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 midst of reading Disrupting Class and Scott McLeod’s presentation deals with some of the ideas in this book. This is really an example of disruptive professional development.

I’d encourage you to plan your own local events. Use the essential questions at the bottom of each presentation to guide you. If you have something in the works or just want to flesh out the ideas some more, leave a comment.

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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.

While some will argue there is much of this kind of content already online, our target audience is largely those folks who may not have the skills or time to find it all.  So email the conference link or specific presentations to someone you know who would benefit.  Harness the power of networked learning.

Start Spreadin’ the News

If you haven’t already, download this poster and either send it to every teacher you know and/or print it off and place it in every school you visit or work in.  Beginning today, watch for the teasers for upcoming presentations. For those who have participated in this conference, you know its value, for those who have not, buckle up, you’re in for a treat.

Oh, and did I mention is was completely free?

K12 Online Downloadable Flyer

K12 Online Keynotes

Sheryl, Darren, Wes and I are pleased to announce the keynotes for this fall’s K12 Online Conference.

Stephen Heppell, Alice Barr, Cheryl Oakes, Bob Sprankle, Gardner Campbell, Chris Lehmann, Vicki Davis, and Julie Lindsay will all be keynoting this year. What a fantastic lineup of presenters! If you’re not familar with these folks, you’ll be in for quite a treat. Each one has a unique perspective and voice that will challenge and inspire you.

For more information on these speakers and the conference in general please visit the K12 Online site.

You’ve got about 2 weeks until proposals are due. Also, do us a favour, if you’ve been a presenter, participator or volunteer in the past 2 years, how about posting a little plug for the conference on your website?  If you like, add this little badge to your sidebar as well.

Here’s the page with html code you’ll need.

K12 Online Proposals: Remember to Share

As an advocate for sharing, I’d encourage you to consider submitting a proposal for the K12 online conference. If you are not familiar with K12 online, it’s a conference held entirely online, for free, spanning 2 weeks. All sessions are archived and you can still go back to the previous 2 year sessions to view.

But rather simply consuming the conference, consider contributing with a proposal submission. While many might wonder what they have to offer, taking the time to challenge yourself to develop an online presentation of your work and learnings can be a valuable experience.

This year I’m one of four conveners but have been involved with the conference since its inception. I was on a selection committee in year one and last year presented. I can tell you that the challenge of creating a presentation for this format was certainly a challenge but one I’m thankful I did. Not only did it open some doors of opportunity but more importantly helped me to become better at sharing my ideas in concise and engaging ways. I also reiterate the value of sharing with a quote from Hugh Macleod via John Pederson:

The most important word on the internet is not “Search”. The most important word on the internet is “Share”. Sharing is the driver. Sharing is the DNA. We use Social Objects to share ourselves with other people. We’re primates. we like to groom each other. It’s in our nature.

So head over to this page and submit a proposal.