Learning 2.008 here I come!

I’m sitting at Melbourne Airport. It’s 6.15 in the morning and I’m waiting for a plane to Sydney which will connect me to my flight to Shanghai and Learning 2.008.

How do I feel?

Anxious.  Excited.  Nervous.  Elated.

It’s such a mixture of feelings. I never conceived at the start of the year that I’d be attending an international conference and have the opportunity to meet people who form part of my Personal Learning Network. It’s testament to the sharing capacity of this network that I’m going in large part. If not for the connections I’ve formed and the ability of those connections to make an impact on not only my teaching, but the mindset of admin at my school, I’d never be here. I’m very fortunate to work at a school that values the ideas that come with a learning 2.0 approach and who are willing to look at new ways to do things.

Nearly time to board. I’m hoping to share my learning with you through this blog. Hopefully posterous will work for me when I’m in Shanghai. If not, I’ll be revisiting the conference in posts when I return.

Better get moving- this flight might be my only chance to truly rest for the next 6 days!

Passing the time with Sheryl, Chris, Wes, Kevin and Dean.

I’m frightened I’m going to sound like a braggart in this post but I’m pretty darn chuffed about being a guest panelist for Sheryl Nussbaum Beach’s workshop in West New York State on Wednesday night last week (my time 11.00pm to be exact!). Been so busy haven’t had a chance to write about it. Sheryl asked me to join a panel to discuss inquiry and project based learning utilising Web 2.0. The intention was to highlight that Web 2.0 tools are not to be taught in isolation. They need to be integrated into meaningful authentic learning tasks where they can take students to new places with their learning.

When Sheryl sent me the link to the wiki I was amazed to see who else was on the panel. Chris Lehmann, Wes Fryer, Kevin Honeycutt and Australia’s own Dean Groom (an expert in Project based learning using Web 2.0 as the driving force behind creation of tasks). Such illustrious company for little old me to be involved with. The session was for educators from West New York (State) near Buffalo. It was held using elluminate. I could see the names of the participants but couldn’t see or hear them. They could see who was speaking as we enabled our webcams to be accessed. It was a fantastic opportunity to share my experiences with people in the United States and let them know what a transformative experience it has been for me writing this blog. I was able to share with them how making connections has enabled my students to have experiences wider than the classroom walls we habitate.

You could hear the passion for the idea of Learning 2.0 from Chris, Wes, Kevin and Dean. I think it was obvious that all of us were student focused in our belief that it is transformative adopting new technologies to transform learning experiences for the students we have dealings with. I hope the participants got a sense of this and that they reach out like we have done to make connections for their students. Sheryl recorded the session so when I find out where the link is to that I’ll post it.

I’ve been involved in helping to establish the Australian arm of a global cohort for Sheryl and Will Richardson’s Powerful Learning Practice. I see it as a means of increasing the capacity of our teachers to move with change and see the potential of Learning 2.0/Web 2.0 for their classroom practice. We’re still seeking a couple of schools so if you’re an Australian educator and want some detail contact me through this blog and I’ll pass on some info.  

Thanks Sheryl for the invite. It made my week.