July 14, 2007

Building Learning Communities 2007, Boston

This evening I'll be setting off to Boston for November Learning's Building Learning Communities and over the next week I hope to be posting lots of 2-minute video podcasts from the conference floor and some exclusive video from behind the scenes, plenty of analysis of the sessions, the places and the people, including some of my favourite edubloggers, and notes from my own sessions, too. If you don't want to miss any of it, make sure you learn how to freely subscribe or come back regularly to the BLC07 category to get a free front row view of the conference.

I'll be delivering three talks in the main sessions:

Wednesday 18th July:
Reel Celtic Connections: Blogging for 5 Million Years

In this rather ambitiously titled talk I hope to show what it is that makes Scotland a relatively healthy hub of learning with social media, whether that's kids using it directly or, just importantly, teachers reflecting through it.
Scotland is a nation of 5 million, with 30 million Scots living elsewhere around the planet. Connections, making links and finding new beginnings have been woven into our lives. Why is social software turning so many heads and touching so many nerves in this small country? [link] [pic]

Is Your Public Body Public?

Ltscotland In this talk I want to show how Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS), as Scotland's main organisation for development and support of the curriculum, has begun to use social media internally and externally, and to encourage its use in the classroom, as a means of connecting more with the teachers and learners it serves.
Learning and Teaching Scotland, the education agency for the country, has created a Futures team to look at how education can take advantage of social media, game-making and playing, and other technologies that may appear in the future. The biggest challenge has been to walk the walk. This workshop will be of particular interest to administrators, superintendents and other decision-makers who want to see how a large public body has started to accomplished what many others have failed to do in the past: evolve over a year to begin embracing new technologies and new ways of having conversations with its public. [link]


Thursday 19th July
“We’re Adopting:” An Adoption Strategy for Social Software in Education

In June last year I revealed a strategy which I thought was the best way yet to get education institutions, their teachers and management understanding what social media is and actively using it. It was pretty much ignored, with one spam comment ;-)
Having harnessed much of the basic principles of this strategy, and crafted a set of attitudes and a new Teaching and Learning Policy, how has East Lothian Council gone from having 20 teachers who share their thoughts, ideas and resources, to over 300 (a third of the teacher population) in the space of 10 months?

Using blogs, wikis, podcasts, social bookmarking and other social software seems an obvious advantage to those already using these tools in the classroom. But how can administrators and community leaders get their own learning communities to see the light? Ewan and colleagues in East Lothian, Scotland, have used business strategies to successfully integrate new technologies and teaching into their schools. In this session, find out how they are doing it and talk through your concerns, opportunities and challenges. [link] [pic: The Talking Tree at Newhailes]

If you're going to the conference, don't forget to join the BLC Flickr group and to tag all your blog posts BLC07. Leave a comment here, too, if you want to meet up for a drink or a bite to eat. I'm hoping to get a US phone number when I arrive so that you can Twitter away.

There will be regular updates both on the BLC07 blog and here, on edu.blogs.com. Don't forget to sign up for every video and blog post as it comes. If you want to keep track of my pics of the event you can subscribe to my Flickr stream (photo feed here) and view all the pics from the conference as a slideshow.


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Aha Ewan - Celtic connections :) don't forget the Welsh either (lol)have fun in Boston - I look forward to seing the vidcast.


You're coming to Boston at a great time of the year. I hope you have some time to check out the sites. I'll be looking forward to your updates.

Surely as a teacher you should know that we need to be told things several times before it sinks in! I am potentially extremely interested in what you have to say about 'We're adopting' because I may have a project where this would be useful but this time last year it wasn't terribly relevant to me because I was thinking more in terms of influencing individual teachers rather than whole institutions or even districts. It's also about timliness. The reason I may be interested is because such a lot has happened in the last year and we may be reaching a tipping point.

Hope the conference goes well; it looks an exiting agenda; I am taking up a new SMT post after summmer, where I shall have responsibility for developing the school's "e-community", and I have been reading what you, and other bloggers like Don and Ollie have been working on with great interest. My particular remit is the "ethos" of the school and over summer I shall be thinking of ways in which the concepts of learning communities, collaborative learning,etc can contribute to, and enhance the ethos of our school, for pupils, staff and parents. I look forward to following the details of the conference "remotely", here in Clarkston. Glasgow.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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