What if national organizations created conferences like the classrooms for which many advocate? What if NAIS, ASCD, Learning Forward, etc. insisted on more variety than rooms only set up in rows and columns of chairs? Maybe schools need a national conference center that models/practices traits of 21st century learning spaces and methodologies. Leading by doing could get more to understand/follow.
Example of a conference that came closer to modeling constructive PBL and collaborative design rather than ironically sage-ing from the stage (could such a model work for a 1500-4500 person event?):
On early Friday morning, October 7, I met with architect Paul Van Slyke. Paul is a partner of Goode Van Slyke Architecture. Much of the firm’s portfolio exists in K-12 architecture and re-imagining educational design – program and space. Among many inspiring drawings, drafts, and conversations, I was impressed with the ways that Paul was rethinking school-house details – all the way to pieces as mundane-seeming as hallways. Hallways are not just transport tubes, but learning commons. Amen.
I have been dreaming of the blog post I would write to encapsulate and synergize the remarkably superb experience I enjoyed – and more importantly grew from – last weekend. Like pre-visualizing an athletic performance, I was imagining the words, the letters, the images, and videos. The text and subtext. The intro and the killer, kicker sentence that would cap it all. Then, I read @mmhoward’s post on the event and the learning…and I like hers better. I hope you’ll read it. It’s worth every nanosecond.
This weekend, I am participating in Re-Imagine Ed (RE:ED) – Next Chapter (on Twitter at #nxtchp2011). I am part of an integrated network of design teams working to imagine the K-12 libraries of the future. From the website:
An Active Process:
Instead of another traditional conference — speakers talking at passive audiences; vaguely connected sessions — you’ll join a dynamic 3-day design event focused on imagination and action.
Becoming Part of a Design Team
“Next Chapter” participants automatically become members of 7-8 person design teams.
This will allow passionate, creative, professionally-diverse attendees to collaborate actively with innovative peers and design facilitators in imagining new futures for the K12 library.
Over the course of the 3 days, teams will work closely with their experienced design facilitators to solve a variety of real world case studies in an effort to create new visions for K12 libraries:
Listen -> empathize, ask, seek
Imagine -> ideate, brainstorm, wonder
Make -> prototype, craft, test
During the first two days, I have made some short movies, just to capture some of the action. I will write more later.