Below are the letters required for submitting for the USDLA 2011 Leadership in Distance Learning Program Administration.
Please also see the blog posts and reviews on the REVIEWS
At the bottom of this page are, first, screenshots of the scheduling as it looked to a participant in a particular time zone during the conference; and second, how the Google calendar of all events looked.
Steve Hargadon is a visionary leader in the area of education and specifically in the use of emerging technologies to create communities of learning. He worked tirelessly on the development and implementation of the Global Education Conference while maintaining very clear ideas of how this should work globally. In addition he is a great communicator and has a much coveted ability to work with others and inspire commitment and change to support better practices in education. I have no hesitation in recommending him for an award as I believe he is an outstanding leader, a compassionate visionary, and a global citizen with an astute perspective for what the future should look like now.
Chair of Academic Advisors, Global Education ConferenceMA (Music), MA (ETL), ADE
Beijing (BISS) International School
February 1, 2011
1st February, 2011
To whom it may concern
This document attests to the outstanding, visionary and innovative leadership in distance learning as demonstrated by Steve Hargadon.
Four years ago I joined Classroom2.0 (http://classroom20.com
) an online social networking site, created by visionary Steve Hargadon, aimed specifically at connecting global educators, enabling them to network, share learning and innovative teaching ideas/experiences, and bring about transformation of education with technology. When I joined there were 3000 members. Today there are 52,497 members bearing testimony to the success that this global classroom has had.
However, first, let me introduce myself. I am Anne Mirtschin, a secondary teacher in south east Australia, at a small, rural prep to year 12 school- Hawkesdale P12 College. My school is culturally and geographically isolated with no mobile phone service, situated in a small town of 150 residents where 98% of students are bussed in to school from outlying farming areas and small feeder towns. Through my membership of classroom2.0, I have made some fantastic contacts who have worked with me in virtual teams, shared global, collaborative projects, taught me and my students how to use some of the web2.0 tools. Learning is empowered in my classroom. My students have been part of amazing innovative events that have connected them to many students and classes around the world egRussia, Asia, Europe, Middle East, USA, Canada, New Zealand etc. My students and I are no longer isolated but at the centre of the globe allowing us to learn anywhere, anyhow and anytime.
Steve makes himself available during his waking hours through chat on Classroom2.0, skype, gtalk etc and is always ready to mentor, answer queries, solve issues and help us learn together. Through his association with Elluminate, Steve has worked tirelessly via Learncentral (http://learncentral.org
) to enabling educators access to a free individual virtual room for their own use, plus a bigger conferencing room where free, online webinars can be held for any number of people interested in teaching and learning. Several times a week, Steve sends out emails alerting global members of his many networks to the webinars being offered, including his popular series “The Future of Education”. This means that no-one is disadvantaged by time, distance and cost. Those interested in education simply need access to a computer and the internet to join in these webinars, ranging from discussions, presentations to student summits. These webinars are accessible to the globe allowing educators from any country to participate. If time zones are a problem, these sessions are recorded for future reference. Steve encouraged Carole McCulloch and myself to organise an “Australia Series” in elluminate, in Australia friendly times. To our surprise, we have had a global presence for our popular webinars, including participants from Iceland, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, China etc as it is a friendly time for them as well. These participants have come from all tiers of education, sharing many conversations.
In September 2010, the impossible became possible when Steve co-founded and organized the amazing Global Education Conference (http://globaleducationconference.com
). This conference ran for 6 days, 24 hours a day with presenters, keynote speakers and students from all over the world coming together in the virtual classroom to share their learning. Prior to the conference a vast network of mentors, moderators and presenters etc were setup under Steve’s direction to ensure that all went well and enable as many countries as possible to be represented from all tiers of education. There were cross education strands, including a student strand. This also ensured that the learning and networking would continue beyond the conference.
One of the most inspirational sessions that I attended in the Global education Conference, was one from Kenya, where four teachers from that impoverished African nation, using the English language, shared a laptop (the only one they had access to) to tell us proudly in elluminate, not only of the challenging conditions for learning and teaching in Kenya, but also how they had connected students to classes in Canada and USA using videoconferencing and this one laptop. Their moderator was in the USA and their participants in a number of continents.
As part of the global conference, my students participated in the Flat Classroom Project Student Summit with Julie Lindsay’s class from Beijing, China. These classes shared their learning, mentored each other, sought advice from each other in the presence of global teachers and community members who were part of their virtual classroom – a highlight of the year for my class! These students will make responsible digital and global citizens due to their experiences and thanks to the efforts of Steve Hargadon. Throughout this conference, Steve was always available, even in my Australian daylight hours (which are opposite to USA) to help the presenters, moderators and participants with any issues/problems ensuring things were okay and running smoothly.
Back to my classroom - the processes that Steve has put in place for networking and for global interactive education, means that my students have shared cultures, customs, opinions etc using many different online tools with classes from Asia, Europe and USA in both synchronous and non-synchronous time. My year 11 computer class has linked up with a Malaysian class, where English is their second or third language, using elluminate. On a Tuesday morning, 11:30am our time for 5 weeks in 2010, we would meet in elluminate and work as one class sharing ideals, knowledge, cultures, countries finding many similarities etc. They shared a whiteboard, chat, audio, emoticons and interacted/learnt from/with each other. It has also meant that parents from my school have been able to meet virtually in elluminate, using the room through Learncentral, with our and a number of our school staff sharing the learning that has gone on in our school and classrooms.
Steve Hargadon is a man with an amazing g vision for education. But this vision is being put into practise achieving outcomes that many would say is impossible. Learning can take place across any distance using the technology that Steve has set in place and encouraged us, the global educators, to use with innovation.
Hawkesdale P12 College
http://murcha.wordpress.com skype: anne.mirtschn
Microsoft Innovative Teacher of the Year, Victoria 2008
Australian Excellence in Teaching Award 2009
Victorian Information Technology Teachers Association Outstanding Secondary Teacher of the Year 2010