K-12 Online – The never-ending conference

Today marks the start of this year’s free, K-12 Online Conference. I encourage all educators to visit this site and investigate the list of presenters and topics that will be shared over the next two weeks.

Early last week, I was lucky enough to view the powerful pre-conference video presentation by Dean Shareski, of Moose Jaw, entitled: “Sharing: The Moral Imperative” in which, he suggested that “the ability to teach and share beyond our classrooms is moving from ‘nice to do’ to ‘necessary to do’”. Furthermore, Thursday evening, I joined more than 75 educators in a “Fireside Chat” where Dean Shareski, not only reviewed his pre-conference presentation and answered questions from the audience, but also shared a second, remarkable, instructional “behind the scenes” video to help educators better understand why and how his original “Sharing” video was created.

Today I just spent 20 minutes viewing Rodd Lucier’s informative and practical video presentation entitled: “Creative Commons: What Every Educator Needs to Know”. I found the video to be very informative and I would suggest that it would be an excellent resource to share with students. Of particular interest to me was Rodd’s description of the process and immediacy that occurred when he requested help in having a Creative Commons classroom handbook translated from Swedish to English. I encourage readers to visit Rodd’s blog site entitled: “The Clever Sheep” and download this free, “Creative Commons In the Classroom” e-book.

What do these two Canadian educators have in common? True, they are both concerned with sharing ideas, resources, and strategies to help educators move forward to better meet the needs of their 21st century learners. However, they both chose to use the K-12 Online Conference as their delivery vehicle. For example, if Dean and Rodd had presented these keynotes at a traditional conference and you were unable to attend their sessions, you would be out of luck. It would be necessary for you to search out a friend or colleague that was actually in attendance and rely on his/her interpretation and willingness to share thoughts on the topic’s relevance and resources. Furthermore, you, or your school division, would have to spend money to pay for the related conference registration, travel, and accommodation costs. With the K-12 Online Conference, you pay no fee, you may review the presentations at your leisure, and you can even sit at home in your “jammies” gaining practical, classroom-based professional development from educators around the world. Furthermore, and most important, once this annual two-week online conference closes, the presentations are archived so that interested educators can still review and glean useful information many years later.

In summary, this K-12 Online Conference is not only “the conference that never ends”. It should also be considered as “the conference that keeps on giving”.

Take care & keep smiling 🙂

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