Virtually there – Learning 2.0, a Colorado conversation.

This morning, at 3.30 am, I got up to attend Karl Fisch and Bud Hunt’s  Learning 2.0 – A Colorado Conversation. Was I in Colorado? No, I was sitting in my lounge chair at home,  but able to participate because Karl and his organising committee had crafted a detailed wiki outlining session details and had organised elluminate rooms for people who wanted to participate virtually.

When I started exploring this networked world a year ago I stumbled on this conference and expressed an interest in attending in a virtual capacity. This year they were extremely well organised and had everything organised well before the start date. I wanted to hear  Anne Smith and Kristin Leclaire’s presentation, ‘Shifting literacies, a learning conversation’, but the ustream accompanying the elluminate room was patchy. On Karl’s blog, The Fischbowl, he often speaks of Anne and the work she is involoved in at Arapahoe High School. Instead I attended Scott Elias’ ’21st Century School Leadership’ session. The ustream was clear and it was great catching up with some familiar names and ‘friends’ from my online world.

The second session I attended was ‘How to teach a remix generation’ led by Alison Saylor, Dan Watkins and Janni Black. This session looked at the issues related to student use of music and images and their abilty to create  new understandings – their transformative use. Once again, discussion in the backchannel was engaging and I was able to form connections to educators I previously did not know.

It was well worth the early start and I’d like to thank Karl and Bud for providing opportunities for virtual participation.  This is the changing face of professional development. I didn’t have to get on a plane and fly halfway around the world. I just had to work out time zones and ensure that I got up at the right time to turn my computer on. How cool is that!

Now, how do I convince the Victorian Institute of Education to recognise my attendance and have it count towards the professional development requirements I must meet to ensure accreditation?? These are new developments I’m sure our professional organsiations have not even contemplated. I know that I am engaged in my own professional learning every day just interacting in my PLN. Effectively, my school needn’t fork out a cent on my professional development. This term alone, I am attending three conferences but am presenting at every one of them. Only one of them requires the school to make payment of some kind because it extends over three days.  The biggest outlay is the personal one- the time I invest outside of school hours to keep myself informed.

I so admire Karl Fisch, an educator who created ‘Did you know’ for an after school meeting for his staff. He would have had no idea at the time of the viral nature of this presentation once it was taken from his original
PowerPoint presentation and set to music and uploaded to YouTube. If you haven’t seen it take a look at its latest incarnation below.  

     

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Virtually there – Learning 2.0, a Colorado conversation.

  1. steveshann

    Jenny,
    Thanks for this. I’d also like to take part in one of these, but have been put off because I’m so new to most of 2.0 (wikis, nings, twitter, PLNs, Pageflakes, Diigo, blogs) that I haven’t yet found the time to get my head around this new thing. Your report is encouraging; it nudges me a little step closer perhaps.

    • jennylu

      Steve, my advice would be to leap in and give everything a try. It is truly amazing the nature of these networks. There is always someone there willing to help a newcomer out. I was the newcomer a year ago – I can’t believe the accelerated learning that is enabled from operating in a connected world.

  2. Steve,

    A nice first thing to try might be one of the weekly events online like edtechtalk–Jenny could point you in the right direction to get there.

    It just takes some curiosity and just know that everyone finds their way or just listens at first!

  3. Thanks for the kind words and for being part of our conference. While we still need to perfect the virtual delivery, I think this holds a lot of potential for expanding conference conversations, much like we’ve expanded our personal learning through these tools.

  4. Eric

    Hi Jenny,

    I too attended this conference in the virtual world. I agree, it was truly amazing to sit in bed with my coffee watching, listening, and back-channeling. While I was within driving distance, I decided to stay at home to professionally develop. This was my first virtual conference and I am relatively new to this revolution in education. My biggest issue at the moment is taking in all of the information and synthesizing it. Listening, surfing, chatting all at the same time takes a very multi-tasking brain. It will be vastly interesting to watch how our brains evolve with all the rapid exponential growth that is going on right now.

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