This is my first post on my new Edublog site. (I transferred my blogspot posts and comments to this site.) I thought it would be a fitting platform for announcing important news to all those who signed up as collaborators on the Learning Beyond Boundaries (LBB) Wiki. I hope to make a public announcement of this news at the Building Learning Communities Conference (BLC08) next week.
Part I – Come Collaborate with LBB Collaborators and ASCD Annual Conference Staff
The time has come to start developing the LBB collaboration with ASCD. I hope you will become an active participant in our effort.
Little did we know when we started the Learning Beyond Boundaries wiki that the vision several of us had at the time might have a chance of fruition. What would happen if we approached those responsible for ASCD’s Annual Convention and asked them to partner with interested educators in a discussion on how best to infuse learning about the read/write web 2.0 culture into the annual conference? The hope was that the ASCD staff would allow us a channel to bring the read/write web 2.0 culture to a broader audience of teachers and administrators. We wanted to break out of the echo chamber and come up with a strategy to help, not a few but, thousands of educators learn how the Internet can now be used as a tool to engage students and educators in powerful, substantive, self-directed learning.
The deadline we set for ourselves was May 5, 2008, the due date for ASCD’s 2009 Annual Conference presentation proposals. One hundred people signed up on the LBB Wiki endorsing the proposal we crafted to submit to ASCD’s Planning Committee. Here is the opening of that proposal, framed as an open letter to ASCD.
May 4, 2008
8:30 P.M. EDT
I am Dennis Richards, Massachusetts ASCD Affiliate President and ASCD Leadership Council member.
I represent a group of educators who have the expertise available through our extensive online Web 2.0 network of educator presenters to assist ASCD to fill a technology-rich strand at the 2009 Annual Conference.
Today we not only consume information from the Internet, we are contributors of information. All Internet participants have the potential to become teachers and producers of content as learning becomes personal, authentic, and highly individualized. Social software includes wikis, blogs, podcasts, instant messaging, and any system that allows communication that also emphasizes the richness of personal interaction instead of the technologies that make the interactions possible. The generations we teach now and will teach in the future innately use technology to communicate. The need for learning experiences to adapt to meet a new generation of learners is upon us.
Here is the full proposal; here is the current list of LBB collaborators. I have opened the wiki for now so other educators can join us. I expect to close it again on July 20, 2008. If you know people who may want to join us, please tell them to sign up on the collaborators’ page by that date.
Kathleen Burke, Director, ASCD Annual Conference, was very interested and accepted our offer as soon as I spoke to her the first week in May. At the time she said she hoped we would be willing to work on a three-year plan to educate ASCD’s membership to the read/write web 2.0 culture through the Annual Conference. I was extremely pleased, but I thought the 2009 conference would be year one. I expected Kathleen to get back to me soon so we could start planning. Then little communication until Thursday, July 11, 2008. Kathleen and her staff had been busy working on the details of the 2009 conference. In the meantime, some of us received notices that our workshop proposals were accepted. But what about our collaboration proposal that seemed stuck in limbo.
Well, yesterday Kathleen and I spoke, and now it is time to begin our work. More details are coming in the next few weeks, and Kathleen and I are open to any suggestions for content and process to further our goal of integrating technology seamlessly into learning for all students and educators.
Here is what Kathleen and I discussed over the cell phone yesterday as I traveled to Cape Cod in my car from Boston, Massachusetts. The wonders of technology… (No, I did not take notes while driving. Kathleen was kind enough to email me what we discussed.)
Pre Annual Conference – Fall of 2008
- ASCD would like to conduct one or more interactive online session(s) (using Elluminate or some other similar online conferencing tool) with you and your team members to discuss and develop the components of a three-year technology plan for the ASCD Annual Conference in order to promote the integration of technology into the curriculum/school day and to support educators’ use of technology in learning.
At Annual Conference – March 2009
- ASCD invites LBB collaborators to audit the technology sessions at the 2009 ASCD Annual Conference and provide feedback on the sessions as well as suggestions for future topics to be presented at Annual Conference over the next three years.
- ASCD invites LBB collaborators to participate in a technology interest work session at the Annual Conference (I’ll ask Kathleen to arrange for you to attend this session virtually, if you can not be at the conference.) to provide input on how ASCD can promote/support the integration of technology into the curriculum/school day and to support educators’ use of technology in learning.
- ASCD invites LBB collaborators to review the draft of a 3 year plan for technology for the ASCD Annual Conference.
This does not preclude LBB collaborators from working together this summer and throughout the year to prepare for more direct work with Kathleen and her staff. Let’s collaborate, contribute, and create through our LBB association in a way that will impress ASCD with our insight and experience, invent a whole new way of delivering our message to a broad audience of educators, and significantly transform the vision students and teachers have of learning spaces.
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Part II – October 1, 2008 Deadline for Educational Leadership – Literacy 2.0
On a related note, ASCD’s premier publication, Educational Leadership (EL), will publish a March 2009 Annual Conference edition in March on Literacy 2.0. Here is what they have online for the issue.
Students are more plugged into technology than they have ever been before–through smartphones, iPods, laptops, social networks, and electronic games. This issue will explore the role of literacy in our ever-evolving digital environment. How can we help students learn and transfer traditional literacy skills? What new literacy skills are called for—and how can students guide teachers in acquiring these key skills? How can we teach students to judge the reliability, accuracy, and quality of information? Articles will explore how wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, and portals of streaming media have affected how students read, write, speak, think, and work.
Deadline: October 1, 2008
I will be speaking with the editor about how we can help ASCD prepare for this issue, but here are some of my thoughts. You can collaborate by
- getting the word out to people you know who should write an artcle for this issue,
- suggesting questions that the articles should try to answer so that the March 2009 EL is a best practices examination of the field, and
- suggesting article topics and/or people whom we should encourage to write for the EL issue.
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