Image used under a Creative Commons License from ChrisL_AK on flickr.
I am more and more loving the idea of the collaborative conference. On Saturday I attended a day-long session with Steve Hargadon on
- He posted an agenda on a wiki page and then proceeded to rewrite it based on the interests and needs of the group that came out during the introduction to the day.
- During introductions he mined the group for talents or knowledge that individuals were willing to share.
- He reassessed throughout the day to determine that individual needs and expectations were being met.
- The feeling of spontaneity and serendipity was exciting. He connected our session with another in California by Skype during the lunch break and the two groups shared what they had learned that day. He brought in three other educators using Skype to talk briefly about their experiences with networking.
- He ensured that the interests of both beginners and more seasoned practitioners were met through the use of breakout sessions.
- He ended the day with an energized speed-geeking session where participants shared useful tools or ideas.
- He developed a real sense of community amongst participants who left with a desire to reconnect with each other and extend conversations beyond the session.
- We didn’t ‘sit and git’ but rather shared our strengths, asked questions and had deep conversations.
I came away with a clear sense of how I might restructure the training sessions I do. I also wonder how this might be effectively used in the classroom.
Do we have the courage to step away from the front of the class and allow students to create learning clusters that better meet their needs? Clusters that change as the students' needs change. Would this help to build a sense of trust and a culture of learning in the classroom? I think it's worth a try.