For some reason I couldn't blog or tweet at Learning 2.0 this year so here's my non-live-blogged reflection. One of the great strengths about Learning 2.0 is explained in its tagline, Connect, Create, Collaborate. The conference provides time to make connections and share ideas both through un-conference sessions and time to meet and talk to colleagues who share your job description and professional interests. When I arrived on Friday morning, I immediately ran into Breen O'Reilly, my good friend and IB Film guru. It was already a great conference before the first session. Breen shared some great film resources with me, including:
- Rob Ager's Film Analysis Youtube Channel. He's got some really neat insights into The Shining and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Not sure that I'm on board for all of his theories, but in some instances he makes some pretty interesting arguments- especially in his theory
- Idea for a music in film project: Students choose a film, and analyze how the many ways that music can construct meaning - it can reflect the time period, give more layers of information through relevant lyrics, build tension, and advance the tone or theme.
- Then there's The Wilderness Downtown- a fun way of incorporating video with some neat google tech.
- Breen showed me a cool student film that involved two shots running next to each other on a white screen. I assumed that his students had used Final Cut to achieve the effect- but they'd used Keynote! They embedded two videos and exported the slide as a .mov file. It looked great!
This year, the conference introduced learning cohort sessions which accounted for about half the time in the conference. During these sessions, participants met to discuss education and pedagogy under common strands. I chose Digital Literacy, led by Wes Fryer. In this cohort session we discussed how to create and assess media projects. Although I felt like most of what was covered was familiar, it did give Breen and I a chance to talk about our own digital projects and challenge us to create our own Pecha-Kucha to present to the class. I'd already assigned my own students a Pecha-Kucha to explain their IB Film documentary project. Breen and I presented a segment about light in art- starting with illuminated manuscripts and ending with 21st century cinema. I'm going to go off on a tangent here for a second, but as a side note, in the process of putting together our project, I came across a great 360 panorama of the interior of one of my favorite installation pieces, Fireflies on the Water by Yayoi Kasuma. This artwork involves walking into a mirrored room lit by dangling colored lights. The mirrors on all sides make it feel like the room extends forever even though the entire enclosure is probably not more than 10 square feet. The panorama gives you a sense of what its like, but its best experienced first hand.
Back to the topic at hand- putting together the Pecha-Kucha was a challenging experience, and helped me determine reasonable parameters for the students presentations. The rest of the resources that were put together for the Digital Literacy cohort are compiled at the Talk with Media Wiki.
In one of the first un-conference sessions, I attended a discussion of iPads in education. Truth be told, as much of an apple geek as I am, I wasn't really interested in buying one (although if they added a camera I could have been easier to convince). However, I was just about converted when I found out that you could create a virtual textbook - with embedded pictures and video - in Pages, and then export your book as an .pub file and upload it to iTunes. You can then put that virtual text book on your iPhone, iTouch, or iPad. Its even does the whole flippy pages thing.
In another un-conference session, I had the chance to meet other techy art teachers and discuss some things that we're doing in our classes. Here we all are- and do notice one of the studios with a green room behind us. That's the back-up green room. Yowza. Back to our conversations - of course I promoted the F L O A T project, but rather than go through and explain each neat project, I'll simply provide the links that we recommended to each other.
Art Ed 2.0
Asia Region Art Educators
Zbrush (3 dimensional painting program)
One (of many) projectors for iphone/itouch
Online learning: eClass
One Million Bones: A collaborative project.In also attended a great session about collaborative learning with Kim Cofino and Julie Lindsay. Both are doing amazing things with connecting classrooms around the world and I was most interested to hear about their online global education conference.
Finally, I attended a cool session on 3D virtual environments led by Bill Clark at the Nanjing International School. I'm so excited for the possibilities of collaborating globally in a virtual world- although I've been struggling with how to implement it. Bill seems to be developing some amazing opportunities along these lines. It was great to meet Bill -he and I have collaborated on the Rotoball Project- and his students have done amazing 3D work in Blender.
To me, the most fascinating thing about the Learning 2.0 conference is that it is constantly re-inventing itself. This is not a streamlined process and mistakes are made, but that's what happens when you take risks. Every year the conference is something a little different and it grows in new and unexpected ways- a critical method for creating new possibilities. In that way it mirrors what I love best about progressive education.
It was great to see old friends and meet new ones at Learning 2.010- I'm already looking forward to 2.011!