The planning team has collated all of the feedback from this year’s participants and organized each of our three days together into the following big themes:
Thursday: Pre-Conference: Coding
During the pre-conference (agenda here), we’ll have a team of students learning how to program using Raspberri Pi and Scratch, with Yohei Yasukawa and his team, organized by Robert Duckworth. CANVAS, a Japan-based NPO, is providing sets of Raspberri Pi, monitors, and extension materials for their workshop. Once the students have had a chance to explore, they’ll join the participants for a debrief and discussion about their experiences. Also during Thursday’s session, we’ll have some unconference time, a chance to debate the pros and cons of teaching coding in schools, some participant requested session discussions and a full-day wrap up. Thursday evening will be our lovely conference dinner at Brasserie Artisan.
Guest Speaker: Yohei Yasukawa
Founder of Okinawa.rb (Okinawa Ruby User Group), organizer of CoderDojoTokyo/Okinawa, and contributor to OpenSource Cafe. For his enthusiastic contribution to open source communities, such as translating Rails Tutorial into Japaneseand Ruby Hacking Guide into English, he is selected as Super Creator by IPA and as one of Ruby Prize Award nominees by Ruby Association. He runs YasuLab, a small distributed company located in Okinawa/Tokyo/California, publishes many products such asWhistle on Android and ScreenX TV, and teaches students what he learns from such projects at Lexues Academy. Links: GitHub, Twitter.
Friday: Day 1: Design Thinking
On the first official day of the conference (agenda here), we’ll explore the concept of design thinking. We’ll start our conversations with a Skype call with Trung Le, organized by Mike Boll, and continue on to some team-based challenges using the design thinking process, facilitated by Heather Dowd. All #beyondlaptops teams will have time during this day to discuss and strategize about challenges that are facing their specific school. The design thinking model will provide a framework for addressing those challenges in a productive and focused way. In addition to our fantastic guest speaker, and focused team time, another group of students will join us for an afternoon of conversation around the purpose and focus of schools.
Guest Speaker: Trung Le
Trung Le is a pioneer of Cannon Design’s education practice and has an incessant energy and passion for learning. Le is widely recognized as an advocate for incorporating multiple intelligences and learning styles in the design of education environments. As the lead designer for Cannon Design’s education group, he creates spaces that encourage student inquiry and imagination and offer students a sense of what it means to be a part of a global community.
Le’s work has yielded awards from the Chicago, Illinois and national chapters of the American Institute of Architects during his 20 years at Cannon Design. Le’s projects have been published in such periodicals as Architectural Record, Contract Design and Edutopia. His recent collaboration with Bruce Mau resulted in the publication The Third Teacher, a cabinet of wonders on how design can transform the ecology of learning. Le leads The Third Teacher + of Cannon Design. The Third Teacher+ is a multidisciplinary design think tank that treats the future of teaching and learning as a living question. The Third Teacher + team includes educators, architects, anthropologists, design strategists who actively reimagine the future of learning through the design Process.
Saturday: Day 2: Creativity & Remix
Our last day together (agenda here) will be a hands-on exploration of remix in video format. Participants will film their thoughts about the event on the preceding days, and then we’ll spend time together remixing that content to create unique trailers or recaps of #beyondlaptops to share with our respective schools upon return. This experiment will be inspired by a Skype conversation with Kevin Honeycutt and Ginger Lewman, organized by Heather Dowd. We’ll wrap up the day by sharing our school-based solutions designed by each team on Friday, as well as a preview of the remixed videos.
Guest Speaker: Kevin Honeycutt
Kevin grew up in poverty and attended school in many cities across the United States. As he witnessed education around the country he collected powerful experiences that still influence his conversations and his work with educators. He spent 13 years teaching art K-12 in public school and for 17 years spent summers leading creative adventure camps for kids of all ages. In 1991 he received the Making IT Happen Award which is an internationally recognized awards program for educators and leaders in the field of educational technology integration in K–12 schools. The program identifies and rewards educational technology leaders around the world for their commitment and innovation.
Guest Speaker: Ginger Lewman
I am an education consultant with ESSDACK, an educational service center in Hutchinson, Kansas and I specialize in Project Based Learning, Technology Integration, Gifted and High-Ability Learners, and Creativity. I am formerly the Director of Turning Point Learning Center’s f2f Program where, for half a decade, I worked to create the LifePractice Model. At TPLC, we created a rich learning environment utilizing Project Based Learning and 1:1 laptops with a Democratic approach to learning. Online networks have been the key to making it work!