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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Stellar Conference

I meant to blog about this earlier in the summer, but here it is! While it was an event held in late July, it is actually part of an ongoing initiative by my colleagues and friends, Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez.

The Constructing Modern Knowledge conference, which I was invited to come speak at, (oh yeah, and I was tapped on the shoulder to do the poster above!) is a terrific hands-on, minds-on experience that dares the participants to play, to imagine, to create. Reading a book about "experiential learning" might be enlightening, but to absorb it fully requires a JUMPING IN, splashing around, diving deep, and then a good picnic on the shore with your friends. Gary Stager, who I have known two decades, has been a passionate and provocative advocate for authentic learning. He brought together a stellar group and inspired hours of projects including animation, clay animation, film-making, Scratch and Logo programming, and more - as well as reflective dialogue about the benefits and challenges of this kind of creative learning. If every school on the planet could experience two days like this, I think we'd push fast forward on making schools the kind of places kids and teachers would find hard to leave in the afternoon!

Sylvia has been a friend on the journey for an equally long stretch. She is also a mission-driven educator - dedicated to the wonderful work at GenYes which enlists the tech talents of students worldwide to improve education! A brilliant organization.

Gary, Sylvia and I are all founding members of The Constructivist Consortium. We rounded up like-minded organizations creating technology tools to inspire creativity and innovation in schools and places of learning. Check these sites out and... "connect the dots!"

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