Tuesday, December 30, 2008

EdTech Camp

So, call me crazy!  One of the ideas that I have been rolling around in my head over the past few weeks is to hold a EdTech Conference at Woodside High School, where I became the Vice Principal this past July.  Now, this conference wouldn't be massive like CUE, or intimate like a Monterey CLHS/CUE conference, but would be more like a collaborative experience for those people who are already innovators in the Educational Technology field.  I understand that many of the headliners, make their living this way, but I wanted to have something that would bring all of the innovators together in one place for three days and allow the group have some synergistic energy to tackle some of the issues surrounding EdTech and its implementation, or lack thereof in the schools of this country and around the world.
If you want to visualize it, think of a TED like conference or a FOO camp for just for those people working as innovators in the Educational Technology field.  The location is great as well, since Woodside High School is one mile from Sand Hill Road the cradle of Silicon Valley Venture Capital Firms and the weather during the Summer months is great.  San Jose and San Francisco are 25 miles away in opposite directions.

The idea came from a connection I had over the past year after having been a participant in the Google Teacher Academy (November '06) as an attendee and as a Lead Learner (June '08) and seeing the large whiteboard in the lobby at Google with all of the ideas on it and how employees were using their 20% time to create new and innovative projects that interest them, which have become new Google products.  The image stuck with me again last summer when I saw the movie 'Accepted,' where two High School seniors create a ficticious college to accept them and then create the college to keep the charade going.  What the students found out in the process was that they were more motivated to learn when the constraints placed on them by traditional educational institutions were removed.  Although it doesn't exactly fit, one of Clay Shirky's quotes comes to mind. "Social Tools don't create collective action, they merely remove the obstacles to it."

Attendance would be limited to 600, with 500 receiving invites and the other 100 being selected through an application process.  Participants would be responsible for their own travel and lodging.  The cost for attendees is $0.

Call me crazy?  Maybe crazy enough to make it work?


Diane E. Main, GCT NorCal 2006 said...

I wanna come play!!!!

Kathleen said...

you know we could model it like the programmers - who get together and program (e.g. Dev Party) only we'd party about innovation in education. I think something less formal and more relaxed - with an online component.

mhall said...

Great idea.

I want an invite. No. I NEED an invite!

Digital Teacher said...

A great idea! Especially needed as so often tech innovators do not have a chance to work with each other face-to-face. They are often busy teaching others tools and techniques. A conference like this would be most helpful and invigorating.