Tag Archives: k12online2014

K12 Online Conference 2014

The K12 Online Conference has been occurring annually in the fall since 2006. In 2011, I did a presentation for the conference called Sharing Stories, Becoming Storytellers about my school’s Family Literacy Day Project.

I am excited to follow along with this year’s presentations. Today, they released the Pre-conference Keynote by Wes Fryer: Igniting Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Wes’ video presentation was centred around the metaphor of how do we spark creativity into a fire? Throughout the video he took the viewers through the process of building a roaring fire for a family campfire.  Guest videos about sparking learning were interspersed from children and teachers around the world.

I particularly enjoyed Amy Burvall’s segment where she described the process of innovation.

  1. spark: the initial idea
  2. curiosity: exploration
  3. curation:  gathering and providing examples of other’s work
  4. connection: finding like minded people.  – in person or online
  5. collaboration – also in person or online
  6. creation

I don’t think I’ve ever thought of innovation as a process before.  I love how Amy Burvall laid it out so clearly.



The theme of this year’s conference is Igniting Innovation. For two weeks, from Monday October 21 to Friday October 31, they will be releasing presentations each weekday at 8:00 am EDT in four strands: Stories for Learning, Games and Gamification, Passion Driven Learning, and STEAM. I am particularly interested in the Games and Gamification strand, and will likely follow it closely.

Here is the 2014 K12 Online Conference Schedule.  You can also follow them online on Twitter, Facebook and a video podcast channel in iTunesU.   The twitter hashtag is #k12online.

Oct 20, 2013

I was inspired by both of today’s presentations

6 Second Stories for Learning by Ben Wilkoff @bhwilkoff


I was awestruck that the bulk of this presentation was 103 six-second vine videos strung together.  But even more by the concept that some stories can be small– even just a moment.  This reminds me of the Small Moments stories we sometimes write in Primary grades.  See:


Game On: How Design and Play Impact Learning by Kevin Hodgson  @dogtrax


I loved how he compared his unit of creating video games as a grade 7 science unit to the time honored project of having students write their own picture books.  He also had some key slides showing how much of the curriculum is covered by creating games… not to mention developing social-collaborative skills, and problem solving skills.  He also had a key slide where he compared the writing process to the process of designing a video game and they are nearly identical.


#Gamifi_ED Networked Intergenerational Learning

This presentation described how a group of teachers and students have created an online project:  Gamified to explore how to use games in education.  The key take away is that it is an inquiry based project with collaborators from all over the world and the students and educators are all co-learners.


Digital Story Telling Through App Smashing

Caroline Doughty: @msdoughty2 is a 2nd grade teacher who uses “app smashing” to have her students create projects and inquiries.  She is doing some amazing things but it is not about “app smashing:– using more than one app to create a project.   It’s about inquiry.   App smashing is not some marvelous new thing.  We aren’t “app smashing” we have a drawing, text, and a skit in the same presentation– Just using a variety of tools.  The point for me is that whenever we are learning (or teaching) , we have an incredible palette of mediums that we can use.  I’ve been trying to impress on students and teachers that we have to foster the skill of choosing which medium (text, podcast, crayon, bitstrips, interpretive dance, etc…) is best suited for our message and our audience.


We Are All Connected

I greatly enjoyed this presentation just as a bit of documentary film making.  Tim’s video and photographs are a visual treat. He told a story of how he encountered graffiti from  a man on a fundraising walk across the US in an abandoned gas station in the Texas desert.  He took photos of the graffiti, then researched the man online.  He found his blog, from 2007, and wrote a blog post about it.  This led to the two of them connecting on line.

It’s a small world.  I myself have had dozens of this kind of small-world encounters over the past decade as a blogger, podcaster, audio book narrator, etc…   How can we provide this kind of connections for our students?

His core message was that with the internet we are all connected.  We need to reach out online and find the like minded educators.  I remember that at my first Podcamp in 2007, I was invited to perform at the evening concert- looking down at the audience full of podcasters, nerds, and geeks, I declared.  “I have finally found my tribe.”  As professionals, we need to find our place in a community of educators– in our school buildings, and in the world beyond.

Tim said, “We can choose to drive down the road by ourselves, or we can drive with our friends.  We are all connected. … I hope that you choose to connect- not only yourself, but your students and teaching.  I guarantee it’s worth the trip”.