Saturday, November 14, 2009

K12 Online Conference 2009

The K12 Online Conference 2009: Bridging the Divide is right around the corner. Educators from around the world come together to present innovative ways technology and Web 2.0 tools can be used for instructional learning. This year’s pre-conference keynote presenter is Kim Cofino, 21st Century literacy specialist from the International School in Bangkok, Thailand. Kim’s blog Always Learning gives participants an overview of her presentation titled Going Global: Culture Shock, Convergence and the Future of Education.

Getting Started…
To participate in this free online event, register by joining the K12 Conference Ning. During conference dates, participants can view content online or download content and then post comments on the conference blog.

The conference runs between December 7-11th and December 14-17th. Over the two weeks more than fifty presentations will run as well as three ‘fireside’ live events. This conference was first hosted in 2006 so there are well over one hundred archived events for educators to access.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Literacy and Learning in the 21st Century – David Warlick

Today I attended an Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium session titled Literacy and Learning in the 21st Century presented by David Warlick. This was the first time I had the pleasure of listening to David speak in person. What a great learning day!

One of the first questions he threw out to the audience asked “What is the web going to be like in five years?” He deferred answers to this question in interviews given by Google CEO Eric Schmidt. I didn’t catch exactly which interview David pulled his information from, it is worth listening to a variety of Eric Schmidt interviews posted on YouTube. Some of Eric’s predictions included:
• A web dominated by Asian content
• Bandwidth increasing exponentially
• Sites like YouTube making significant profits
• Real time communications growing

How much information is too much information? David reminded us that literacy today is not just about reading and writing, but instead knowing how to find information, ask questions and find answers. For the first time ever, educators must prepare students for a future we know nothing about! We are simply preparing students for an unpredictable future, or what David calls The Perfect Storm. What do we need to do to prepare our students? We need to pay attention and bring their outside experiences into the classroom – blogging, social networking, creating, collaborating, connecting, authoring, and publishing. Education must be relevant; education must keep pace. Teachers must steer classrooms forward as if they are ‘Learning Engines’. The best thing we can teach students is how to teach themselves. Being literate today means questioning information, exposing information and becoming an informational ‘digital detective’.

These thoughts are just a small part of a connected learning session presented by David Warlick.