I love the play on words for LAN – traditionally known as Local Area Network – and it’s use lately for local educators getting together to watch and discuss the K-12 Online Conference offerings.

The extremely wonderful Kim Cofino, graciously hosted ISB’s first K-12 Online Conference LAN party last Saturday morning, in downtown Bangkok. She’d already downloaded most of the videos, set up the TV and sound-system AND had breakfast on the table with helpful supplies from us all.  Of course I must mention that Kim has a presentation along with another fabulous educator, Jen Wagner in this years K-12 Online Conference.  “Connecting Classroom Across Continents: Planning and Implementing Globally Collaborative Projects” in the Kicking It Up a Notch strand.

Bangkok K-12 Online Conference LAN Party

The conversation was flowing, rich and authentic as we shared with our fellow colleagues what we thought might be of interest to them to watch.  The two presentations decided upon were Chris Betcher’s  and Alice Barr, Bob Sprankle and Cheryl Oak’s Keynote in the Getting Started strand.  This was to be the 3rd time I’d seen Chris Betcher‘s presentation “I Like Delicious Things: an introduction to tagging and folksonomies and STILL I learnt more tips from it.  The amazing Silvia Tolisano skyped in from Jacksonville, Florida and did a fabulous job of explaining the difference between delicious and tagging to one very keen teacher sitting in the room who really wanted to understandwhat she’d just witnessed in a presentation.

Our LAN party was so successful and so authentic that it was decided we just could leave it at one party.  This format is now set to become a regular occurrence, rotating between venues close to school and venues downtown.  It will always be open for everyone, anytime they feel they can make it. There’s a wealth of talent and knowledge and ideas out there just waiting for us to tap into. And the conversations that arise out of just watching a presentation for 12- 15 minutes is phenomenal! I really can’t think of a better way to receive personal Professional Development.  What’s even better is the  K-12 Online Conference is available anytime convenient to you.  Heck, there’s still K-12 Online Conference 2006 and 2007 presentations on my list to watch that I still have access to!

Here’s to the next LAN party in two weeks time – if you live in Bangkok – hope to  see you there – if not, and you think you might want to skype in and be part of the conversation, we’d love to hear from you!

I wonder which presentations we’ll watch this time?

LAN-it-Up in Jacksonville, Florida

It was an absolute pleasure to be invited by Silvia Tolisano to skype-join in the conversation at their school’s K-12 Online Conference LAN party “last night” or earlier this morning (for me.)

Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

The timing was perfect – albeit they were having a wine (early evening) and I was having a coffee (early the next morning), the conversation was very interesting and most enjoyable.

My understanding of how Silvia had set up the LAN party was there were several rooms set up with various conference presentations running in them so that teachers could choose which presentations interested them the most.  Then when those presentations had been viewed, everyone met together in one room and discussed what they watched and what they understood or took from it.

The power of sharing ideas, thoughts and understandings, whether you are having conversations face to face or skyping into them is so strong.  The power of discussing what you’ve seen, what you’ve heard and how that affects you is even stronger.  There were presentations I heard teachers talk about that I hadn’t considered watching but now I will because I’m curious and inspired by their thoughts.  I’m now personally connected to some of those teachers even though the chances of us meeting face to face are relatively small.

If you haven’t considered watching K-12 Online Conference 2008, I really think you ought to.  And then find someone who’s watched it too and have a conversation with them – they don’t even have to be living in the same place as you!  Better still, inspire someone else to start watching K-12 Online Conference presentations too.

Do You Know What You’re Doing In October?

Do you know what you’re doing in October? I know what I’ll be doing …….

Waiting for this ……..

Participate in the free K12 Online Conference

to start!

For those of you that haven’t yet indulged in a K12 online conference – it’s an absolute must!

And it’s completely free!

Since there doesn’t seem to be any spare PD money for me to attend our local ICT conferences, this fabulous, timeless, powerhouse collection of top-notch presentations will most definitely ease the pain of not being able to attend NZ’s very own ULearn08 in Christchurch.

Did I mention it’s free?

Just look at the wicked keynote speaker line up!!
Stephen Heppell, Alice Barr, Cheryl Oakes, Bob Sprankle, Gardner Campbell, Chris Lehmann, Vicki Davis, and Julie Lindsay

You can attend in your pj’s if you want.  You can even download presentations and play them on your iPod nano if you want!

Oh, and did I mention that it’s free?