Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

K-12 Online reflections

It was a great learning experience as well as privilege to serve as a convener this fall for K-12 Online. In the weeks ahead I’m thinking I’ll be putting more ideas, reflections and responses about the conference down in writing and possibly in some podcasts. Here are a few thoughts I drafted tonight.

K-12 Online was a fundamentally different conference experience for presenters, participants, and conveners because the format challenged everyone to maximize the learning opportunities of blended instruction. As learners who grew up in the twentieth century, most teachers today (and everyone who participated in K-12 Online this year) are most familiar with face-to-face (synchronous) learning formats. Online, blended learning environments which involve both asynchronous and synchronous interactions between novice and expert learners can offer much richer opportunities for interaction and learning. This was the case with K-12 Online 2006.

The ways participants in K-12 Online chose to interact and respond to presentations and presenters have been wonderful. In addition to posting comments about presentations to the conference blog and posting their own blog comments about presentations, some have posted video responses to YouTube for presenters, and the presenters have replied with videos of their own! K-12 Online represents a realization of the tremendous potential offered in the online, flat world for reflection, sharing and authentic learning among educators. It is so exciting to be a teacher right now and be involved with collaborative learning events like K-12 Online, which really represent qualitatively different professional development opportunities for people around the world.

The 2006 K-12 Online conference will hopefully represent a basic shift in the way ideas and information changes hands at educational conferences. If the goal of educational conferences is to truly share ideas and make learning opportunities more accessible for learners located anywhere on the planet, I think it should follow that all the presentations at educational conferences should be made available as downloadable podcasts after each conference. In the spirit of “open content” ( these materials should be offered as free downloads. When possible, presentations should be pre-recorded and made available to conference attendees in advance. When this presentation model is followed, interactive face-to-face discussions can take place at the actual conference about ideas that presenters have shared in advance via downloadable presentations. Hopefully we will see more educational conferences in the future follow these ideas which were modeled so well in K-12 Online!

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2 responses to “K-12 Online reflections”

  1. Scott205 Avatar

    I think that the k12 online conference is a great idea to get the creative jusices flowing. Teachers around the world are able to share ideas with each other in a variety of different ways. They could post blogs, as well as send videos via YouTube. This merely scratches the surface of what teachers and students will be able to do in the future.