ASB Unplugged Reflections pt. 1 – Twitter Ramblings

Below are some thoughts that I threw out on Twitter during ASB Unplugged; some instant reflection as it happened! I’m still working on some more coherent thoughts about the entire experience…

Leadership and Change

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Engaging the Parent Community

Last week, I stole borrowed a page from my friends and colleagues at UWCSEA East and had students run a session with parents on social networking and other concerns. As I wrote in the school newsletter:

Thao , Tommy and Max did a fantastic job of presenting a student perspective and discussing their own personal use of social networks and other aspects of technology use, both in school and at home. It was great to hear them address the concerns raised by parents as well as share their experiences. According to one of the students, “It was helpful to listen to the questions from parents, and it helped me understand what kind of concerns parents have about the integration of technology into a student’s life.” Another added: “It was good for the students to see the point of view of the parent, so they would understand what the parent is seeing. It good to tell the parent about what we as student are doing on our tablet.”

The parents were also appreciative of the chance to speak to young adults and about the challenges and opportunities that are faced in an increasingly digital environment from their different perspectives. There was also a great roundtable discussion among the parents once the students had returned to class about some of the questions and concerns they have as parents.

One of the big discussion points that came from the parent roundtable (and actually, it has been brought up before) was the need for an online community for parents (primarily) to discuss some of the issues, questions and concerns that go hand-in-hand with the implementation of emerging technologies for learning.

I learned at ASB Unplugged 2010 that they are using a Ning for their parents. If I remember correctly, it is now completely moderated by parent volunteers and members of their PTA.

I’m wondering if any schools have successfully implemented BuddyPress as a community forum? As we are looking to finally start with edublogs, I wonder if this is a path that we can take? I’ve done some initial poking around, but I can’t solve the privacy issue: How do I make a BuddyPress installation so that parents can register themselves (moderated by an admin from the school) and so that the forums, groups and postings are private?

I’m also wondering if BuddyPress is even the way to go? Are there alternatives out there that you would suggest from experience?

How is your school engaging your parent community in discussion? Are you using social networking to improve parent communication and interaction? How concerned are you and your parents with the privacy of that social network? 

Image Credit: Grade 8 Student by Clint Hamada licensed under CC BY NC SA

March Madness!

ASB Unplugged Logo

No, not that March Madness…

I’m off to Mumbai today to attend ASB Unplugged 2010 at the American School of Bombay.

I’m back on Sunday and then off again on Wednesday to Beijing to lead a Category 2 MYP Mathematics workshop at Western Academy.

I’m back on Monday afternoon and then leave again early Tuesday morning to join our Grade 6 team on their annual trip to Cuc Phuong National Park.

Madness, I say… I better buy my lovely wife something pretty special for leaving her alone with 3 small children.

Image: My What Big Ears You Have by Frank Peters (CC BY NC ND)

Upcoming PD Opportunities

Here’s a list of what I’m plugging to the staff here:

What: 23 Things: Tools for 21st Century Teaching and Learning
Where: This is an online course
When: Begins September 14 and will go for 10 weeks

  • Technically, you should have registered by last Friday. However, you can try to sneak your registration in if you are really keen. There are already a few teachers who have signed up and I hope to host a 23 Things Professional Learning Community for all those involved.

What: ASB Unplugged
Where: The American School of Bombay
When: Feb 24 – 27 2010

 What: K12 Online Conference 2009
Where: This is a virtual conference.
When: Starts November 20 2009 with 40 presentations being posted for download over a two-week period (December 7 – 17). There will also be live events.

What: Create the Future: Become a 21st Century Learner
Where: BISS International School, Beijing
When: January 16 – 17

Did I miss anything? (I know I don’t have the 21st Century Learning HK conference listed… I figure it’s too late for people to register anyhow…)

image: Untitled by _fLeMmA__