BLC08 – My Next Steps in Learning

by Jean Tower

The Building Learning Communities conference (July 16 – 18) (BLC08) has been very good. Keynotes Ewan McIntosh and John Davitt were excellent – funny, informative, and challenging my thinking. I attended several quality breakout sessions; I took notes and thought about how I would share what I have learned when I get back to my school district. At a breakout session today, Ewan McIntosh challenged the attendees – he asked us all to write down, by the end of the conference on Friday, the next steps for our own learning as inspired by the conference.
Good one. I was already dealing with mild cognitive overload from attending NECC, which had more vendor displays and breakout sessions than any person could wish for, and BLC08 has only served to increase the buzz, not clarify it. I think Ewan’s suggestion to map my own learning may be a good way to begin to process the conferences. To keep it manageable, I’ll stick to four items in my list.
First big thing I need to learn: I am in a new school district after 16 years in a single district. That means that the most important thing I need to learn is what is happening in my new district (regarding teaching, learning, and technology). I then need to find out what obstacles teachers perceive are limiting their own use of technology.
Second: I have many ideas about what is meant by “21st Century Skills” and there are many resources on the web telling us what others think those skills are. I need to learn how to distill this down into a meaningful list, with the help of my school community, so we can decide what we can manage to take on from that list – what can we accomplish this year? Next year?
Third: I have no idea how to “infect” my fellow administrators with the sense of urgency I feel around this. I will continue to research and reach out to others for ideas on how to do this.
Fourth: I will find out more about: Digital Buffets, wikified research papers, the innovative blogger, bebo, two stars and a wish, cmap tools, and configuring my wordpress blog (it’s not quite where I want it yet).
Whew – what a list. It’s going to be a busy year.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Liz Davis July 18, 2008 at 9:06 pm

Welcome to the edublogosphere! I’m adding you to my Reader! I look forward to your future posts. Where are you going next? (I was a finalist for your old job.) I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet you at the conference.

You have a great list of next learning steps. Here are a few of mine.
1. Pull my thoughts together about the conference and write about them in my blog.
2. Learn Alice so I can teach a class on gaming next year at my new school (Belmont Hill).
3. Update my tutorials book so that it includes some more tools.


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