K12 Online Conference

I recently returned from a User Interface Conference where much of the focus was on social design – designing that utilizes the social aspects of the web which are as explosive today as the internet was when Al Gore first invented it.

Upon my return, I found a reference to the K12 Online Conference (Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30- Nov. 3) “for teachers, administrators and educators around the world interested in the use of Web 2.0 tools in classrooms and professional practice.”

As an education blogger and a web designer, I am ecstatic to see so much discussion around these tools being used in education. This conference will be indispensable to any educators (and parents!) interested in getting in on and riding this new wave of social software that provides unlimited potential in the learning sphere.

David Warlick, an educator, author, blogger and Web 2.0 evangelist, kicked off K12 Online with a pre-conference keynote address that I just finished watching. David does an excellent job briefly educating conference attendees in the tools he’s simultaneously advocating for the classroom and using to compile online discussion around the conference itself, such as his K12 Online wiki and hithchkr virtual conference page.

In the keynote, David calls our children “natives” of this realm, in which we are “immigrants.” Perhaps it’s a dramatic metaphor, but it’s also a very compelling one. Teachers and parents who educate themselves in these online tools will be able to meet students in a world where learning “sidetrips” are limitless.

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