Friday, June 14, 2019

Hack Education - The Unconference, Saturday, June 22 - OPEN TO ALL

Loews Philadephia Hotel - Washington Ballroom
Saturday, June 22nd, 2019

This is the 13th year of this our free education unconference. In previous years, this event has been part of a series of grass-roots activities called ISTE Unplugged. This year we're just holding the unconference, and while still supported by ISTE, it will be offsite (Loews Philadephia Hotel - 1200 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19107) so that those who aren't registered for ISTE can still attend. There will not be an after-party this year.

Please invite any an all educators, students, parents, librarians, administrators, or interested parties. You do not need to sign up in advance to attend Hack Education. See more information at The site will be updated with any information about the event.

2019's CONTROVERSIAL THEME: "The Learning Revolution (Has It Disappeared?)"

The advent of the Internet promised social and learning benefits from increases in access, content, individual voice, collaboration, and opportunity. Increasingly in the past few years, however, we're seeing dramatic struggles play out in media, governance, and education for narrative power and control--not unlike the ways in which the advent of the printing press created similar battles.

Rather than ushering in enlightened democratic dialog, social media and the web seem to have created an environment rife with propaganda, fake news, and mob-like behavior. Censorship is increasingly replacing thoughtful debate, and civil dialog has become increasingly rare. The building of cognitive and logical tools for independent thinking are being displaced by demands for agreement on whatever is the current "group-think" topic of the day.

Hack Education's thematic focus this year will be on supporting and maintaining individual intellectual development, digital freedom, privacy, and agency--specifically as core parts of the mission of education and as they relate to educational technology. How do educators and educational institutions guard against control, censorship, propaganda, indoctrination, and compliance-based thinking? What Is the role of schools and libraries for safeguarding intellectual freedom, privacy, and agency?

But remember, Hack Education is an "unconference," and in true unconference tradition, you are welcome to propose and discuss any topic you would like!


An unconference starts with participants writing, on large sheets of paper, topics they are interested in discussing during the day. There is then time for "voting" or indicating on other people's sheets your interest in those topics. At which point a schedule is created for the day making sure that the most popular sessions don't conflict with each other.  Participants then spend the day in the conversation groups that are of interest to them, with full freedom to move around at any time.

8:00 a.m.: Doors Open. Early volunteers welcome to help with setup! Session creation documents get started, time to also mingle and socialize.
9:00 a.m.: Official Start and Session Creation Process
9:40 a.m.: Welcome
10:00 - 10:55 a.m.: Conversations (SET 1)
11:00 - 11:55 a.m.: Conversations (SET 2)
11:55 a.m.: Group photo
12:00 - 2:00 p.m.: Lunch and informal conversations on your own.
2:00 - 2:55 p.m.: Conversations (SET 3)
3:00 - 3:55 p.m.: Conversations (SET 4)


If you're looking for Audrey Watters' Hack Education site, it's at Many thanks to her for letting me use the same name for our event.

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