No, I’m not talking about culinary delights this time (though I had plenty of those). I’m referring to the ideas that have stayed with me following the Learning 2.010 Conference in Shanghai.
1. Connecting with people maketh the conference.
I have blogged about the importance of people at conferences before, but each time I get to meet someone face-to-face that I have connected with online, it’s a hugely meaningful for me. A highlight was videoing a dance with 15 other Twitter friends for the PLN Project – an educational version of the famous YouTube clip of Matt Dancing. I can’t wait to share the result with you when it’s ready…
2. The Great Firewall of China isn’t fun at all
I really felt as if I was being treated like a child with the imposed restrictions on Social Networking sites like Twitter, Facebook & YouTube. It made me appreciate the openness of Singapore generally, and my school in particular. I learned how to work a VPN, and the $10.95 I paid for Astrill was money well spent, as far as I am concerned!
3. I miss singing
Learning 2.010 gave me the opportunity to meet a musical Twitter friend – Leslie (@onepercentyello) – and have a ukulele jam session with her the rest of our crowd (who suffered through it, largely without complaint!). Man I had a good time! It reminded me of Christmases with our family, as everyone picks up an instrument of some description & belts out some tunes.
I have resolved to do more singing. Now I need to find a piano tuner…
4. A relaxed approach to conferences isn’t right for everybody, but it IS right for me.
I loved the structure of the cohorts – a group of people interested in a specific idea, combined with the informality of the unconference sessions. It was nice to have a balance between attending sessions to enhance my own learning, and offering unconferences to help someone else’s learning. It’s not the old model of going to a conference to get your cup filled.
I know that for some, this model of conference was a little loose. They wanted to hear from the ‘big names’ that were brought in. Although I confess to missing the cohesiveness a Keynote at the beginning and end of the conference brings, I also knew that I was free to go up to anyone I wanted to learn more from and find a time to have a chat with them. All of the cohort leaders were approachable and friendly – a great bunch!
I enjoyed Chris Betcher’s excellent blog post about Learning 2.010, describing it as UNorganised rather than DISorganised.
5. Now is the time to think about the Future of Learning
- What could (should) learning look like in the future?
- How can we begin to embrace the future, today?
It’s difficult to prepare for an unknown future, but if we don’t try to stay current, then bridging the gap will be too difficult. My group (comprised of Mary van der Heijden, Craig Coutts, Clint Hamada & myself) identified a number of areas that we thought teachers needed a level of familiarity and fluency with. We believe the future of learning will:
- Be networked & collaborative
- Be non-linear
- Be always available
- Involve cloud computing
- Increasingly use Gaming
- Focus on Creation (not just consumption)
- Involve a portfolio of work
- Involve the development of a digital footprint to be proud of
Here’s the presentation our group came up with during our cohort time (presentation notes visible if you download it).