Educon 2.3 – Foster Change by Leading and Sharing

What has changed in your school or district in the last year? This is the question I mulled over on my ride home from Educon.

There were two sessions that I thought of as I drove. The Same as it Ever Was, but Does it Have to Be with Leo Brehm and Beth Knittle and The Ethical Obligation to Teach, Learn & Share Globally with Dean Shareski and Alec Couros.

Why these sessions?

Well, I’m concerned as to why I’ve been going to Educon for four years, yet I am still hearing all the same concerns from the attendees.

Beth and Leo

 

If our schools are not doing things correctly, what is it that we want?

We attempted to answer this question in Beth and Leo’s session. They put together a wiki and I’m hoping to see the folks that were there add to it. Here’s what we talked about together:

  • We want learners who can troubleshooting/problem solve
  • We want to focus on thinking skills rather than just skills
  • We want to look at what’s working and clone it rather than work on fixing what’s broken
  • We want self-motivated learners
  • We want the school community to be filled with adult learners (we are all learners)
  • We want to cultivate a lifelong love of learning

Beth recommended viewing  The Tribes We Lead TED Talk by Seth Godin as a resource for inspiration. What he says makes sense to me:

  • You can make change by leading
  • You should connect with people for ideas
  • What we do for a living now is finding something we want to change and assembling a group of people to change it
  • We should organize people who want to talk about something and have the same desires
  • One person can’t do this alone, but together we can get it done. We just need someone to lead us
  • We’re waiting for someone to show us where to go next

What is it that we need?

The group shared examples of what was happening in their schools. Some stories were encouraging and others were what seemed to be a recurring theme of schools in need of help. Here’s what we brainstormed:

  • Learners need to know it’s okay to fail
  • All learners should be empowered in a school
  • Schools should provide/allow for flexible learning environments
  • Learners should be encouraged to be passionate problem solvers
  • We need more time
  • Let’s not focus on the minute details, but work towards a common goal
  • Realize that it may be curriculum redesign that is needed

How are we going to get there?

This brings me back to Alec and Dean’s session as in both our small group and large group discussions, people shared stories.¬† Is this the solution to our bringing on change? Should we all just talk about what is working and then replicate it? I’m thinking so. What do you think?

I want to listen and soak it up

Beginning today, January 28, 2011, is the 4th annual Educon. This is my all-time favorite conference. It’s a huge reunion of like-minded educators, all gathered in the same place to learn something.

For two years now, I have led sessions with Liz Davis, but this year we made a decision to go to Educon, network, learn and participate in the conversations.

Would you like to participate, but can’t make it to Philly this weekend? Here’s how:

  1. Join the EduCon website and post a short bio and photo
  2. Browse the Detailed Schedule and read about the conversation offerings, sketch out which sessions you would like to view. (all posted times are EST)
  3. Follow the streamed Elluminate sessions by going to the EduCon conversation page and click on the Elluminate link.
  4. Follow the twitter hashtag #educon
  5. Post questions, offer links and resources, from the comfort of your own living room, all throughout the weekend in the forums.

By the way, for those of you not familiar with Educon:

http://educon23.eventbrite.com/

EduCon 2.3 is both a conversation and a conference.
And it is not a technology conference. It is an education conference. It is, hopefully, 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.

I hope to see you there, whether in-person or virtually.