Last year about this time, I stumbled over the information about the conference on someone’s blog, and was blown away when I watched the keynote address.
If you want to take a trip back in time, or you missed last year’s, here’s a sampling of what David had to say about last year’s conference and what is so different about K12online:
“Traditional conferences act like traditional teaching and learning experiences. I face you. You face me. You all face in the same direction. In this conference we are not only facing in different directions, and not only in different locations, but you are reading this blog and watching my keynote at different times. We are free from what Chris Anderson calls the tyranny of locality (Anderson 17). You’ll spend some time paying attention to me and others, but the best part of this conference will be the time that you are reflecting on what you see, hear, and read, and then writing in your blogs and populating wikis, and then reading other people’s reflections, and reacting. This conference is not as much about teaching and learning as it is about building new knowledge.”
The notion of building knowledge together is a very powerful part of the conference. It’s put on completely by volunteers–organized by volunteers, presentations created by volunteers, chats hosted by volunteers, website created by volunteers….and that makes it even more powerful that a group of teachers from around the world could come together cooperatively to make an effort like this work, and do all of the planning and coordinating online, using tools like Skype and Elluminate to communicate.
One of the really exciting aspects about last year’s conference for me was connecting globally with other educators for the first time. At the end of the conference, in the 24 “Night Falls” event, I was able to use Skype while sitting in my house to talk to teachers in Wales and Scotland. (wish I remember now who I was talking to then!) It was my first real taste of how powerful it could be to connect with other educators at other schools, no matter where they were.
So I am looking forward to meeting all of you “online” in the next few weeks! Here’s to kicking off K12 Online tomorrow!