Thursday, August 11, 2011

Debriefing EdmodoCon11

There's a little folder that sits on my desktop called 'Webinars'. In it I stash the notes I take as I watch & listen. Between the speakers and the chat there's so much to absorb that I try to get down as much as I can -- screen shots of great slides, links, copies of pithy comments, and ideas I want to be able to review later.

Most of my webinar files are between 10 and 125kb in size. 300kb was large until yesterday, but, thanks to an early morning tweet from Jennifer Brinson (Jen is a Wilkes EDIM alum), I spent from 10:30am until 6:30pm at EdmodoCon. This was an online conference put together to showcase innovative mashups of high quality teaching/learning, ed tech, and Edmodo. 18 speakers from the US, Canada, Brazil, and Australia talked to nearly 500 attendees sitting at their computers all over the world. EdmodoCon's file in my webinar folder is 21,457kb. That's over 100x bigger for only 8x longer (by time) than ever before. No wonder I was so exhausted by the end of the day!

The sessions were archived. To access them together with all associated materials and links, either register with Edmodo (or reactivate an old account) and use the group code (1bbsgy) to join the EdmodoCon 2011 group or keep checking back to their blog.

I really want to use this post to award Betsey Whalen a huge badge and a billion points (and hope she gets a huge promotion -- sorry -- inside joke for those who saw the Gamification session) for keeping her energy so strong and infectious all day.

Wonder Woman Stamp

[Image credit: CC Share/Attribution, 11 July 2007, ann-dabney/355168866]

She set the upbeat tone, kept everything pretty close to on schedule, and pushed through the few moments of tech glitches without letting the momentum of the event dissipate. For me the most important take-away from the entire Edmodo marathon came from Betsy after Carol Anne McGuire's session about her world-rocking projects. Carol Anne started her presentation by talking about how she became inspired to transform her own teaching. Here's an example of the most recent result:

When Betsy reflected after Carol Anne was done about how this wonderful explosion of remarkable work had come out of an inspirational moment at a pro-d session, she summed up in one moment for me the value of being in contact with interesting people who are passionate about what they do and act on their passion. How many educators see the potential of their work as giving our students moments like that?

Final note: I've also bee thinking today, not about any single conference session, but about how Edmodo has evolved over the years from the the educational microblogging tool it first was into a resplendent content delivery, communication, and learning platform.

[Image Credit: CC Attribution, 14 Dec. 2009, jesusbranch/4184450383/]

By incorporating the features the users have requested, its developers have grown this tool from the grass roots up. One speaker who just started using Edmodo last year mentioned that he'd sent in about 12 suggestions and that most (if not all) have appeared in the newest version. Edmodo was designed not based on someone else's idea of what teachers, students, and admins need and want but by listening and responding to real needs and real wants voiced by real users in the real world, and its users wax rhapsodic about how it's literally changed their educational lives.

There was one EdmodoCon presenter who said his 'aha' moment about thinking about what teaching and learning could become came when he saw the parallels between gaming and schooling. Hmmmm ..... I'm seeing similar parallels -- but between Edmodo's responsive growth model and learner-centered education. Could this be a metaphor or a template for creating learning experiences that leave people wanting more?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you SO much for your kind words! Discovery Education will always be close to my heart -- so happy to hear you were able to participate in EdmodoCon! ALthough it was a longggg day - it was very cool to have so much participation from around the world, so definitely worth it. I hope everyone from the Wilkes-DE program joins the next event with you!!!