The Learning 2.011 Conference in Shanghai has now faded into the history books of this school year and yet everything that happened, I learned and was exposed to will not fade for a long time if ever.
What a time we had!!!!! As one of my colleagues who attended for the first time mentioned that she learned about this much (holding her thumb and finger about 2 cm. apart) about a subject this big (holding her arms as wide as she could get them). I agree. This is my third time to the conference and I was once again overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge that is available for educators to tap into by just speaking to our colleagues.
To be in a place where everyone is focused on what is my passion is overwhelming and an adrenaline rush. Even being sick did not keep me from getting to where I wanted to be. Since I have been back I have been trying to go over my notes and figure out what my memories are of the Conference that will stay with me.
1. Meeting up with old friends especially Anne Mirtschin and meeting her husband. Anne and I met at the Flat Classroom Conference in Doha, Qatar and bonded while dune bashing screaming and laughing all the way. The incredible job Anne is doing at her country school reminds me not to get bogged down when faced with obstacles.
2. Listening to inspiring keynote addresses from educators and students alike. I will post more later about a wonderful video we watched made by a sixth grade student and her autistic brother. I cried and then to see the two of them at the conference was very moving.
3. Being part of a group where we focused on Authentic Assessment especially where digital work is concerned. It was in this cohort that I met two lovely ladies that I hope to continue to develop a conversation with.
4. I was able in a small way share my passion for this exciting world with four of my colleagues as they attended for the first time. I don’t feel so alone anymore.
5. Meeting Toni face to face after a year of talking to each other on Flat Classroom Certified Teachers course. What a lovely lady she is. It is always great to put a face to a name.
6. I was amazed at how many iPads there were everywhere. Last year iPad had just been released in China a few weeks before the conference and whenever anyone saw one there was a crowd. This year the iPad was used exclusively at the conference, in fact there were strands of learning for iPad users. I tried to attend one but it was so crowded that I finally left. I did get the information from the website the teacher was sharing about creative apps.
7. I realized once again how much I love, love, love the app Evernote. I kept all my notes on it and now they are on my iPad and my computers. I think I will keep being an evangelist about this great application. 🙂
8. Became more convinced than ever that I need to get more involved in Twitter even though I am located in China. There are ways around it. I did look at the Seesmic app that was recommended but I think I am going to go back to my old favourite Tweetdeck for the time being. It was great to be able to received the feed from the conference. If you want to check it out then search Twitter for #learning2.
9. One of the presenters had me thinking back to my own personal journey with my personal learning network and who influenced me. While my list will probably never be part of a key note or presentation it will be very personal for me and help me see my own growth in this wonderful world.
10.Realizing that I have experienced growth over the past four years and that I am now the carrier of considerable knowledge that I want to share.
Unless life drastically changes in the next 12 months I have probably attended my last Learning 2.0__ conference. I encourage everyone that can though to visit the sites and to learn and grow. You never stop learning.