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What kind of conversations do we want to be having?

We have recently committed to join a partnership of schools that lead  “Laptop Institutes.”  In collaboration with ASB, The Lausanne Laptop Institute and The American School of the Hague,  Graded School will serve to offer learning opportunities in South America, fostering thoughtful practice of technology in schools.  Yesterday was the first planning meeting to compile a to-do list before handing over the tasks to the committed group of faculty that will make it happen.

Lots of pieces fell into place quickly – recommendation of dates, key events, suggestions for speakers, and structure of the conference all seemed to rise to the top gracefully… until we got to theme and name.  Admittedly, this dialogue around theme brought me face to face with the challenge I see with implementing a 1:1 program. I think we’ve all heard that “it’s not about the technology” enough times to mutter it in our sleep (or at least I’ve been told that I’m muttering it in my sleep).  But so much of the international dialogue remains rooted in technology and digital tools.  I miss talking about quality work  not quality tools,  exploring  “Good Work”, and nurturing character, not just digital citizenship.

The good news is I don’t believe these conversations are mutually exclusive — and the really good news is that even though the conference will be a pile of work, it gives us the opportunity to control the conversation at our school, and potentially in the region.  To talk as much about the power of reflection and inquiry in a classroom, with or without the digital tools to support it… to speak to the art of living skillfully and thinking with precision… of intellectual endurance. This is our opportunity to craft a learning experience that fosters the conversations we want to be having. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

Conference Dates: January 19-21 2013