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EduCon 2.4 panel with the Notebook

By Timothy Boyle on Jan 23, 2012 06:57 PM

EduCon logoSamuel Reed and I are convening a conversation entitled "Teachers as innovators and social entrepreneurs" Sunday afternoon at EduCon 2.4.

EduCon is a conference that brings innovative educators from across the country to Philadelphia to learn from leaders at Science Leadership Academy, and from each other. Instead of conference sessions, attendees participate in engaging conversations. In addition to the two of us, our panel will include:

  • Anissa Weinraub, high school teacher and member of the Teacher Action Group,

  • Michele Mckeone, an autistic support educator and social entrepreneur of the startup Autism Expressed, and

  • Rashaun Williams, student at Science Leadership Academy and co-founder of the nonprofit Phresh Philadelphia.

It will be moderated by Notebook Web Editor Erika Owens and Swarthmore College Professor Cheryl Walker.

During the discussion, we will look at how in school districts across the country, innovation or changes to curriculum and pedagogy are being dictated from the top down. Often innovation comes in the form of a pre-packaged scripts developed by large educational companies.

We already started a conversation about teacher innovation and social entrepreneurship through a series of blog posts. The posts centered around exploring ways innovation and social entrepreneurial principles could improve teaching and learning in our struggling schools. We would like to extend this conversation to EduCon participants and beyond.

The purpose of this conversation is for educators to think about, and act upon, the conditions necessary for bottom up, educator-lead innovation. The goals for this discussion include:

  1. Crowdsourcing what places exist for teachers to meet and develop innovative curriculum and pedagogy.

  2. Answering the question "what makes these places successful?"

  3. Identifying capacities in each participant's area to start up such a place.

  4. Matching capacities to resources, who can help us, do we know what kind of help we need?

  5. Creating a virtual space that participants can access after the conference to share successes and find help with their endeavors.

While joining the discourse about those goals the audience will consider some of the following questions:

  • Who are the people in your professional posse who can help you support your innovative ideas?
  • How can you collaborate with others both face-to-face and online?

  • What are the challenges of promoting teacher innovation for school reform?

  • How do online networks promote or complicate teacher innovation ?

This conversation will be a kick off event for a planned Philly Teacher Innovation Meetup group that will provide a place for teachers to network, share ideas, and present innovative projects that could benefit a larger education community.

Please join us Sunday, 12:30-2 p.m. in Room 304. If you cannot be there in person or online, please leave your feedback below for us to consider in the discussion.

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Comments (4)

Submitted by Samuel Reed III on January 23, 2012 9:59 pm

Timothy looking forward to our conversation. Innovating and taking risk to engage students should be the norm in public schools.  I am really exited to share the floor/mic with Rashaun. A students' voice will make our conversation even richer.



Submitted by Erika Owens (not verified) on January 24, 2012 12:12 pm

I'm really looking forward to this too. Thanks so much to you and Timothy for organizing!

Submitted by Timothy Boyle on January 25, 2012 5:42 pm

 Had a really good meeting with Bainbridge House yesterday. Teased out some ideas on how schools can partner with external groups to provide innovative curriculia to students. EduCon would be a blast without leading a conversation, honored and so happy to get the chance and have you all on board. 

Submitted by Joe C (not verified) on January 26, 2012 9:57 am

I'm sorry that I won't be able to attend. I wish you guys luck and look forward to hearing about conversation.

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