EdTech Conference and Unconference Next Week

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Kamehameha Schools is hosting three days of learning, sharing, and networking for local educators next week. While organized by the Kamehameha Schools Information Technology Division, the two events are open to a wider community.

“The conference is open to Hawaii educators — public, private, preeschools to higher education,” says organizer Alan Tamayose, a senior instructional technology specialist at Kamehameha Schools. “We’ve even had people from industry and deciding to check it out, and they came and they were able to contribute and give a lot of nice perspectives and resources.”

The first day, Monday, is a free afternoon unconference. KSUNconference 2015 is an open, participant-driven event where the focus is on conversations, not presentations — a format that Kamehameha School’s Information Technology Division first tried in 2013.

Just about any topic can be tackled at an unconference (although vendor pitches are strictly forbidden), so whether you’re an education technology specialist or just a teacher curious about new tools (or eager to share your passion for one), you’re invited to register online and join the fun.

Things get a tad more serious over the next two days with Kūkulu Kaiaulu 2015, a formal education technology conference. There will be speakers and presenters, including both teachers and students from schools like Punahou and Iolani as well as Kamehameha Schools.

The program runs from all day on both Tuesday and Wednesday, June 9 and 10, and there are breakout sessions covering topics like coding and game-based learning, mobile learning, project-based learning, learning spaces, collaboration and creativity.

The keynote speaker is Stephen Ritz, a teacher and school administrator from the South Bronx who became nationally renown for the Green Bronx Machine, incorporating organic gardening into student learning. He tells his story in this TEDxManhattan talk:

Without a doubt, hearing his story in person will be even more compelling. And inspired in part by TED Talks, there will be a “soapbox” session where a number of subject matter experts will share their passions with the crowd.

Next week’s unconference and conference, both taking place at the Neal Blaisdell Center, are just the latest in a series of edtech events put on by the Kamehameha Schools IT team this year, following the EdTech Mashup I wrote about in January. For more information, visit the Kamehameha Schools Education Technology Services blog.

You can hear Tamayose preview the KSUNconference and edtech conference on yesterday’s episode of Bytemarks Cafe on Hawaii Public Radio, an interview from which some of this post was drawn.

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