Saturday, January 19, 2013

#Educon Conversations: A first read - Wanna help a newbie figure out what to attend?


I am fortunate to have received a conference scholarship this fall from our Michigan RITS organization, a group that supports the efforts of instructional technology specialists in our state. It's a fantastic bunch of educators and I'm honored to be representing this group as I attend this year's Educon conference in Philadelphia January 25-27th.

Today I've done a first read of the conversations offered this year. All I can say is Whoa! While I've culled a few sessions from the nearly 80 being offered, I still have a substantial list ranging from design thinking and learning spaces to questioning standardization and building the schools of our dreams. I love this kind of stuff. I'd make this my Masters degree if I could. I'm definitely going to have a difficult time deciding which conversations to attend.

So I've thrown together a Google Doc, pasted the conversations from my first read in and hope to work through the pruning process this week. I'm linking to it here and leaving the commenting features open if anyone cares to chime in. I know y'all can't really make up my mind for me, but I'd love hear what sessions you would attend.

Philly here I come!


1 comment:

Kit Hard said...

Thanks to John Schinker for taking a moment to comment and for asking me to better define what I’m looking for.

School districts in my county are currently developing frameworks for Future of Learning prototypes that will help them to scale innovation across all grade levels. Personalization and Blended Learning are driving our conversations, but finding models that will help our public schools evolve quickly is a huge challenge. We also need to develop better methods for strategically implementing change. So those are my work related interests.

Personally, I think I’m a bit of a edu radical. I spent the last 8 years supporting a small 9th and 10th grade high school that focussed on at-risk students using technology, PBL, and UDL. It was a very dynamic environment and we were able to adapt and change quickly. Even so, I found our approach too traditional in most cases. We ignored the personal interests and needs of our students too often and let our fears of not covering enough or not getting students to comply enough dictate our approach to instruction. Now that I am supporting educators and students at a county-wide level, I am even more disheartened by the limiting conditions we have imposed on our educational system and direct impact this has on children. I feel that standardization and accountability policies are pushing adults to view students as the enemy. I am drawn to the sessions that seek to empower our students and honor their individual learning needs.