Wednesday, November 30, 2011

#K12Online11 - Telling My Story

I've participated in the K12 Online Conference every year for the last handful of years.  I look forward to this online conference each year, as there is a wealth of information posted on a daily basis that's free for the taking.

While I've worked alongside several of the people who make this virtual conference happen every fall, I've never done more than subscribe to the presentation feed in iTunes and catch most of the presentations each year.  I know many people who have presented and keynoted K12 Online Conference strands over the last five years, and this year I felt as though participating from the sidelines just wasn't enough.

When asked if I'd submit something for the 'Story Time' strand for this year's conference, I jumped at the chance.  I spent many hours thinking about what I'd present & how I'd share.  I had all kinds of great ideas for an innovative presentation that would challenge me and inspire those who took the time to sit through my presentation.

Then, all of a sudden, the K12 Online Conference was upon us and my session wasn't complete.  Having taken on too many projects this fall, I was forced to just "git 'er done" instead of creating the kind of presentation that I had envisioned.

Although my first time presenting in this amazing conference didn't turn out the way that I had initially envisioned, I'm still happy with my submission.  I don't know that anyone will walk away from this presentation thinking 'that was absolutely spectacular', but I do think that the folks who take the time to watch my presentation will be inspired by the idea of celebrating the little things that happen in their classrooms and schools on a daily basis.

We are shaped by our experiences, as are our students.  If you're willing to take the time to watch "When Learning Becomes An Event", you'll find that it's all about living in the moment - capturing and highlighting the learning experiences that are occurring all around us.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

An Arctic Adventure

In exactly 24 hours, I'm hopping on a little plane to fly from Winnipeg up to Churchill, Manitoba. While I've lived in Manitoba over half of my life, I've never had the opportunity to travel this far north before. Not only will this be my first time visiting Churchill, but the way that I get to take in the tundra will be very different than the way most people get to experience northern Manitoba.

I've been asked to join Polar Bears International and Edmodo to assist with facilitating several days worth of webinars and video conferences. I'll be working alongside a panel of world-renowned scientists and researchers as they study polar bears in their natural habitat. We'll be witnessing, first-hand, the impact of global climate change as polar bears congregate along the shores of Hudson Bay to await the formation of the sea ice.

I know that there will be a lot of 'work' to do as this adventure unfolds, but this really is work worth celebrating! Connecting with hundreds of classrooms around the world to answer the questions of teachers and students alike. Connecting with zoos and universities to provide real-time updates about what we're seeing during this year's fall polar bear migration. And capturing every aspect of this adventure through lenses so that all of the details can be archived.

The morning after I arrive in Churchill, our team boards Tundra Buggy One - this is the same vehicle that streams live video of polar bears over the web via The Polar Bear Cam.  We'll roll about 40km over the icy tundra toward Cape Churchill.  This is where we'll find Tundra Buggy Lodge, a series of Tundra Buggy's that have been converted to a portable base camp that our team will call home for a few days.  Between Tundra Buggy One and Tundra Buggy Lodge, there will be nothing but a thin sheet of metal separating me from dozens of polar bears in the wild.

This is sure to be an adventure that you'll want to follow as it unfolds.  I've set up a website so that I can share my stories, pictures and videos as they are captured.  If you want to feel as though you're right by my side aboard Tundra Buggy One & Tundra Buggy Lodge, you'll want to check out Chilling with Nanuq

I hope you'll follow along :-)