Sunday, January 23, 2011

EduCon: Daring Conversations


Last year I blogged about EduCon from my couch whilst the snow piled up outside around me and I vicariously enjoyed & participated in this innovative concept for an exchange of ideas. This year I'm not only going but I'm honored to be involved with two different conversations. More about that below! You may ask what is EduCon, an unconference, and why a conversation?

A Conversation NOT a Presentation:
Viva la Unconference!

My gorgeous mentor Joyce Valenza has written a must-read SLJ article about the EduCon unconference experience:
"It's networking at its best," says Valenza. "It's critical, especially, that librarians network. It's clear to me that nobody knows who we are. I don't think we've gotten the word out. But we can't be in our buildings alone anymore."
Dare to be Out There!
More than ever we need to be "out there" not only in our school, local districts but on the state & national level. If you have a passionate voice & vision for our profession - don't be shy...TALK about it! The Educon conversation model is a perfect storm of opportunity to be in the mix and talk about the challenges & issues in education today. If you can't make it to EduCon consider following it via the Twitter hashtag #EduCon!
Do you have an ISTE affiliate in your state or vicinity? Join it! Do they have a yearly EdTech conference? Apply to present at it! That's how I got my start! Every year since 1997 I've presented at my ISTE affiliate conference MSET (formerly MICCA) not only did I get Free registration for the conference (Score!) but it forced me to keep up on my practice and SHARE SHARE SHARE!
Oh and If you're a DC Metro educator let me invite you to join our MSET Ning! Our yearly MSET conference is in April & I'm going to be a featured speaker! YAY!
It's Ok to be Feelin Kinda Shy!
Yes, you can start being "out there" from the comfort of your couch! Creating a 24/7 Library through blogging, wiki web resources, & Twittering Librarians can up their web presence and promote their practice to the community. And when you're ready to be "out there!" join us! Your voice is important!
Join US & the Conversation at EduCon!
I am honored to be involved with two conversations at EduCon this year.
The Future of Student Inquiry/Research: Environmental Scanning and Scenario BuildingJoyce Valenza and Shannon M. Miller!
What will student inquiry and investigation look like in the years to come and how can educators prepare learners for a world in which they can productively interact and contribute to research. Joyce, Shannon, and Gwyneth will lead the discussion and forecasting using Joyce and Doug's environmental scan as a launching pad.

Large group sharing of what new stuff goes into "buckets" involved in inquiry/research--tools, skills, dispositions. (Following by What Rocks; What Sucks--Research Edition)

Diane Cordell and I will be leading at EduCon in January (YAY!) The Power of the Product: Creative, Meaningful, & Daring Ways to Demonstrate Information Mastery

The conversation is a working and discovery session fueled by questions and assisted virtually by connected PLN members via Twitter with the goal of empowering our students by freeing them from repetitious, banal, and limiting assessments. How can meaningful products demonstrate student comprehension of information and concept mastery, but also provide an opportunity for students to apply skills and knowledge to practical situations? The goal - creatively and collaboratively build a Google slidedeck, & wiki pages of product ideas. Culmination: last 20 min have each group share round robin or gallery walk to create a combined slidedeck of Daring Creative Classroom & Research Products to share with our PLN.

This conversation will create a crowdsourced slidedeck of viable, creative, meaningful, and daring products that demonstrate information mastery, go beyond the regular research report and span the digital divide. The products of this conversation (Google slidedeck, Wallwisher, wiki, & published Slideshare) will generate layers of sharing, producing, and value.

I will be tweeting from the conference when I can and I will be sure to have a follow up review of the conference!

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