The K12 Online Conference is over for another year but its archives and ensuing conversations can continue in perpetuity….That’s the nice thing about this online conference – not only is it free but the files, comment areas and this year voice threads keep the learning, sharing and reflecting alive.
For the second year in a row, I’ve volunteered on the Help Desk Team. Both years it has proven to be a hot bed of qualified, eager and determined ed-tech types. We provide a wiki for support, produce screencasts as needed, monitor the helpdesk gmail account, twitter accounts and “sit” in the live meebo room, as much as possible. In our organizational meetings leading up to the conference, the team discusses the best ways we feel we can support the conference and then put things in motion. I have found the individuals I’ve worked with to be real “can do” people – an idea comes up, it’s discussed and then next thing you know, it’s put into action!
Here are this year’s team members:
- Convener- Darren Kuropatwa
- Chair- Sue Lister (www.newmediaworkshops.com/listerportfolio/)
- Member- Patricia Donaghy (http://pdonaghy.edublogs.org)
- Member- John Evans (http://nlcommunities.com/communities/joevans/)
- Member- Lee Kolbert (http://macmomma.blogspot.com/)
- Member- Kathy Gryta
This year, we had a bit of twist with one member living in Ireland. Although it was sometimes difficult trying to set up compatible meeting times between team members on the west coast, central states/provinces and in the Eastern time zone…it worked out well with helpdesk emails since Patricia was almost always well on top of any question or problem by the time we, in North America, were awake! Ah… the workings of a distributed team!
I’d say the conference unrolled with very few ‘bumps’….not so much because of the Help Desk Team but more due to the efforts of the committed Convenors. The team of:
* Darren Kuropatwa (http://adifference.blogspot.com)
* Sheryl Nusbaum-Beach (http://21stcenturylearning.typepad.com/blog/)
* Wesley Fryer (www.speedofcreativity.org)
* Dean Shareski (ideasandthoughts.org)
These four must put in many hours behind the scenes to have such a successful global event! Of course, there are other volunteer committees that support these individuals but good leadership is certainly a key component of the K12 Online Conference.
Some of the highlights of this year’s conference included the addition of voice threads to ‘capture’ the conversation around “Key Questions” for each presentations (Example from PreConference Keynote) and the fact that we started using DOTSub to make the conference more accessible. There were also more “LAN” Parties this year where a group gets together and uses a presentation or two as a jump start to their own conversations, inquiries and reflections. As for the actual presentations, with over forty, 20 minute sessions to review, I am squeezing in content whenever I can – so far I have enjoyed listening to and reflecting on the work of Jon Becker, Jennifer Kraft, and Bud Hunt…believe me, there are MANY, MANY more I plan to engage in!
Speaking of listening to the presentations….there was also this idea from Wes Fryer: “K12 in the Palm of my Hand” where he talks about downloading the entire conference and ‘taking it with him’ on his Ipod. I’m hopeful I can share the K12 Online Conference content this way on my future contract in Sri Lanka.
What did you think of the K12 Online Conference this year? Are there any presentations you would like to recommend?