I still wonder how EduCon and other learning spaces can involve parents and children as deeply as they involve educators. Nevertheless, I’m happy to rejoin many friends in Philadelphia and I’m grateful for the opportunity to make new friends at EduCon.
I do acknowledge and admit that I did not press firmly enough to bring parents and students with me this year, but the ways in which I failed to do so give me a good idea of how to make it happen next year.
In the meantime, I hope to be helpful to everyone who attends the conference physically or virtually.
On Saturday, January 28th – during session 2 – Christina Cantrill, Paul Oh, Kirsten Olsen, and I will facilitate a conversation called “Permission to Speak: Creating Communities of Advocacy in Education.”
Here’s the pitch: We all get together and talk about how we can support and network local and virtual communities of children, parents, and teachers striving to make learning more democratic, equitable, and relevant for everyone. Then we leave the conversation with some kind of plan and/or online space that keeps us all in touch and working together toward that goal.
On Sunday, January 29th – during session 4 – Meenoo Rami and I will host a conversation called “Hacking School: The EduCon 2.4 Hackjam.” This is the second Hackasaurus-inspired hack jam that Meenoo and I have facilitated together, and I’m looking forward to seeing how different it is from the last – participants really give each of these events a unique shape and feel. You can see products from several previous National Writing Project-flavored hack jams here.
The hack jam pitch [spoiler alert]: We all get together to play Monopoly and somehow wind up using web-authorship as a metaphor for reinventing school. Playfulness and provocation abound in equal measure, and we publish our products as we make them.
As part of what EduCon calls our “conversational practice,” I will livecast a Google+ hangout for each event. I’ve learned a lot in the last few days from Jeff Lebow and Lorna Costantini’s posts on the matter, and I’ve certainly drawn inspiration here from the can-do ed tech ethic of Wes Fryer.
What does this mean?
Well, first, Paul Oh won’t be the only virtual participant in Saturday’s session. Everyone is invited to drop into and out of the “Permission to Speak” hangout at will. One of the facilitators will follow the hangout and #educon backchannel to make sure that virtual participants who want to join the conversation can do so. Folks who would like to listen in without speaking up can follow the conversation on UStream on a new CoöpCatalyst channel.
Folks will also be able to participate in the hack jam via hangout and UStream. If you would like to attend the hack jam virtually, just gather together 4-6 tweeps or local pals (and ask them to bring their computers), serve some snacks, grab a Monopoly set, and put out a bunch of sticky notes, pipe cleaners, pom poms, goggly eyes, glue sticks, bouncy balls, action figures, building blocks, and other assorted bric-a-brac for light tinkering. We’ll handle the rest together, and, again, you can watch on UStream or participate more directly through the hangout.
If either hangout interests you, send me a message or DM me @chadsansing so we can connect on Google+ before the sessions. I can’t “save any seats” (I should be so lucky), but I can make sure anyone that anyone who wants to see the hangout notice can see it. I’m keen to hear feedback about how our “conversational practice” works for viewers at home so I can get better at helping people set up broadcasts like this in the future.
I also plan to walk around with a small whiteboard and a few dry-erase markers so that anyone who wants to can contribute to the Occupy Education tumblr. If you have a message for the world about the ways in which you and your communities are changing education for the better, please share it!
Regardless, be sure to say hey. I’m happy to be seeing all of you soon.
On the agenda for 2013: Coöp & #occupyedu buttons and stickers. Or is there any chance we can make some this weekend and maybe skip to wearable edu-circuity next year?