Monday, November 26, 2012

Ambitious Experiment in Educational Innovation to Take Place in Sacramento

Sacramento, CA, November 26, 2012—  They had a simple idea: Find a brilliant mix of innovative people from different professions. Get them together in one space for a day. Invite teachers, EdTech visionaries, hackers and entrepreneurs and encourage them to work on ideas, partnerships, networks, even businesses with the goal of jump starting the economy and revolutionizing education. Call it the “Education Supercollider (Un) Conference” and  give yourself 40 days to make it happen.

“The experiment,” according to The Education Supercollider co-founders Lee Chazen and Charles Van Norman, “is to see if this mix collides in such a way as to produce positive results. For example, the Bay Area is rife with EdTech startups; can the same phenomenon also start and thrive in cities like Sacramento?”

In order to encourage innovation and interaction (often missing from traditional conferences) the event will be based on an “un-conference” format allowing for break-out sessions, spontaneous question and answer periods and “action pitches.” The event will also feature an impressive lineup of innovators and educators, including robotics expert and CEO of Barobo, Graham Ryland, former member of the Google Goggles Team, Dr. Alex Terrazas and innovation expert and former stand-up comic Allen Fahden.  

Adding to the diversity of speakers, the Un-Conference will offer talks by Allan Katzen, owner and operator of Sacramento's Game Truck, "the world’s first mobile video game theater franchise," social entrepreneur and civic innovator Ash Roughani and Andrew Lee, Chief Innovator and Co-founder at iHomeEducator®.

But, in between speakers, it’s anybody’s game! Participants will host their own sessions, and multiple conversations and presentations will go on throughout the day for anyone to wander into and out of. It will be slightly chaotic, and, according to Chazen and Van Norman, “that’s actually the point -- too much structure can stifle creativity and innovation because there is no room to grow. Attendees are encouraged to contribute to the process, instead of just being spoon-fed other people’s ideas and experiences.”

In fact, it is this very problem; the lack of interactivity and engagement with information, that Education Supercollider is targeting.  If the classroom, or any organization for that matter, is too top heavy and rigid, people get bored and feel ineffective. But, open this process up, allow humans to be their natural inventive and curious selves, and everything changes. Classrooms where students are co-creators of the learning experience are much more fun and effective.

The event will take place on Friday, November 30 from 9 to 5 p.m. at Hacker Lab, Sacramento’s newest co-working, bootstrapping and startup space. The Education Supercollider (Un) Conference is sponsored in by The Education Now 2012 Symposium and iHomeEducator, Inc..

For tickets and more information, please see: Eventbrite (Un) Conference Tickets

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