Disrupting Professional Development

The beauty of the K12 online conference is that you don’t need to panic that you haven’t been able to keep up. It doesn’t matter. The presentations are all there waiting for you. While online learning implies an anywhere, anytime approach, there is great value in sharing the experience face to face. Duh.

So on Tuesday I invited a few folks together to watch some presentations, talk about them and share our own experiences. It was good. There were people there for whom they had never heard of many of the ideas and really needed to wrap their heads around the implications for teaching and learning. For those without a network to support them, this is invaluable. Even if one person can come away with a plan or at least a connection, I’m pleased.

And here’s the other thing. Traditionally we send a teacher to a local conference, pay sub costs, registration fees, mileage, meals and maybe accommodation. You can conservatively estimate a cost of about $500 a day.  I brought it supper at about $10 a person and I would say we had an experience, equal if not better than a day at your typical conference. I’m in the … Read the rest

The WOW factor still matters

I’m not sure if this says more about my social life or my connected life but whatever. You can judge for yourself.

So it’s Friday night, my wife is out watching my girls perform in Annie. (I’m really a good parent, I watched them on Saturday I just don’t need to see it three times). So I find myself watching Jeff Utecht in Bangkok on his computer, streaming his former colleagues in Shanghai gathering together on a Saturday watching presentations from K12 online.  You may have to read that sentence twice to get it.

Jeff held a similar event a couple of years ago.  2 years ago, streaming video was not readily available but Jeff did record some of that event for viewing after the fact.  Today, streaming video is as easy as email. But Jeff had to do some fancy configurations to stream his Skype call from Shanghai back to Bangkok out to the world. I was concerned that the internet might break at any moment. Jeff has a reputation.

As much as I live this stuff everyday, there is still a WOW factor here. The WOW of an almost seamless discussion with people who care deeply … Read the rest

Let’s Roll

While last Monday was the official start of the K12online conference, this Monday is when we really get rolling.

Two presentations each week day begins. As a convener I’m excited to see that conference continue to grow and expand. This year there are a number of improvements and additions.

  • Presentations are all under 20 minutes. In the past, there was no limit and while this conference is really bound by time, the emphasis on concise, compelling presentations allows users to view more presentations. You can always go deeper if you wish as most presenters provide links for more information.
  • More opportunities to interact. Along with 4 live events, the Live Events Committee is providing 3 essential questions for each presentation using Voicethread called A cup of Joe. This again can help foster and focus discussions.
  • Increased accessibility.  This year we are using dotsub which enables audio to be translated into a variety of language.
  • NotK12online. This is the most risky, unusual part of the conference. In an attempt to address of number of gaps in the conference, notk12online hopes to provide a space for additional presentations and critiques.  Hard to explain so head here for some better explanations.
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