The Learning 2.0 conference in Shanghai concluded around noon on Sunday. Since then, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying some time to explore Shanghai with our wonderful host Jeff Utech. There is SO MUCH to share and reflect on that I’m not sure where to begin, but since the WiFi connection I’m using is rather slow I’ll settle tonight for sharing just a few pictures and thoughts about yesterday’s adventures. I had wanted to upload some new images from today, but it doesn’t look like the Internet connection is going to cooperate.

This is a panorama of images I stitched together using PhotoShop this evening. I shot this series today from Jeff’s balcony in Puxi, Shanghai:

View from Jeff Utech's balcony

One thing to note in the image is that on the right side, you can see several blocks which have been recently leveled by the government to make way for (it is assumed) new high rises. Puxi is the “old” part of Shanghai– the Concordia International School, where the conference was held, is in Pudong, which is in the “new” part of Shanghai built in the last 10 years since 1997. It is incredible to see how fast buildings have been and are being built in this city of 18 million people. The fact that historical sections of the city can be abruptly leveled by the government is one reminder of the Communist/totalitarian government which rules China.

I learned today that multiple videos from the conference are available on YouTube. I hadn’t been aware of the fact that our initial panel discussion kicking off the conference was videotaped. The video of my answer to my initial question turned out OK (aside from the misspelling of my last name in the title)… I don’t think I would have said anything differently if I’d known I was being recorded for worldwide broadcast on YouTube… The fact that I was and didn’t know it at the time is instructive, however. We’re living in an era of radical transparency and hyper-communication potentials, and these conditions are radically different from those which predominated in every other era of human history.

I was able to publish over 100 images this morning of Shanghai Skyscrapers and other sights we took in yesterday following the conference. A few of my favorites were:

This beautiful girl who was happy to pose for my wife along the Huangpu River, as her proud mom looked on:

This girl was so cute, and she knew it!

Amazing photos like this one taken from the fourth tallest building in the world, looking out over the sprawling city of Shanghai.

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Right beside the building where I took the above photo, a new skyscraper which will become the tallest building in the entire world was being constructed:

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This shot of Shelly, Jeff and I on the Puxi side of the Huangpu River, with Pudong (and the famous Pearl Tower) behind us:

Wesley and Shelly Fryer with Jeff Utech

As we walked along the river both on the east and west sides, it was amazing to see this tremendously large jumbo-tron television screen pass by in a boat showing a variety of advertisements.

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Initially I thought maybe they were taking the jumbo-tron somewhere for delivery and just had it on, but I later learned it is a high-tech, floating billboard that continually goes up and down the river. That is certainly a radically different sight to see on the Huangpu River, given the rich and lengthy history of this area.

I could certainly write more, but I will close there for now. Shanghai is amazing and eye opening. I lived in Mexico City for a year in 92-93, when it was a city of 20 million and the world’s largest, but the vertical skyscrapers of Shanghai are very different from those in the valley of Mexico. China is literally rising, and it is amazing to experience the pulse of its most dynamic city firsthand.

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3 Responses to Amazing adventures in Shanghai continue

  1. David Gran says:

    Hey Wes- I’m the one responsible for the YouTube video – it was a last minute idea, and I had one of the geek squad kids shoot and upload whatever he could for the weekend. I’m glad that you don’t seem to mind, although in retrospect, my own ‘instructive moment’ was that – duh- I should have asked in advance.

    You are correct- we do live in transparent times; which is exactly why we need to be even more vigilant about respecting the privacy of others. Ironically, this is something I always talk to students in my video classes about. It seems I was caught up in the “2.0” aspect of our conference – as you know, our goal was to have people from all around the world be a part of our conference by participating online. This seemed like a good way to bring the conference to them. Anyway, we all have our ‘duh’ moments once in a while, and this was one of mine.

    Even though it all worked out in the end (and your name is now corrected on the YouTube account), please accept my apologies – and thanks again for all of your contributions to our conference.

  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    David: Thanks for the name spelling correction, and you are right, I have no problem with these videos being online– in fact I think it is great and models best practices for other education conferences. If those putting on education conferences are really focused on the dissemination of ideas and best practices (which I’d hope they are) then providing subsequent access via online videos and podcasts to session materials and actual presentations is a GREAT idea. Do you have video clips of the other comments during the panel? I actually thought my 2nd “go” at comments might have come across better than the first. Thanks for your comment as well as your work in sharing these videos online! Next year you might just include a statement in the speaker’s contract about granting permission to share online copies of videos taken during the conference.

  3. David Gran says:

    Ah, unfortunatly, I don’t. I relieved the geek squad student after the first round, and was too wrapped up in taking my own notes to man the camera adequately. Yet another casualty of the last-minute-idea – and something to keep in mind for next year. In fact, next year, I’d really like to have a more comprehensive video portion to our online conference. Perhaps post events as they happen and see if we can get some online responses to the videos as well.

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