1. Innovation: Is innovation sustainable? And by its very definition, if it is sustained, is it still innovative? We spent a lot of time discussing innovation as it pertains to learning. I believe the general consensus was that not all innovative ideas are good. In other words, Innovation ≉ Excellence. True innovation involves different ways of thinking about education. True change is more than just a web tool, it is a fundamental change in the way we view education.
2. Risk-Taking: Another big conversation revolved around risk taking for teachers. I think it was generally agreed upon that the best teachers, to some extent anyway, are risk takers. Innovation involves putting oneself out there. Change can't take place without some modicum of invention. Someone needs to try out the new ideas! Technology, too, involves some risk. Chances are, your students know more than you about certain aspects of technology. If you are afraid of not being the absolute authority, you may not want to risk trying new activities and tools. There is no reason why we can't all learn in our classrooms.
3. Tech-Savvy Teachers: Similar to the last idea, we discussed what it takes to be a tech savvy teacher in 2012. The big ideas I took from that were that to remain tech savvy we have to be adventurous and open to new ideas. Technology, if used effectively, is not about the tools. The best uses for a tool might not be its intended use. We must be creative. Also, when sharing via Twitter or blogs, instead of presenting just the tools, show the projects you used it successfully with.
4. Learning In Public: Initially, we weren't even sure that this was a THING to discuss. We came to find out, however, that it was indeed a thing. The big idea I took from this conversation was the risk involved in putting our students our there on the web. We discussed ways we could keep our students somewhat sheltered while using the web (closed networks, blogs that require comment approval, etc.). We also discussed teaching students how to keep their digital profile marketable.
Concrete Lessons :
1. DON'T TWEET AND WALK! Doing a complete face plant on the city street taught me that tweeting and walking don't mix. (now that's concrete!)
2. Educon with a hangover isn't the best idea. You might want to watch how much fun you have on Saturday night.
3. Karaoke: Never a good idea. What makes us think we can sing? Especially bad in this era of easy video and social media.
4. Just because you were a runner at some point in your life does not mean that you can pick up and run four miles with your new friends. Even more true with a wicked hangover. Mostly because of the hangover.
These are just a few of the things I learned at Educon 2.4. I'd really love comments or additions to my reflections.