Twas the night before #Educon…

EduCon starts tomorrow (Friday, Jan 23).

I’m excited to bundle up early Friday morning and head over to Science Leadership Academythe innovative high school that hosts EduCon each year, because EduCon is hands-down the best conference I’ve been to.  It’s an opportunity to see and interact with many of the people whose work influences me a great deal online (via Twitter and through their blogs).

It’s a chance to make new connections, as I just did today via Twitter thanks to my friend Bo Adams in Atlanta.

Bo and I met at Educon two years ago and have since become good friends. Bo sadly can’t make it to Educon this year, but he Tweeted earlier today to connect some teachers from his school with a group of educators who will be at EduCon (I’m @SteveG_TLC on Twitter).

bo

Educon is filled with people like Bo — people who are re-thinking what’s possible in education and who are generous about sharing what they are thinking and doing.

I meet interesting people at most education conferences, but I’ve found that at EduCon, I keep in better touch with folks after the conference that at any other conference.  It’s a special event.

The theme for this year’s EduCon is transparency, and to support that theme, I plan to blog a few times about what I learn here.

The conversations begin Saturday, but Friday during the day at EduCon is also a chance to see an amazing school, Science Leadership Academy (SLA), led by a passionate and talented administration and staff who really “get” high school students.

It’s a chance to see a school where students are taken seriously all the time. One of the distinguishing features of Educon is that student and parent volunteers play a huge role in putting on Educon. When you talk to them — and there will be more than a hundred of them volunteering at EduCon, it’s clear that SLA is more than a school to them. It has a family feel.

Most of all, EduCon is a chance to have tremendous conversations in the truest sense of that word.  It’s not EduPresentations or EduSessions, it’s EduCon, where the Con stands for conversations.  It matters who’s in the room because the conversations are interactive.

These are the guiding principles behind EduCon:

  1. Our schools must be inquiry-driven, thoughtful and empowering for all members.
  2. Our schools must be about co-creating — together with our students — the 21st Century Citizen.
  3. Technology must serve pedagogy, not the other way around.
  4. Technology must enable students to research, create, communicate, and collaborate.
  5. Learning can — and must — be networked.

I am sure that over the next three days, I will learn and stretch and challenge my thinking because of the interactions I will have here at EduCon.  And I imagine that the conversations that begin this weekend will continue for years to come online (see guiding principle #5 above).

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About Steve Goldberg

I teach U.S. History at Research Triangle High School, a public charter school in Durham, NC, whose mission is to incubate, prove and scale innovative models of teaching and learning.
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