For the last few days I have been attending the 4th annual Reform Symposium Conference (RSCON), a free online three-day event bringing together educators, students and innovators from around the world during October 11th – 13th in conjunction with Connected Educator Month and hosted at the Future of Education. http://www.futureofeducation.com/
The entire conference was held online using the Blackboard Collaborate platform.
The Reform Symposium Conference is a global community initiative to transform teaching and learning. The Reform Symposium Conference is a highly inclusive and engaging event that encourages students and educators around the world to share and learn about transformative approaches to learning and teaching.
The schedule of events can be found at http://www.futureofeducation.com/page/rscon4-schedule-gmt-11-1
You can listen to recordings of all the sessions by following the links at http://www.futureofeducation.com/page/2013-rscon-recordings
Links to blog posts about RSCON4 are to found at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wETV3Qj9nIFoG7H7jp_rPiaG_ItGJF0Hk5Ro7jNKarY/edit?pli=1
And a sign up sheet to volunteer to help next time can be found at
The times for RSCON4 sessions were better suited to participants in the US and Europe but I did manage to attend several excellent presentations and will be able to listen to recordings of the presentations I missed.
Many thanks to all the organizers, presenters and moderators who gave their time to make this such a valuable conference!
Here are the some brief notes about the presentations I attended with links to some of the websites and programs that were mentioned.
Mark Barnes Tech/App Smackdown with Keynote
What is a Tech Smack Down? This is an exciting session where participants show off their favourite technology tools and apps in rapid-fire 2-minute sessions. Mark Barnes is the author of ‘The 5-Minute Teacher’, http://www.ascd.org/Publications/Books/Overview/The-Five-Minute-Teacher.aspx
Mark began the session with his rapid-fire keynote- The 5 Minute Teacher in 5 Minutes. Then anyone could participate and share their favourites.
Tools shared were
Michael Graffin Working in the Global Classroom – A teacher’s journey
Session Description: Over the past few years, my global connections have transformed the way I learn, the way I teach, and the way I see the world. My global journey started in 2011, when I gave my first ever presentation at #RSCON3, and co-founded The Global Classroom Project community. And this year, it took me to the iEARN 2013 Conference in Qatar, where I shared my experiences on the world stage.
In this session, I will explore how teachers can enrich their students’ learning, broaden perspectives, and transform their teaching practice by connecting beyond their classroom walls. I’m returning to where it all began, exploring the tools, communities, and online networks which helped me connect, learn, share, and collaborate beyond my classroom walls, and helped me become the educator I am today.
Valerie Burton Publish your ePortfolio using Weebly
This session showed how to create an ePortfolio for you and your students. Create an ePortfolio for your professional use and/or help students. Weebly allows you to create a class website/ePortfolio, publish announcements, tips and reminders for parents and students. Share your work and the work of your students by highlighting classwork, community service activities, awards and recognitions. Weebly is easy to use
Jo Hart Extraordinary Learning For A Digital Age (ELFADA)
Target Audience: Those interested in delivering and evidencing literacy or any topic to remote learners using virtual classroom and Web2.0 for student engagement. Particular relevance to 14-19 y/o, &/or disengaged learners Session Description: A delivery model for remote (or f-2-f) learning that facilitates student engagement through Web2.0 An interactive session on a project funded under the Australian National Vocational E-Learning Strategy. We will share and discuss the model, resources/delivery strategies, progress and outcomes. The project piloted innovative delivery of units from Australia’s Certificates of General Education for Adults (CGEA) online to regional/remote students (mostly in the 15 to 18 age range). Students developed the skills for learning in the digital age to facilitate access to future training more readily through digital media. This involved a short intensive startup for online CGEA aimed at motivating and engaging students and at developing a habit of regular study. They used a virtual classroom (BlackboardCollaborate) as the main hub/support centre for action learning in the use of Web2.0 technologies and the development of simple media rich e-portfolios using blogs. Supplementary resources were available via a Learning Management System (LMS). Learning activities were mapped to three units at each of the three levels of the CGEA (Certificates I, II and III).
Joan Young Facilitating “Wow” Learning through Humor, Novelty, Awe and Fascination
Session Description: In this session, we will look at ways that I have used the power of humor, novelty, awe, and fascination to engage students in powerful learning experiences. We can make small tweaks in our routines and incorporate novelty, awe, and fascination so that our students will have lower stress levels and be willing to take more risks and challenges. This is not about smiley faces and being happy all the time, but more about creatively crafting the climate so that students are in the optimal state for learning. We will use real examples from the classroom and allow participants to share their own wow moments that have come about through mobilizing the power of emotions.
I loved this presentation. One of the many quotable quotes was
“It is very hard to be anxious and curious at the same time!”