These are my notes from “Teachers Teaching Teachers” on EdTechTalk Live this evening, discussing the recent EduCon 2.1 conference in Philadelphia. There were some problems with Skype and delays in the connection tonight, but I learned a great deal none-the-less from the participants. Thanks to Paul Allison for his tweet earlier in the night which alerted me to this event. Recorded sessions from EduCon 2.1 are linked on http://educon21.wikispaces.com/Recordings.

Chris Lehmann at EduCon 2.1

Some of Chris Lehmann’s comments from the webcast:

EduCon works because people come with lots of goodwill, and expectations to participate and not just be passive
– diversity of voices in the panels was superb

SLA’s District didn’t like Ustream, so conference moved over to Mogulus this year
– student tech team is in the process of putting those recordings up
– of the 70 panels, about 55 of them are taped
– they are putting all of them up online
– are not quite at the point of setting up discussion groups around each one, but they are not yet there

Bud Hunt‘s comments
– inspired by EduCon, Bud and others in Littleton, Colorado, are hosting a similar event on Saturday, Feb 21st
http://colearning.wikispaces.com
– Takeaways from Educon 2.1
— the importance of relationships and trust in communities
— reminder of what a school can feel like when it’s about people and learning, not just about numbers
— it’s great to be arguing community / discussing community with diverse folks

Chris’ comments
– every group of kids is potentially a remarkable group, the question is whether or not they can be (are enabled to be)
– Sunday’s panel particularly included a very divergent group of voices (Gary Stager vs KIPP reps)
– next steps: who can rally the troops?

comparing NECC to EduCon
– no vendor focus (at EduCon)
– no product focus (at EduCon)
– This really helps conversations to focus more on learning than on tools

MY THOUGHT: I WONDER IF THE REASON NECC PRESENTATIONS ARE MORE TOOL FOCUSED THAN LEARNING / INQUIRY-BASED TEACHING FOCUSED IS BECAUSE EDUCATORS ATTENDING TEND TO BE LESS FAMILIAR WITH THE TOOLS?
– As Susan pointed out in the chat tonight, the focus on accommodation-level technology use is very common at NECC, where EduCon is much more focused on inquiry-based approaches, constructivist / progressive approaches
– As Chris pointed out, the focus on inquiry-based, progressive approaches to education and learning is stated from the outset for EduCon. This is very different from NECC and most other conferences.

Chris:
– the small size of EduCon is also a big element in its success
– want to keep the size to 450 – 500 participants

Paul Allison
– Emphasis on the purpose of schooling on Saturday night and the focus on educational politics Sunday morning were really unique too

Question of how the dynamics of EduCon could positively influence of NECC is a little like the small schools movement
– NECC is so big, a big part of what makes EduCon work is that it IS small

Paul:
– the welcoming nature of EduCon and the EdTechTalk community is terrific, hopefully this will continue

Chris mentioned during his comments that they (at SLA) are not ready quite yet to put up discussion groups around each of the EduCon sessions
– I AM THINKING EDUCON IS RIPE FOR A GRANT TO FACILITATE THAT TYPE OF ARCHIVAL AND AVAILABLE PD AROUND THE SESSION CONTENT

Here is the archive of Sunday’s panel discussion at EduCon 2.1:

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