I had the pleasure of attending Educon 2.4 this weekend at the Philadelphia Science and Leadership Academy (SLA) and I was not disappointed. I went because I’m passionate about conversations on learning in today’s world and to gather ideas on how to organize a first-class learning experience. Graded will be hosting the Innovate 2013 Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil January 19 – 21, 2013 and our planning is underway. So, why is Educon such a great learning experience for participants?
- SLA truly is a special place where all members of the community have a common vision and they are focused on learning in today’s environment. There is a solid foundation in place and they are continually working on improvement. The learning is connected to today’s world, students work on real life problems, they create for a larger audience, and the community is tight. They are walking the walk.
- Educon attracts educators who are passionate about their work to make teaching and learning relevant for today’s students. The presenters are excellent and the participants take the conversations to a higher level. Everyone can be challenged during the weekend. Pretty amazing that so many leaders in this field attend since everyone pays their own way.
- The two panels were on Innovation and they brought in a diverse group of experts to present. The fact that the first six weren’t educators was plus. Imagine hearing from the following people.
- Dan Barcay – Lead Software Engineer, Google Earth
- Alex Gilliam – founder, Public Workshop
- Zoe Strauss – artist, photographer, innovator.
- C. J. Taylor – Professor, U. Penn GRASP Robotics Lab
- Phoenix Wang – Co-Founder, Startl
- Moderated by Dr. Frederic Bertley – Vice President of the Center for Innovation in Science Learning, The Franklin Institute
This type of opening was much better than having one person as a keynote.
- The structure provided participants with 90 minute sessions and time in between sessions for conversations. Friday was an excellent time for visiting the school and starting up conversations.
- Participants were eager to meet new faces and to develop relationships. This is not a conference for those who want to sit alone at lunch. You have to be prepared to mingle with new friends.
I have to thank the SLA Gang for creating this wonderful learning experience and we hope that the Innovate 2013 Conference can offer South American educators a similar experience.