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.