I can't believe it, but I have great news! Kathleen Burke, Director of ASCD's Annual Conference accepts our offer and wants us to work with ASCD to develop a 3 year plan! More to come in the following days.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead 10:45 A.M. EDT, 5.5.08

A Proposal for Collaboration between ASCD and the Web 2.0 Educator Community for ASCD’s 2009 Annual Conference: Learning Beyond Boundaries

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.

We would envision working with the ASCD planning committee and through us, our extensive network of educator presenters, to really charge up the learning at Orlando 2009 Learning Beyond Boundaries.

We have the capacity to help develop and identify Web 2.0 sessions that will address two of the four conference themes:
  • Imagine: Challenging Minds to Engage and Learn More Deeply
  • Imagine: Connecting Learners in an E-World

We propose that all Web 2.0 sessions be hosted in a specific room or rooms during the conference, thus pooling the higher technology needs (high speed Internet and projectors, sound, IWB or whatever) into a specific set of rooms. We could serve to help you make this a dynamic, meaningful and important part of the conference. We can help you balance grade levels, technologies, levels of experience required of participants, etc. We would also like to extend the buzz by having "meet-ups" or networking sessions on various topics. These could be informal sessions to promote conversations.

There are a number of ways in which technology can better facilitate the learning of adults and students. Some of the tools we could infuse into the conference are

• Email, iChat/IM, Twitter: connects learners as collaborators
• Blogs: provides a forum for reflection and discussion
• Wikis/Google Docs/Zoho: provides a place to co-learn and build shared knowledge.
• Shared server/network space: provides a place for learners to swap/store documents
• iPods/MP3 players: allows anytime/anywhere learning
• Moodle/Blackboard: a place to learn from instructor-assigned tasks and discussions
• Interactive technology: (student response systems and interactive boards) engages adult learners in much the same way as students
• Online survey tools: collect opinions and perceptions
• Social Bookmarking tools: helps to share the knowledge
• RSS: critical tool for managing information.
• Digital cameras (still and video): use to record learning for later playback/review.
• Online streaming (uStream): collaborate online during a presentation, revisit the archive later.
• Nings; places like this to brainstorm and share strategies.
• Web: unlimited possibilities!

We would emphasize the following concepts for 21st century learners.

• Creativity and Innovation
• Communication and Collaboration
• Research and Information Fluency
• Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving & Decision-Making
• Digital Citizenship
• Technology Operations and Concepts
Here are examples of a few workshops to illustrate the kinds of sessions we could offer for the Web 2.0 strand if ASCD is interested in our proposal.

Professional Learning Networks for Professional Development Using Web 2.0 Tools
Exemplary professional development extends far beyond face to face sessions; continue the conversation of change, by creating personal learning networks supported by web 2.0 tools. The collection of Web 2.0 Tools that make up the read write web is staggering, yet they can be harnessed to continue the professional discussion of change. You no longer have to be a “techie” to make use of blogs, social networks, video, podcasts, and so many more.

Curriculum Transformation Using Powerful Web 2.0 Tools
Create a movie to express your point of view, Podcast your book report, uStream an expert into your classroom, Blog your opinion, collaborate on a wiki, create a 3-D simulation and publish everything to your personal learning network. This is not curriculum of the future instead these are powerful web 2.0 tools that can be used immediately to engage students in ways never before possible.

Global Connections from “Any Town” using Web 2.0 Technology Tools
Connecting classrooms has never been easier with the amazing Web. 20. Tools. Solving real world problems becomes possible with learners of all ages when we structure curriculum experiences focused on collaboration. Instead of waiting for snail mail or Flat Stanley to arrive, plug in the web cam and Skype with another classroom. Connect your epals through a learning network and collaborate on a multimedia project to be shared in each country as well as published on the world wide web. Give your students a global voice through these powerful Web 2.0 tools of blogs, podcasts, wikis, and multimedia creation. The Web 2.0 tools provide the platform the applications for 21st Century learners is limitless.

Web 2.0 Tools Every Instructional Leader Should Have in Their Backpack
Some of these terms may have leaked out of the tech department as the educational technology community worked with these Web 2.0 tools, tweaking them until they are ready for all teachers and learners. As the instructional leader you need to understand the power of these tools to engage students in authentic learning experiences, showcase student products, and collaborate in ways never before possible. These Web 2.0 tools will transform the way you think about your role as instructional leader.

21st Century Staff Development: Recipes for Learners
Session Description: Never enough time? Explore strategies for staff development as a job-embedded and collaborative process within a Professional Learning Community, while promoting effective use of 21st Century technology tools. Work to establish - an effective framework that highlights adult learning theories, and research-based practices - a no-nonsense approach to infusing technology in the classroom, for the novice to experienced teacher - practical and practiced applications that teachers can bring to the classroom tomorrow......and try with confidence. Strand: Doing what works and transforming what does not

Claiming What We Imagine or the Kids Global Climate Change Institute
Stephanie Pace Marshall, at the end of her book The Power to Transform, says: "Courage is the capacity to claim what we imagine. If you are carrying this new story in your heart, now is the time to step forward. There is a place in the world for your unique voice, and it carries a message that must be heard. Start anywhere, but begin the conversation, and tell the new story that brings learning and schooling to life.”

In Falmouth, Massachusetts we are working to inspire teachers to empower students through science, technology, math, and engineering. Our conversation with you will begin with a presentation on the need for systemic transformation in education to prepare students with 21st Century Literacies. Then we will present details about the Kids Global Climate Change Institute (KidsGCCI) we are creating in Falmouth with teachers and our partners from the Woods Hole scientific community. You will be invited to join us in the conversation to develop this project for middle school students around the world looking at it from the perspectives of leadership, learning and technology. During our session we will explain how we are using many free, online technologies.

Open Professional Development - New Tools Bring New Possibilities

Session Description: Social software can provide a highly interactive, educationally rich environment for teachers and students worldwide. No longer must learning take place in a vacuum, as students and teachers can communicate and collaborate like never before. The socially enabled Read/Write web (Web 2.0) facilitates an expanding classroom (beyond the physical walls of any particular school) and also provides easy access to an ever-growing array of resources available for collaboration among teachers, technology specialists, administrators, staff developers. No longer are physical boundaries present, nor is there any barrier of time and place. The use of social software engages us in conversations.

We will discuss our experiences in creating an open professional development environment. In doing so, we are freed from the typical restraints (of time and place) that can often limit the success of traditional classroom experiences. We have developed a model that can be used and enhanced by professional developers and teachers in collaborative classrooms throughout the world.

Again, we would envision working with the ASCD planning committee and through us, our extensive network of educator presenters, to really charge up the learning at Orlando 2008 Learning Beyond Boundaries.

We hope to hear ASCD is interested in our Learning Beyond Boundaries.

See here for the list of collaborators who endorse this proposal to ASCD.

P.S May 2, 2008
To get a sense of the capacity of the educator online network, by the end of the day Monday, May 5 we will add some links to Internet learning spaces for ASCD to visit.

EduCon 2.0
Teach Web 2.0
Teach Digital
Classroom 2.0
The Global Education Collaborative
Moving Forward
Great Blogs for Busy Administrators