Learning With Lucie Archive 2006-2013

January 29, 2008

Educon Reflection – It Wasn’t about the Technology

Filed under: Education — Learning with Lucie @ 5:33 pm
This is a cross Posted from My Infinite Thinking Blog Post – January 29, 2008

Friday morning I found myself standing in a starkly naked room
filled with empty desk and chairs that replicated those that the
Founding Fathers of the United States Government sat in as they
deliberated the future of their new nation. Two centuries ago, a
brilliant group of passionate men came together to craft a document
that would lay the foundation for a vision that would shape the future
of their country. These men were so committed to crafting a document
that reflected the best of their deep thinking and strong convictions
that they gave up on the tasks of ‘tweaking’ the Articles of Confederations and created a brand new document – The U.S. Constitution .

As I listened to the Independence Hall guide, I thought back to the recent conversation responding to Will Richardson’s Some New Year’s Dreaming post,
debating whether whether a change in education could come about by
evolution, or whether revolution was the only hope for transforming our
schools.

These
thoughts were the perfect launching point for what was to be 2 and ½
days of conversation amongst some of the most passionate, caring, and
thoughtful educators I’ve had the privilege of meeting. Two days of
conversations about the possibilities for education when the right
combination of passion and pedagogy are supported by transformative
tools left participants of EduCon 2.0 emotional and inspired as they returned home to continue the work of transforming our 21st century schools.

Emotions,
reflection, call to action, manifesto’s, and yes… more conversation
continue far beyond the weekend, and extend way beyond the walls of the
Science Leadership Academy, where Chris Lehman
(visionary Principal and leader extradonaire) and his learning network
hosted this fabulous Un-Conference. If every participant finds
themselves able to channel the emotion, energy, and inspiration from Educon 2.0 to "just win more than three" colleagues as Kevin Jarret’s Educon reflection suggest … than the weekend was truly an agent of change.

But
the change agents, were not just those who attended, it was also each
of you who participated in the conversation remotely through U-Stream modeling
the power of transformative tools in learning. As many of us stated
over and over again this weekend – it was not about the technology. The
transformative part was not that we were using U-Streams to record or wikis to post our notes.
The transformative part was that the sessions were set up as
CONVERSATIONS not presentations. And these conversations would not have
been the same without the hundreds of remote participants contributing
through the backchannel chat; nor would they have been the same without
the collaborative features of wikis to dynamically share knowledge
throughout the weekend and beyond; nor would they have been the same
had they not been extension of many prior conversations happening
throughout the edublogosphere.

For those of you who missed the event – it’s not too late to participate. The hundreds of pictures already on Flickr will
provide visual cues to the energy level that was present. My favorite
was the photos of the MAC Lab noticeably void of computers adjacent to
the photos displaying the white Apple branded laptops visible
throughout the school, in the hands the students whose job it was to
care for and use the tools in the service of learning. But more
symbolic to me than the laptops in those photos were the white lab
coats worn by the students at SLA – the uniform of inquiry.

While
some of these bright and inquiring minds brought the voices of students
in the conversations, others offered a wonderful service to the
community unable to attend by operating video cameras that made the
conversations available through U-Stream. Each of the wiki pages that accompanied the 6 strands of “conversations”, not only contain notes, digital handouts, and links, but also contain an archived U-Stream video when possible. And for those who prefer their conversatoins in a 3-D space, check out the space Konrad Glogowski created for Virtual EduCon in Second Life. The richness doesn’t stop there; hundreds of blog posts tagged EduCon
provide insights, reflections, and opportunities for the conversations
to continue. So whether you were in Philadelphia this weekend, or
elsewhere, transformative technologies coupled with thoughtful,
pedagogically sound format for a “conference “ — or “unconference” has
provided you with an entry point into the conversation. May you join
the conversation! Thank you to all who contributed to Educon and the learning that is extending from it.

Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/teachandlearn/

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