today i had the privilege of attending edcampto, a wonderful unconference on education, learning, and the 21st century. engaged in tons of great conversation, and met so many individuals who are doing what they love and willing to share their ideas and experiences with others (free of charge!). side note: we need more sharing of ideas. anyways, i had a two hour drive back to kingston this evening after the conference. lots of time by myself in a car usually leads to loud singing or the generation of random thoughts. here are a few of those thoughts.
the whole idea behind the unconference model is that the participants fuel what is talked about at the event. that got me thinking about how cool it would be to do a student unconference for them to share about their own learning. i think we would get a much better understanding of how we can support and facilitate student learning if we let them talk about it for a while! who knows, they might even formulate some cross-school or cross-board communities that elicit change.
one of the early sessions that i went to was on literacy and whether there is a need to redefine literacy in this day and age. we have so many different texts that we are exposed to that the acquisition of knowledge is no longer sufficient – we need to interact critically with these texts and draw connections to other experiences. something that i really enjoy looking at is infographics. they convey so much information in such a succinct manner (and a lot of the time, they’re colourful, which makes me enjoy them that much more). what if we had students create their own infographics to demonstrate their learning, allow them to interact with their peers and garner feedback, then create an even better infographic with that feedback in mind. we’d be tapping into so much design potential, and the assignment itself innately requires students to make connections, summarize, etc. in an integrated way. maybe i should create an infographic for kingston through my lens.
last but not least, a note on youtube and a potential assignment. i learn so much from youtube. in fact, almost everything i can do on photoshop came from me watching youtube tutorials. my dad learned how to install our new toilets via youtube. perhaps we should investigate the educational benefits of using this site that is banned in some school boards. we can even give students the task of learning something from youtube and documenting that experience. i wonder what they’ll find…