Sunday, August 28, 2011

21st Century Learning Symposium

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the 21st Century Learning Symposium hosted by Saint Clair RESA at Marysville High School. I had a great time and I got to talk with a lot of great people. The week before was grueling as I was preparing both for school and the two sessions I ran. So, I'm finally recovered enough to get to posting the links to my presentations.

Before getting to my links I wanted to mention the Be Very Afraid Extra that was going on during the conference. Stephen Heppell has been running Be Very Afraid events in England for the last ten years. The original intent of these was to show how all of the money that has been spent on educational technology has paid off. Students showcase what they do and what they've learned with technology. One of the main ideas about these events is what they've done for themselves rather than what their teachers have done for them. The Be Very Afraid Extra on Thursday was the first of these to be run outside of the UK. There are already other such events scheduled for around the world later this year.

Unfortunately I didn't get to meet all the students, but I did get to meet many of them. Among my favorites were a group of middle school students who have become evangelists for Prezi. They're seeking to teach their own teachers how to use this cool tool while highlighting the advantages it has over PowerPoint. Another group consisted of an artist, a composer and a programmer, who together are creating a game for the new Windows Phone operating system. Leveraging the strengths of each to get the job done.

This sort of event highlights the possibilities technology offers our students and how those possibilities can be leveraged into learning and the beginnings of a career. The, "Be Very Afraid," is there as a message. Students often learn all of this stuff without the input of their teachers or the standard educational system. Most of the students presenting taught themselves the bulk of what they needed to know. Learning more from online forums then their teachers. Personally I think this is awesome!

Now, lets talk about me. I led two sessions. One on the creation and use of video and the other on pseudoteaching. My talk on videos and all of my links can be found at video.flosscience.com. There you will be able to find my collected wisdom on how to create videos and how to use videos to enhance what you do in the classroom.

My second presentation was on Pseudoteaching with Technology. My main goal in this talk was to get teachers thinking more about how they teach while focusing less on what tools they're using. Conferences like this one all to often focus on the "T" in "TPCK". I wanted to shift the focus more towards "PCK". You can find my presentation below. I have the feeling that my Prezi without me talking won't make much sense, but you can at least find all the links I gave out in my session. I may try to record a quick summary screen cast of the high points this afternoon. If I do, I'll post it to my blog.


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