EduCon 2.0 reminds me of the BAISNet meetings in which I used to participate in San Francisco. A group of educational technologists developed an extremely active network of professionals sharing ideas and helping each other out, and the whole thing grew up organically, through the impromptu messages and initiatives of its members. EduCon 2.0 represents the next logical step, a conference with 48 sessions that grew out of a blogger meetup at NECC last year. Even better, a school is hosting the conference — Science Leadership Academy, which many think has set the standard for “School 2.0,” progressive educational principles greased by a heaping dose of Web 2.0 technologies.
I publicized the conference to the faculty and staff at our school and got little reaction, but I am still hopeful that people will participate in the sessions and share out. One challenge of the virtual conference model is that it’s really difficult to carve 16-some hours out of a typical weekend, and to top it all, I am going to be home alone with the kids! Thank goodness for the archives.
What could we learn through EduCon 2.0? The greatest benefit may lie with the new connections that especially those who attend in person will make with each other. School 2.0 is about making connections, and in-person meetings fuel higher quality online interactions later on. The sessions themselves look promising, albeit slightly homogenous. I’m all for school redesign, but how about some practical aspects of open-source adoption, curricular integration, low-cost laptop programs, or old-fashioned network security? The best part — if the chatter on a particular topic catches fire after the conference, you can always go back and watch it after the fact! I am pleased that the SLA staff will present a number of sessions on their educational model and school experience.