Monday, July 15, 2013

Announcing the 2013 Homeschool Conference: Homeschooling, Unschooling, and Free / Democratic / Alternative Schools

I'm pleased to announce the inaugural worldwide Homeschool Conference, August 23 - 24, 2013! All are invited to participate in this two-day, online, and free event.

My name is Steve Hargadon, and I founded and run the online social network for educators called Classroom 2.0. I also hold open and online conferences for educators and I host an interview series called the Future of Education. My wife and I are the parents of four children, all of whom have at some time had a form of homeschooling or independent learning. My co-chair for the conference is writer and homeschool proponent Pat Farenga. The conference website is

Public discussions on education have been increasingly more accepting of the variety of learning opportunities for students, and also of the potential for valuable dialog on practices that arise from non-traditional learning environments. While the Homeschool Conference is geared toward those participating in or wanting to learn more about homeschooling, unschooling, free schools, democratic schools, and other forms of alternative education, my hope is that this conference will also be valuable for traditional educators looking to expand their scope and understanding of teaching and learning practices.

The conference is based on a peer-learning model I've developed over the last several years which invites high levels of interaction and participation. As an online event, without the constraints faced by physical events (time/space/travel), the goal is to get as many of you as possible to present and share your experiences, practices, and resources with each other. First-time presenters: you are not only welcome to submit proposals--you are encouraged to do so! 

You will also notice that the conference, and the proposal process, are hosted in this social-networking website. Please join the site to be kept informed of conference news, and then consider taking the opportunity the site provides to connect with others, both before, during, and after the conference. You are also welcome to start independent topic, organization, or other conversations or groups for further connecting and sharing.

Presentation proposals can be submitted HERE starting immediately, and they will be accepted on a rolling basis within a week of submission. There is more information below on becoming a conference volunteeradvisory and outreach board memberpartner, or sponsor! If you would like to submit a film to (or help coordinate) the online film festival for the conference, please contact me directly.

Please let others know about the conference (a logo you can use is here). And see you online!

Steve Hargadon
Co-Chair, 2013 Homeschool Conference

The Homeschool Conference is held online and is free to attend. The week before the conference begins a conference schedule, with links to each session, will be posted on the site. The conference platform is Blackboard Collaborate, on online platform that combines video, audio, chat, presentation, and other capabilities, and it supports participation using Window, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

The Call for Proposals for the conference opens July 15th, 2013. While the final deadline for submissions is 
August 20th, 2013, presenters will be notified of acceptance on a rolling basis starting July 20th, 2013. There is a motivation for early submission and acceptance, since presenters are able to schedule their own presentation times once accepted and the options become more limited as time goes on.

Advisory and Outreach Board:  
Anyone can apply to be a member of the international advisory & outreach board. Advisory board members are recognized on the website and are asked to:
  • Promote both participation and attendance at the conference
  • Help us find partner organizations in their region(s)
  • If possible, help moderate sessions during the actual conference
To sign up for the advisory board, please make sure you have joined the conference network, and then join the advisory board group HERE.

Conference Partner Organizations:
Whether you are a small homeschool co-op or up to a multi-school organization, we want to encourage you to become a conference partner. You must be non-commercial and primarily or substantively focused on home- or alternative-schooling. Once approved, your organization or event will be listed with a link, logo, and a short description.

Our goal for the conference is to have it be a milestone event, bringing together individuals and organizations from all over the world. We recognize that much (if not most!) of the outreach for this conference will come from your sharing the conference information in your online and other social communities, or to your own membership if you have one. Our recognizing you on the site is part of our appreciation for you for doing this!

There are no financial obligations for being a partner organization--all we do ask is that you actively promote the conference to your membership and network, and encourage participation as well as presentations and submissions. To apply to be a conference partner organization, please make sure you have joined the conference network, and then join the partner group HERE.

Conference Sponsors:
There are opportunities for commercial sponsorship of the Homeschool Conference, and both recognition and authentic appreciation for financial support will be given to those who choose to sponsor. Sponsorship levels and benefits can be discussed with Steve Hargadon directly at or 916-283-7901.

It is not an exaggeration to say that volunteers are the life-blood of this unique kind of peer and participative conference! Volunteers help moderate the presentation sessions, they do not need to have prior experience. To find out how you can help, and why it is so much fun to do so, please join our volunteer group

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