K12 Online Conference

There has been much talk the last couple of weeks around the Edusphere (nice little buzz word) about the upcoming K12 Online Conference, but I have refrained from mentioning it here because I wasn’t sure what to say.  I didn’t quite know what part I wanted to play in the conference and how I wanted to get my teachers involved, but I finally think I have figured it out. 

Unfortunately, I waited too long getting my thoughts organized to submit a proposal to present.  I wanted to present but felt there are so many “experts” out there already that I might not be the right person to present a web 2.0 topic to a global audience, and when I finally did come up with a topic I would be comfortable presenting (two days ago) it was too late ( I will hold on to the idea in the hopes there will be a repeat conference in the future).

I have begun my conference experience by viewing David Warlick’s Pre-conference Keynote address entitled Derailing Education: Taking Sidetrips for Learning.  I must say that I enjoyed it, and those of you who know me, know that it is difficult to hold my attention for 55 minutes (which by the way is one of the great features of the on-line conference… the pause button). 

I enjoyed the extended metaphor of the rail that Mr. Warlick likens curriculum and standards to, and although it may be necessary to have common education goals, I agree with Mr. Warlick that it is essential that students are allowed to take side-trips off of these rails because it is when students are given choice and the ability to construct their own education that they become motivated and engaged learners.

Although I enjoyed the keynote in its entirety, the portion I appreciate the most (no, it wasn’t the Blair Witch like stint through the woods :))  is when he discusses the role of the learner.  “Learning now means more than just sitting in a classroom and listening. It means being engaged. It means observing an experience. It means reflecting upon that experience, sharing it with other people and then engaging in conversation. Learning today is work. It is not passively sitting back and paying attention. It is bringing content together in ways that are personally meaningful to you.” Disclaimer – I am pretty sure that I did not transcribe this quote word for word, but it is pretty close.

I think David is right.  Learning is work, and that is just what I am going to ask my teachers to do (on top of all the work they already do).  I am going to participate in the conference, but to encourage them to do the same, I am going to go around and meet with each individual team, explain to them the concept of the conference, show them the link to the conference page , go over the conference agenda and then encourage them to participate in the sessions they feel will benefit them.  I will be around for technical assistance and/or guidance and I will schedule a couple of “real” meeting times for the teachers who are participating to get together throughout the scheduled conference time to discuss what they are learning and how they foresee using it with their students.  After a few weeks I am hoping to have another follow-up “real” meeting session to answer questions and share ideas once they have had some time to implement some of what they have learned into their classrooms.  What do you think?  I am hoping to get some teachers excited about the opportunity.

I will be posting my reflections as the conference progress, so be watching for them.  I have also taken Mr. Warlick’s advice and posted my notes on a wiki site and will continue to add to it, so feel free to stop by and add your thoughts to mine. 

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Explore posts in the same categories: David Warlick, EdTech, k12 online conference, k12online06, k12onlineconference, Professional Development, Techlearning, Technology, web 2.0

6 Comments on “K12 Online Conference”


  1. […] Unfortunately, I waited too long getting my thoughts organized to submit a proposal to present.  I wanted to present but felt there are so many “experts” … Posted by musingsfromtheacademyCool post i think. what do you think?Link to original article […]


  2. […] personal learning network that I have developed for myself over the past year-and-a-half. I read blogs that challenge my thinking, I participate in the conversation, respond to people who write (not as much as I should) and do it […]


  3. […] personal learning network that I have developed for myself over the past year-and-a-half. I read blogs that challenge my thinking, I participate in the conversation, respond to people who write (not as much as I should) and do it […]


  4. […] even officially launch until Monday and the buzz in the edusphere (a word I borrowed from here) is intense. Take a look at Technorati it is beyond keeping up with it all. Then I looked at […]


  5. This is interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.


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