorts but they joined together at key points during the sessions. I worked essentially alone. In retrospect having a co-leader for the cohort could have given participants more variety and provided another flow of ideas and energy into what we did.
Many of the unconference sessions were about tools and skill development....something we will never get away from! Kim Cofino and I co-lead the 'Globally Collaborative Projects' unconference. I attended one iPad unconference and picked up some new apps. The unconference sessions provide for a user-determined learning environment and are an essential feature of this 21st Century style conference. It puts the onus onto the participant to actively offer and/or choose sessions of relevance and interest. People then vote with their feet. It also gives attendees a chance to 'present' as such as the normal route for offering presentations at this event is not open.
Julie offering an unconference idea! from @betchaboy
My Cohort: Global Digital Citizen
The concept and practice of digital citizenship in a global sense was the main focus of my cohort. We had 4 x 1.5 hours (approx.) to work together on this. From the wiki.......
- What does collaborative learning and digital citizenship look like in a global context?
- What does it mean to be a responsible, reliable and respectful learner as well as culturally sensitive and globally aware?
- How can we embed social media and collaborative learning using emerging technologies effectively within global digital citizenship guidelines?
- How can we create the MODEL of the way forward?
- Participants will walk away with an understanding of what digital citizenship is in a global sense
- The group will have started to create meaningful resources that can be taken back to all schools for further review and implementation in order to promote effective digital citizenship working modes for communication, collaboration and creation
- A community of learners will have been established with a focus on creating and leading the MODEL of the WAY FORWARD
Using Digital Life Parent/Teacher Intro from Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship for 6-8 as an initial catalyst for discussion we explored what it means to have a digital life, what a global digital citizen is and how we can best use this information back in our schools and classrooms to support learning rather than inhibit learning.
Working in teams cohort members came up with their own set of resources. I particularly like the work of Team 1 (thanks to @intrepidteacher for leadership in this team) who created a set of statements based on "A Global Digital Citizen is......." and added slides and words from the IB learner profile! I have already taken these ideas back to my school here in Beijing and presented this at a staff meeting where the topic was in fact how we deal with 'inappropriate' behaviour with the use of laptops. Coming towards a shared understanding of what it means to be digital, global and using mobile technology for learning can be scaffolded by these points:
A Global Digital Citizen is:
- Someone who is open and curious. Is proactive and open-minded, wanting to drive their own learning forward with the use of technology. (open-minded, inquirers, risk-takers)
- Someone who knows his or her identity and is aware of their digital footprint and actively explores, creates and promotes it by building communities of like-minded people; thereby, breaking down walls metaphorically and physically. Understands and uses the power of multiple technological devices with a defined direction and sense of purpose as a tool to self improve, educate, share and inspire (risk-taker, caring)
- Someone who is aware and mindful of themselves, their community and the big picture of the world around them. Is someone who has a thirst for cultural awareness and social networking in order to gain knowledge about the world that surrounds him or her (inquirers, knowledgeable)
- Someone who can communicate their views, feelings and ideas respectfully and responsibly online. Develops a greater sense of empathy, collaboration, innovation, curiosity and responsibility when exploring the world through digital media (caring, inquirer, principled)
Jeff, Utecht, Julie Lindsay and Darren Kuropatwa from @betchaboy
A special photo to me as Jeff and Darren were two of the four original judges for the very first Flat Classroom Project in 2006. This is the first time I had met Darren in person!
Wes Fryer, Kim Cofino, Julie Lindsay from @wfryer
Learning 2.010 was another excellent experience, a successful event and I was delighted to meet up with cohort leading colleagues who came from around the world, many of whom I had only known through online interaction eg Chris Betcher, Alec Couros, Darren Kuropatwa, Liz Davis; many of whom I had been at conferences with before and always enjoy working with, including Madeleine Brookes, Kim Cofino, Wes Fryer, Steve Hargadon.
The evolution and acceptance of this cohort driven and unconference focused event has been interesting to see. Jeff Utecht has driven this along with the support of a group of schools in Shanghai and support from EARCOS. Asia is a vibrant, thriving education community and the conference itself was oversubscribed! Kudos to all organisers and planners for an amazing event. Will it run again in 2012? What will it look like then? How will the needs of improved learning feed into a user-directed event so that everyone can come away feeling satisfied that they have new goals, direction and motivation in their everyday lives in the classroom and meeting room? Is there still a place for some 'keynote' or 'Tedx talk' events during such a conference in order to provide further discussion and to make the event with a time-stamp, eg this is what we are up to in the year 20......, these are people working in education at the cutting edge etc. I am in two minds about this. I love the breaking down of tradition and the new approach, I also wonder if a more combined model is also worth considering? What about the inclusion of students? If we are talking about learning should we include them? I had an excellent student representative in my cohort! She led the conversation and motivated the adults. I was impressed but not surprised.....after running Flat Classroom Student Summits and workshops I know how powerful this is!
If you attended Learning 2.010 I invite you to respond to this blog post and share your experiences. How would you run Learning 2.012? Where should this conference go in format, scope, outcomes?