Learning 2.011 Reflections

Image Credit: ToGa Wanderings
 The final Shanghai installment of the Learning 2.0 conference has finally come to a close.  After five years and four conferences, I have to say that I'm proud of the event as it grew and transformed into one of the most unique PD experiences that I've had.

Over the past five years, the conference has shifted from a more traditional model to one that involves learning cohorts, un-conference sessions, and mini-keynotes.  The learning cohorts gave subject area teachers the opportunity to come together and look at how technology has transformed their curriculum.  Our Fine Arts cohort, led by Kevin Honeycutt of Art Snacks fame provided an amazing opportunity to have an open exchange with other art educators.  For example, I was excited by all the amazing stuff that Nick Coulter is doing both on and offline in his classes at the Australian International School in Singapore.   His photography students are doing some amazing things with simple objects (like fruit), and I'll link to them when he posts them online.  He's got some second life activities going, great HDR photography, and he's got an installation project based on the Australian Satin Bowerbird's nest- which it makes out of any blue objects it can find*.

The short inspirational TED-like keynotes were a perfect way to accommodate the large numbers of accomplished speakers who were in attendance.  Most memorable to me, was when a student got up to talk about how her experience making a video about her brother who has autism had transformed her school life.  It was a video that we had been proud to feature at the Shanghai Student Film Festival two years ago.

Its been a great honor to be a part of the Learning 2.0 conference planning team for the past five years, and although I'll miss working with the great people involved, I'm thrilled to see it grow further and evolve.  Next Year in Beijing!

*Discovering the existence of this bird is, I think, the most interesting thing I've learned all year.


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