In the past 3 months I have attended 3 big conferences on the use of Learning Technologies.... today I hit complete overload... my cup runneth over as my Dad used to say. Where to start... I have to start articulating my ideas after my own self imposed 'quarantine' as the ideas for workshops for teachers just keep flowing - and I'm bound to forget them if I don't get them down on 'paper' soon.
This weekend I'm in Shanghai for Learning 2.0 08. Great invited speakers, great attendees, lots of conversations. This conference is a little different as it is very informal and the focus is on having conversations and jump-starting our own learning. So far I've been impressed with the following on twitter - people from Australia, US and across SE Asia are participating - not just the 570 here in Shanghai.
What has my mind in overdrive?
David Jakes and Visual Literacy... now I'm thinking about how this can be linked to the IB Learner Profile and helping students develop their skills as communicators. Students need to be able to articulate their thoughts and the concepts that they are trying to convey in a powerful way - and the informed use of visuals can make this so much more effective.
Brian Lockwood - the use of Web 2.0 tools to improve the way that we work in schools. Should we limit the tools that students use or model ourselves more on Google and the way that they allow employees to choose their tools... should we be using mobile devices such as iPhones, gaming consoles, laptops etc. What affordances do online applications like Drop Box, Evernote, Skitch, wikis, twitter, facebook and self directed blogs give us as teachers.
Chris Smith - good to see Chris again after all these years - his work with Shambles is inspiring for life after The ESF. His International School Island in Second Life is fantastic - the possibilities for education are great, however what to do about the age restriction on Second Life and Teen Grid make things a little difficult. Virtual field trips, extension materials for older students.... this needs much more thinking about and inquiry to see the validity. I don't want to be encouraging students to enter Second Life under false pretenses and this is a valid fear given the number of underage students in Facebook.
Ewan McIntosh - Thinking out of the (x)Box - the use of gaming as stimulus for creative writing. This was an amazing presentation - the possibilities for MFL, English, SEN and EAL are there for the picking. The work that has been done by Tim Ryland with Myst and Kim Pericles with Samorost. Linking this to DeBono's Thinking Hats is a great way to start lessons.
So where to start? I'm still looking for a 'fool-proof' way to distribute my Learning Technology Newsletter to staff - I refuse to go paper based, I need to make these workshops catchy, linked to the Learner Profile and relevant... not a big ask.... really!!