George Lucas Educational Foundation
Teacher Leadership

Join the Big Conversation of Learning 2.0

    What does it mean to rethink teaching and learning in the age of the Internet? That timely question will be examined from all angles this week by educators from around the globe. Appropriately, conversations will take place online in a free event called Learning 2.0.

    Scheduled to take place August 20-24 during Connected Educator Month, Learning 2.0 sessions include a mix of keynotes by education leaders, presentations on a wide range of topics, and freewheeling “unconference”-style discussions. Organizer Steve Hargadon (@stevehargadon on Twitter), founder of Classroom 2.0, is an expert at using social networks and digital platforms to connect educators in massive -- and inclusive -- online conversations.

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    Among the highlights for the week ahead:


    If you’ve never attended an unconference, here’s your chance. Learning 2.0 kicks off with virtual SocialEdCon on Monday, August 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT. Just like unconferences and edcamps that take place face-to-face, SocialEdCon invites participants to pick the topics they want to talk about. Anyone’s free to suggest a session topic, no matter where you live or what your perspective on education. Scheduling happens on the fly, based on participant feedback. Read more or start voting for your picks here.


    Prominent voices in education will be giving keynote presentations throughout the week. Among them are Mark Prensky, author of Brain Gain: Technology and the Quest for Digital Wisdom, speaking on Tuesday, August 21; global education expert Yong Zhao, author of World Class Learners, speaking Thursday, August 23; and Sugata Mitra from the MIT Media Lab, founder of the famous “Hole in the Wall” Internet access project in India, speaking on Friday, August 24.

    Tech and Library panel

    A panel of information literacy experts -- Gwyneth Jones, David Loertscher, Michelle Luhtala, Shannon Miller, and Joyce Valenza -- will discuss technology and librarians on Thursday, August 23.

    Student panel

    Students will join the conversation in what promises to be a provocative event on Wednesday, August 22. Host Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) plans to ask tech-savvy students from several countries, “Are you being kept prisoners by your teacher’s past?” As Nielsen’s session description explains, “For today’s youth, life outside of school is a fast-paced, connected environment where students have the freedom to learn in the spaces and with the tools they love. Once inside school walls, however, in many cases digital devices are banned, collaborating is viewed as cheating, and students are often prohibited from accessing the very sites that are necessary for real-world success.”

    The daily schedule, from Tuesday through Friday, is packed with more discussions about changes across the educational spectrum, from how the classroom is set up to how teachers grow as professionals to how students learn best in today’s hyper-connected world.

    For complete conference details, along with information about how to use the Blackboard Collaborate online rooms where sessions will take place, go to the Learning 2.0 schedule page. All sessions will be recorded and archived online. Follow Learning 2.0 events on Twitter by using the hashtag #learning20.

    What do you plan to contribute to the Learning 2.0 conversation this week? What are you learning from the colleagues you connect with online? Please share your reflections in the comments.

    Editor's Note: Edutopia is a sponsor of the 2012 Learning 2.0 Conference.