Sunday, January 27, 2008

Educon is Classroom 2.0

Kudos to Chris Lehmann and the organizing team at Educon! As a group of like-minded educators, this weekend in Philadelphia, you've actually created Classroom 2.0... perhaps without realizing it?!

If learning in the classroom of the future is truly going to harness technology of the day, and to use it to engage student and teacher alike in meaningful learning, then the interactive nature of the sessions and the participatory response of attendees (both physical and virtual), may one day be seen as a significant educational tipping point.

The fact that educators from around the world could 'in real time', see, hear and participate in presentations and discussions, represents a radical departure from the traditional conference, which is usually modeled on old educational paradigms where the audience sits and listens to a learned expert.

In turning the working sessions into discussions and public thinking, participants at Educon are modeling what classrooms around the world can be: places where student voices and teacher voices co-mingle in learning activities that are rooted in real world problems... problems such as: "What does Classroom 2.0 Look Like?"

It was great to see photos, to hear panel discussions, to read responses from participants, to witness recorded workshops, and to participate in live streamed sessions. It would have been great to be there in person, but the next best thing was having the opportunity to engage in online dialogue with like-minded educators from across North America.

Through the anticipatory posts of David Warlick; the live tweets ofSyvlia Martinez; on site reflections ofWill Richardson; and live blogging of Gary Stager, it was easy to feel included. Thanks to organizers and participants alike for opening the doors to this event. Courtesy of Flickr, Ustream, Twitter, and other Web 2.0 tools, distant educators were able to experience the conference from afar. Here's hoping the optimism generated at this event will ripple through many school districts in the coming weeks and months.