Jenny Luca (David Warlick in foreground)
New friend Jenny Luca, from Melbourne Australia (pictured above) was an active participant and writes a frank blog post as to how she sees the conference. There were a number of vibrant, passionate women at the conference advocating new learning and teaching modes that reaffirmed my belief that educational technology is not just a male domain, despite the dominance of men in the first rank presenters, and (not surprisingly) in the Tech Directors unconference session I attended (I was the only female tech director at this session ;-))
Links on the Learning 2.008 Ning: The 'keynote' presenters I strongly suggest you explore are David Warlick, Alan Levine, Jeff Utecht, Clarence Fisher, Brian Crosby, Ewan Mcintosh, David Jakes. Other presenters who have 3 sessions available on the Ning include Kim Cofino, Julie Lindsay, Tod Baker. Also, Primary school teachers check out this session by Chrissy Hellyer called 'I'm not kidding, It really is this easy'
I had a lot of fun with friends Kim Cofino, Chrissy Hellyer, (both at International School Bangkok) and Tod Baker (Tianjin International School). As conference presenters (green dot and blue dot) we banded together, agonized over our presentations, sought each others opinion and support about length, image source, presentation style, room facilities etc etc. We were a great team and I value the friendship and collegiality.
"International School teachers are a fascinating, vibrant set of digital citizens; forsaking the norms of western life to teach in places like New Delhi, Saigon, Bangkok. It was fun to see them struggle to answer the question, “So where are you from?” as it has many layers. Living far from family, they are really wired in terms of communication technologies, but seem to struggle like teachers all over with how to integrate the flood of new technologies in their teaching."
Jabiz (Intrepid Teacher), colleague from here in Doha (although we seem to have to go to Shanghai to catch up in person!) writes an erudite post, and I really like this part of it:
"The participants of this conference, by their presence alone proved that we are a group of diverse educators determined to find better ways to learn. No one truly knows the secret answer, because there is no secret answer. We, and I say we with pride because I learned that I too have ideas to offer, are simply trying to find ways to educate children as best we can. Technology is not the answer. It really doesn’t have much to do with technology at all. It has to do with community and the sharing of knowledge and ideas!"
Other new friends who I now consider part of my online community are Anne Mirtschin and Jess McCulloch. These two inspiring women are from the same school just outside of Warrnambool in Victoria, Australia. Anne is taking a class into the Flat Classroom Project this semester and Jess, known for her Ning TechnoLanguages, is in China for 6 weeks with students on a Chinese language immersion program in Nanjing
One of the best outcomes of Learning 2.008 was seeing the 3 teachers from my school here in Qatar attend and participate and marvel at how much there was to do and learn.
In the words of Andrea back on our school Ning:
"I had a very enjoyable conference. I learnt so much! It was very inspiring and a real privilege to attend. Are you able to inform me when there are any conferences being offered similar to this one. I would like to attend a PD like this yearly and I would pay for it myself cause I think it is so worthwhile. I can’t wait to get my children involved in all this wonderful IT material available to them and to me."
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