Friend or better still . . . foe

Future of Education, unconference link

When is foe better than friend? When foe is the tag for the Future of Education unconference held last week. I was on vacation and unable to participate live but the conference attendr.com map clearly illustrates the global-breadth of the unconference attendees. Below is a clip from presenter Jay Cross. Just reading this paragraph should give you the sense that interactivity and conversation are essential elements of this conference. You will not hear or detect any hint of monologue, diatribe, lecture or any other form of lopsided conversations. This isn’t an unloading of acquired knowledge but rather a synthesis and building of something unexpected and new. It’s open and it’s exciting.

The depth of this unconference can fairly be measured by close examination of the international session-leader list, which I invite you to do, and by observing the distinctive leadership style of unconference director, George Siemens of The University of Manitoba in Canada. Thanks to an elearning partnership with Elluminate Live, all of the conference speakers and interactive chat room conversation was captured and is available at the click of your mouse. The best part is that although you may have missed the live sessions, you may participate in real time with followup conversations in the forums.

George Siemens is reaching out to the world. His approach to online learning is the epitome of the connectivist philosophy he espouses. He lives and breathes connectivism and it is contagious.

If you enjoy thinking out of the box and long to be connected to a global educational network, then you really owe it to yourself to listen and learn. I will warn you, however, that the adrenalin rush of experiencing this unconventional open access to knowledge is as whimsical as watching new cloud formations take shape, it may become habit forming! Whether or not you agree with or take issue with some of the revolutionary ideas discussed in The Future of Education unconference, please blog about your thoughts and add to the formation of knowledge.

clipped from ltc.umanitoba.ca

Presenter: Jay Cross
Education is empowered as never before. Web 2.0 connects people the world over and encourages active participation. Incoming students have no fear of technology and are self-reliant “entrepeneurial learners.” Let’s blend these elements and brainstorm the possibilities. What will globally interconnected education look like? David Snowden’s remarks on brain plasticity in children made me want to get every six-year old a phone pal with whom to speak another language. Each one teach one. Reflect on this, and come prepared to share your ideas.

Conference resources (for those unable to attend the session, or those wanting to share with colleagues):Attendr: http://attendr.com/foe
Moodle: http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/moodle/course/view.php?id=12
Pageflakes link: http://www.pageflakes.com/ltc/10987119
Twitter site: http://twitter.com/foe2007
Conference Podcast feed: http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/foe-2007/podcast/index.xml
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One Response to “Friend or better still . . . foe”

  1. ripplingpond Says:

    I came across a post by middle school teacher Clarence Fisher who listened to two of the sessions while weeding in his yard. Weeding and professional development, an unlikely match, I must try it. In his post he reflects on the topics and his reflections are thought provoking in themselves.

    http://remoteaccess.typepad.com/remote_access/2007/06/future_of_educa.html

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