Lots of edubloggers have been plugging this so I'm probably another echo in the aggregator but the second annual K12 Online Conference starts very soon. I'll cut'n'paste the blurb so you get the gist if you haven't already heard about it:
The K-12 Online Conference invites participation from educators around the world interested in innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This FREE conference run by volunteers and open to everyone. The 2007 conference theme is “Playing with Boundaries”. This year’s conference begins with a pre-conference keynote the week of October 8, 2007. The following two weeks, October 15-19 and October 22-26, forty presentations will be posted online to the conference blog (this website) for participants to download and view. Live Events in the form of three “Fireside Chats” and a culminating “When Night Falls” event will be announced. Everyone is encouraged to participate in both live events during the conference as well as asynchronous conversations.
K12 Online Conference is a special event because last year I got to present amongst the cream of online educators and was pretty well received. I didn't get a guernsey this year but this time around I get to fully immerse myself as participant.
So, after stating elsewhere on the edublogosphere my distaste for lists and rankings, I'll contradict myself and give you five good reasons to check it out.
- There is a great blend of innovation from those who promote web based learning and those who implement in the classroom. You'll never get this much talent at one conference - ever, except at K12. The fact that two classroom based teachers, Clarence Fisher and Brian Crosby, are amongst the keynote speakers should warm many hearts, including Mark Ahlness's!
- You make connections with new educators. If not for K12, I may not have become colleagues with Chris Harbeck, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Kim Cofino or Chris Betcher, just to name a few.
- You suddenly have a huge arsenal of resources that you can use back in your own school without reinventing the wheel. It's all there archived, just waiting for you whenever it suits.
- Help desk is included. At most conferences, you've got the workshop facilitator or presenter for a small amount of time and after that, you're on your own. But at the K12, you can easily contact any presenter for help or more information via the comments, linking back to their blog where you can usually find contact details. At any time in the future!
- It's free and as far as I know, totally untainted by commercial interests. This makes it an amazing grassroots event - for educators by educators, specifically in the K-12 sector.
Hope to see you there. I think I might stick my name down to host a Skype hour of "When Night Falls."