John, Michael and Vance are from the Teach and Learn Online (TALO) organization out of Australia/New Zealand and are currently taking part in the Future of Learning in a Networked World unConference here in Thailand. From the wiki:
The Future of Learning In A Networked World is a contentious one. FLNW08 endeavors to build connections, explore new possibilities, expand individuals horizons and network knowledge in travelling open space un-conferences where anything can happen and does without regularity. TALO supports open networked communication and this ensures the conversation remains collaborative. Visit our blog to find out updates from the field, add your name as a participant, and spend some time with us in a range of online and real world spaces and places
FLNW08 will kick off from Bangkok on the 16th January 2008. An itinerary of events outlines all that is happening through out January 2008. A blog is also being used to document progress and an email forum cops the incessant chatter of the participants. The Living Classroom is providing a Moodle as a forum to continue the conversations started during the FLNW 2006 visit to Waiheke around teaching English in a Mobile and Networked World and host new activities with educators in Thailand.
Thanks to their visit, we conducted an unConference session around reading (our organizational goal for the year) and technology (watch the recorded session here). We had around 25 ISB teachers drop in and out throughout the course of the session, along with around 20 educators from around the world via our uStream broadcast.
Not only was it fantastic to have three so well-respected and knowledgeable visitors talk to our teachers in a casual format about their questions, issues and problems, but it was so great to have them reinforce so many of the things Justin, Dennis and I say on a daily basis. There is just something extra special about having visiting experts come in and send the exact same message that we have been pushing from within.
It was great to see our teacher’s eyes light up in amazement when they saw that teachers all over the world were participating from their homes (and so many were awake so late, just to talk to us!). When they realized that everyone in the chat room knew each other already, they were even more amazed. What a fabulous way to welcome them into the world of networked learning!
Even more exciting, for me, is that this Wednesday session kicked off our new Wired Wednesdays PD sessions for ISB staff. Every Wednesday, as part of our new Professional Development program, Justin, Dennis and I will host an after-school PD session on the “whys” of 21st century learning. We will structure the sessions similarly to our parent PD we’ve been running in the Learning Hub all year, and we’ll be broadcasting live via our ISB EduStream from 2 – 3:30 pm (check your local time here) every Wednesday. Join us!