Saturday, 5 January 2013

EduCon 2.5

     If your New Year's Resolution and/or Professional Growth Plan involved anything to do with education (and I bet it did) then you should definitely check out the 2013 EduCon Conference, EduCon 2.5, in Philadelphia. I was first introduced to this conference last year via my amazing PLN on Twitter and participated in two sessions, known as "conversations". (You can read my review here)

     Here is a description of the event from their website:
     "Educon is both a conversation and a conference.
     It is an innovation conference where we can come together, both in person and
     virtually, to discuss the future of schools. Every session will be an opportunity to
     discuss and debate ideas - from the very practical to the big dreams."

EduCon conference, EduCon Philadelphia, free professional development for teachers
Now obviously I am by no means able to travel the the 2,900 kilometers to Philly, especially on a student budget, but the great thing about EduCon is that I don't have to! You can still "attend" EduCon online like I did last year! You can participate in general conversations via Twitter (use hashtag #EduCon) and specific sessions may offer their own hashtag specific to their topic. There is also live streaming of the sessions complete with a chat option so that you view the session in real time and participate in the discussions via chat (which is displayed on a screen in the session) and/or via Twitter. So, essentially, you can access and participate in high quality, interactive, professional development sessions from the comfort of your couch and for FREE!

     Visit their website to view the 80 sessions/conversations that are being offered this year. I've already bookmarked a few that interest me:

I am from a community of 300 and student taught in a Grade 11 Global Issues class of 9 students. Need I say more? haha

     Small Town School
     Who: Sabra Provence & Daisy Dyer Duerr
     When: Session One, 10-11:30am, January 26th

"The focus of the conversation will be how innovative uses of technology are the "GREAT EQUALIZER" for students in poor, isolated, rural America. We will examine success we have had at our school including specific students who now have "possibilities" they've never had. We will also discuss other "possibilities" in education, technology, and innovating our youth!"

I've been hearing about curation a lot lately via Twitter and some of my other PLN's but honestly do not know much about it or understand it's role in education. I am hoping that this session will shed some light and give me some strategies on how to incorporate it in the classroom.

     Curation: Three Ways
     Who: Joyce Valenza
     When: Session Two, 1-2:30pm, January 26th

"Curation belongs in the curriculum. It can be part of the student search toolkit, part of your plan to build curricular resources, strategy, part of your professional development plan. Joyce will define curation as a learning strategy and lead a discussion of surround what might be curated, the best new tools for curating, students as curators, the role of the student work in curation."

Assessment is something that I feel we have touched on least in my education degree so far (only one class). I am hoping that not only will this session give me more information but will also let me practice and apply the knowledge that I have acquired thus far. I am looking forward to finding assessment strategies that are actually meaningful to students!

     Qualitative Formative Assessment
     Who: Reshan Richards
     When: Session Three, 3-4:30pm, January 26th

"The primary focus of this conversation is qualitative formative assessment of student understanding. In an ideal world, teachers would be able to have regular conversations with every student in order to see where they are in the learning and to adapt and adjust instruction to best suit their needs. How can we leverage emerging technologies to facilitate this kind of relationship?"

School is only a tiny part of our students' day. It can be hard to tell what kind of situations they are encountering outside of school. Are they able to go home? Do they go straight to an eight hour shift at work? Are they involved in sports? Do they have children and/or care for younger siblings? Everything that happens outside of school will influence what happens in the classroom.

     The Other 18 Hours
     Who: Alex Shevrin
     When: Session Five, 12:30-2pm, January 27th

"How much do we know about our students' other 18 hours? What role does school play in their familiar, their priorities, their peer groups? In this conversation we'll examine our assumptions and look at some frames for how to meet our students where they are when they walk into school."

     It is still three weeks away so there is lots of time to check it out. What conversations would you to see? Leave a comment below and let me know!

     I am also still hosting my 1 Year Blogiversary Mystery Prize Package Giveaway so make sure you enter!

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