Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Learning Revolution - Week's Free Events - ISTE Unplugged - Homework - Emperor's New Clothes

The Learning Revolution
Weekly Update

June 24th, 2014

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
- Sydney J. Harris

The Learning Revolution Project highlights our own "conference 2.0" virtual and physical events and those of our over 200 partners in the learning professions. We also highlight good conversations about learning taking place between educators, learners, leaders, and others from the school, library, museum, work, adult, online, non-traditional and home learning worlds. The Internet is shifting the boundaries of these worlds, and we believe that as they increasingly overlap and integrate these conversations will be critical to framing and preparing for the learning revolution starting to take place.

To subscribe to this newsletter, please sign up at the Learning Revolution. Please share this newsletter with your friends and colleagues!

SPECIAL NOTE: Those of you who are members of more than one of the Learning Revolution communities are probably receiving more than one copy of this newsletter. Over the last two months we worked with an email list company in an attempt to avoid this duplication, but unfortunately, we were reported as a spammer (ugh!) and so are now reverting to the original Ning network email service. We're still working on other solutions, but for the time being you will get more than one copy of our Tuesday newsletter if you're signed up to receive information about more than one of our events and conferences.


  • Wahoo! ISTE Unplugged Starts This Friday!. ISTE attendees - don't miss out! Audrey Watters of HackEducation.com will be joining us for our all-day Friday, June 27th, unconference. It's free, it's at the Georgia World Congress Center, and it's a great way to spend a day with interesting people holding interesting conversations. The topics for the day are determined by the attendees, and many who come say it's the best thing they do at ISTE. After the unconference is our now-annual evening social/party, which will feature Kevin Honeycutt and the iPhone band. Saturday is our half-day Global Education gathering, and then there's the Bloggers' Cafe Sunday - Tuesday. Check it all out at ISTEunplugged.com. See you there!
  • NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition. Learning Revolution partners, NMC and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), with the support of HP, just released the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition at a special session at the 2014 NMC Summer Conference in Portland, Oregon. This sixth K-12 edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in education. View the report.
  • EdTechWomen's Leadership Dinner at ISTE. This year's Dinner Event at ISTE will be on Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 7:30pm at the Marriott Grand Marquis Ballroom in beautiful Atlanta! At the second annual EdTechWomen ISTE Dinner Event, the community will focus on connecting aspiring and seasoned leaders – women and men – in edtech to share and incubate opportunities for women's leadership development in the education industry. Attendees will have the chance to meet educators, business people and other professionals from across the education industry while engaging in authentic discussion about leadership and career development. Learn more and RSVP here.
  • Twin Events About the Future of Museums. The New Media Consortium and LearningRevolution.com announce twin events about the future of museums on July 23rd & 24th. Both events are focused on four main themes from the NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Museum Edition: Bring Your Own Device, Location-Based Services, Crowdsourcing, Makerspaces. July 23rd - The NMC Virtual Symposium on the Future of Museums is an exclusive symposium for you, the curators, creators, innovators, museum professionals, and educators. In this limited-space event, engage with panels on these topics and help shape the conversation – get your burning questions answered! July 24th - LearningRevolution.com is hosting the free, online Future of Museums Conference, a collaborative global conversation about technology, museums, and the future. This event will be held from 10am - 5pm US-Eastern Time, and will feature keynote speakers and crowdsourced presentations by your peers. Attendees can expect to learn best practices to implement in their museums, and will hear real-world examples of innovative practices in the field. Curators, creators, innovators, museum professionals, and educators are encouraged to present. We are looking forward to these fun events, and to your participation!
  • Homeschool+ Conference Special Speakers. We're excited to announce the following keynote and distinguished speakers have been confirmed for the second annual Homeschool+ Conference: Blake Boles, Pat Farenga, Ocean Robbins, Jamie McMillan, Carlo Ricci, Clark Aldrich, Elliot Washor, Yale Wishnick, Jackie Gerstein, Bernard Bull, Luba Vangelova, and Scott Nine. And more invitations are still out there! Should be another AMAZING event focused on sharing strategies, practices, and resources for those involved with homeschooling, unschooling, free schools, democratic schools, and other forms of alternative, independent, and non-traditional education.

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Learning Revolution Events

Partner Spotlight


The VHS Collaborative is an educational nonprofit that has set the standard for online and blended learning since 1996. Through our global online classrooms, schools offer STEM, AP®, Honors, Gifted & Talented, and elective courses that help students prepare for college and careers. We make high quality education available to middle school and high school students regardless of location and within the most stringent budgets. We offer private and custom courses, course licensing, blended learning support for schools, and professional development to help educators learn 21st century teaching skills. More information at http://www.TheVHSCollaborative.org.

Interested in becoming a Learning Revolution Partner? Please fill out a Partner Application today.

One Week Calendar

All events are listed in US-Eastern Daylight Time. To become an event partner and have your events listed here, please email admin@web20labs.com.

  • Wednesday, June 25th in Atlanta, GA Flat Connections Workshop: Connect, Collaborate, Go Global, We have the technology, we have the pedagogy, it's time to join learners to the world! This workshop provides educators and education leaders the skills and resources to connect their learning and take it from local to global - and provides concrete examples and stories of those who are already doing this to inform your approach. It is imperative students receive a global education and have the opportunity to connect and work with others in the world. Embedding global learning and competency is not a plane ticket but a mindset and a curriculum imperative. Where do you start? This workshop will show you how. More information here.
  • Wednesday, June 25th at 8am Education Fast Forward: Live Global Education Debate, Better teaching for better learning: Results of the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS). Be one of the first to learn from the outcomes of the OECD's Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) by joining Education Fast Forward's global live debate on June 25, 2014 at 1pm (BST). No need to register, just click to view. Follow us on Twitter @effdebate and post your questions and comments to #EFF10. More information here.
  • Wednesday, June 25th at 9pm Teachers Teaching Teachers, Weekly conversations hosted by EdTechTalk, a collaborative open webcasting community. For more information, click here.
  • Thursday, June 26th at 4pm Common Sense Media: Appy Hour, Join Common Sense Media's monthly #appyhour Hangout series to hear how educators are using digital tools for learning. You can watch live via YouTube and Tweet along at #appyhour. RSVP at https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/ca81429mq8vb8gh1bkll6qmr23g.
  • Friday, June 27th at 8am in Atlanta, GA Hack Education Unconference + Party, Audrey Watters of Hack Education co-chairs our all-day flagship event this year, our "unconference" on teaching and learning (originally EduBloggerCon). In our eighth year, this event typically draws 200 - 300 participants from around the world. We start by building a session schedule together and then spend the rest of the day in engaged conversations around amazing topics. More information and sign-up here.
  • Friday, June 27th at 3pm PDT in San Francisco, CA Galvanize: gSchool Open House, Want to know more about gSchool's 24 week developer training program? Here's your chance to meet the team, get your questions answered, check out the space (psst - it has a rooftop patio) and learn more about what it means to be a gSchooler! RSVP here.
  • Saturday, June 28th at 9am in Atlanta, GA Invent to Learn at ISTE 2014, Join Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager for an energizing day of "hard fun" as we invent, tinker, and learn how to incorporate hands-on project-based learning in the classroom. Participants will engage in a variety of projects using modern tools and technology - the perfect way to get ready for ISTE. More information and registration here.
  • Saturday, June 28th at 2pm in Atlanta, GA Global Ed Day at ISTE 2014, Join Lucy Gray, Steve Hargadon, and many members of the Global Education Conference community on June 28th from 2-5 PM at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, USA for a special face-to-face meeting in which you can connect and collaborate with other globally minded educators. More information and RSVP here.
  • Sunday, June 29th at 9pm I Have a Question EdTechWeekly, Weekly attempt to crowdsource answers to education questions from our community of communities,. Tag your questions #eduquestion or post them on our Facebook page or Google+ community. Join in at http://edtechtalk.com/live/ihaq.

For a full calendar of all upcoming events and conferences, click here.


  • 2014 Reform Symposium (#RSCON5), July 11th - 13th, 2014
    Upcoming deadlines: The Call for Proposals is now open! Do you have an instructional method, project, or idea that you are passionate about and will “wow” other educators? Proposals can be submitted from now until July 1st, 2014. Please see the conference strands and call for proposals for submission details and instructions.
  • Future of Museums, July 24th, 2014
    Upcoming deadlines: Presentation proposals will be accepted between now and July 21st for the Future of Museums conference. This free, online event will give those of you who work in the museum and archives fields an opportunity to share your passion for the future of museum services, spaces, and innovations. Conference strands include Bring Your Own Device, Location-Based Services, Crowdsourcing, and Makerspaces. Please see the call for proposals and consider submitting your proposal soon!
  • Homeschool+ Conference, August 7th + 8th, 2014
    Upcoming deadlines: The Call for Proposals for the 2014 Homeschool+ Conference is now open. Conference strands include Learning Theory, Homeschooling, Unschooling, Free Schools, Democratic Schools, Alternative and Non-Traditional Education, Student Presentation, Technology, Politics and Policy, and Faith-Specific Topics. Be sure to share this opportunity with your peers and colleagues - we'd love to see your proposal come in soon!
  • Gaming in Ed, September 15th - 19th, 2014
    Upcoming deadlines: The Call for Proposals for the inaugural Gaming in Ed conference is now open. Proposals can be submitted from now until September 1st, and we will begin accepting proposals after July 1st. Conference strands include Game-Based Learning: How to Use Games in Educational Settings, Games & Assessment, Connecting Educators With Game Developers: Make Your Voices Heard, Students as Content Creators & Game Designers, Research on Game-Based Learning, and Professional Development. Share your experience with game-based learning with an audience of game developers and peer educators!
  • Library 2.014, October 8th + 9th, 2014
    Upcoming deadlines: Presentation proposals will be accepted between now and October 1st for Library 2.014. This fully online, participatory conference presents a unique opportunity to showcase the excellent research and work that you do every day. How does your library manage digital collections? Is your library mobile friendly? Do you have a story to tell about maker spaces? Your participation as a presenter will steer the global conversation about the future of libraries. Please see the call for proposals and conference strands and consider submitting your proposal soon!
  • Global Education Conference, November 17th - 22nd, 2014
    Upcoming deadlines: The call for proposals for the 2014 Global Education Conference are now open. Proposals can be submitted from now until November 15, and we will begin accepting proposals June 1st. Please see the conference strands and consider submitting your proposal soon!

Highlighted Recordings

Peter Morville from Library 2.013 - on "Inspiration Architecture: The Future of Libraries"


Congresswoman Nita Lowey from the Global Education Conference 2013 - on "25 Years working to Ensure Education for All"


Peggy George & Jason Borgen from the Connected Cafe - on "Making Informal PD Count"



Classroom 2.0

  • Pedagogical Barriers in ICT Integration. Classroom 2.0 member and Pakistan educator, Abdul Zahoor Sajid, has observed that many of his peers are struggling to find a balance between ICT integration and traditional pedagogical models. New York educator, Robin Long, has weighed in on the discussion, sharing her experience with ICT integration as a top-down initiative. What has your experience been? What are some of the barriers, and solutions, to ICT integration in your school?
  • Comic Workshop Tools for Your Library or Classroom. Karen Cameron shares 5 amazing apps for comic generation - an excellent way to engage reluctant readers and foster creativity among young library users and students. Most of these apps are free and allow users to download a copy of their comic for print. Maybe this year's summer reading program will involve a graphic novel component? Check out these apps here. Thanks, Karen!

Education Revolution Google+ Community

  • Call to Action: Parents in the Classroom. US DOE Teaching Ambassador Fellow, JoLisa Hoover, shares a recent recap of Secretary Arne Duncan's call to action to parents of school aged children. Check out Hoover's report and learn how you might get involved in this initiative.
  • More on the Value of Homework. Week after week, articles on the value of homework circulate in popular education networks. Seemingly a response to recent trends in flipped classroom activities and research exploring the relationship between homework and knowledge acquisition, this topic doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. Katie Lepi of Edudemic recently wrote this article which provides a set of questions that teachers can use to assess the value of their own homework assignments. This may be helpful for those of you who are crafting your lesson plans and assignments for next fall. Check out the article here.

Final Notes

Take a moment and think about the deepest learning experiences you've had in your life. In or out of school, my guess is that the moments when you were learning the deepest were precipitated by certain conditions. What were those conditions--was it that someone trusted or challenged you? Was it that someone saw potential in you, or took the time to help you understand something important? Was it learning about something valuable or extremely interesting to you? Hold those thoughts for a moment, I'll come right back to them.

I'm currently very interested in the ways that we change our perspectives on important topics. If you look at advertisements for cigarettes from the first half of the 1900s, it wasn't surprising to see someone dressed as a doctor touting the health benefits of smoking. We can't imagine that being tolerated today. Think of how minority and other civil rights have been viewed (painful to do, right?). In most cultures, we can point to dramatic changes in perspectives--or "narratives"--of what we consider acceptable. Our perspectives on food and health are changing before our very eyes, as the juxtaposition of a billboard about obesity next to one advertising fast food would catch our attention.

In Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale "The Emperor's New Clothes," a young child points out what no one else is brave enough to: "But he hasn't got anything on." The crowd slowly takes courage from the innocent awareness of the child and begins cry out in agreement with the child, and we see how perceptions molded by social pressure can change. However, Andersen's end to the tale reminds us that there are other forces besides social pressure that maintain "narratives:" power and its benefits. "The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, 'This procession has got to go on.' So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all."

So what other narratives do we accept right now where we may later look back on with surprise that we "went along with the crowd?" Let's go back to those conditions of deep learning you thought about. Were they related to standardized curriculum and high-stakes tests? I'd be surprised if they were.

I'm going to state something bold: education is either a form of liberation or of control. The basic argument for the "liberal arts" is the ability that learning has to help individuals become better and more independent thinkers, and better able to lead fulfilling lives and to contribute to their societies. The basic argument for mandated schooling in the form we most usually see it is to control: to control what students learn, to control how they learn it, and especially to control their behavior. The result of this controlling mindset for schooling is that a significant percentage (the great majority?) of our students have internalized the core message: you're not capable--not capable of choosing what to work on, not capable of making independent decisions, and ultimately not capable of thinking for yourself.

How many of our high school graduates are ready to live independently, and believe themselves to be, and are, capable adults? Conversely, how many students leave the system believing themselves either to have completely failed, or quick to state (as surprisingly many otherwise accomplished people do): "I wasn't one of the really smart ones in school."

May I suggest that we're going to look back on the last decades of modern schooling and wonder why we didn't question the compliance-testing model of education. We will wonder why we were not appalled at the idea that a system of learning doesn't help every child magnify their inherent potentials and to become accomplished and capable. We may rightly ask: how did we think we could solve together the wickedly difficult problems of our age when we emphasized conformity over deep and independent thinking?

See you online!

Steve Hargadon

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