This is a copy of the email I sent to the OzTeachers mailing list, the largest mailing list for teachers in Australia. I have been a member of this list for over 10 years and have a good relationship with the community there.

Dear Colleagues,

I’d like to formally invite every member of OzTeachers to take part in the upcoming K12 Online Conference next month. I’d like to encourage you to take part, in a small way or a big way, in whatever way suits your current needs. The K12 Online Conference is a unique professional development opportunity for teachers to engage with ideas and technologies that are having a real impact on 21st century classrooms.

Some key points about the conference...
  • It’s Virtual – The entire conference is delivered as downloadable digital media via the Internet. You can can watch and listen without having to actually go anywhere to “attend”.
  • It is Global – Educators from all over the world will be taking part in the event. It will offer you a wonderful perspective on what teachers around the world are doing.
  • It’s Practical – The presenters are all practicing teachers who use these technologies with kids on a daily basis. Their workshops will give you tons of practical ideas.
  • It’s Live – The conference unfolds over two weeks, October 15-19 and October 22-26 of 2007, and will include a preconference keynote during the week of October 8. If you wish, you can take part in daily sessions as the are added to the website.
  • It’s Flexible – Every session is in the form of a savable presentation using some form of digital media. If you wish, you can pick and choose the parts that interest you and take part at your leisure.
  • It’s Permanent – The sessions will all be stored on the website for future reference. You can revisit them anytime. You can also look through last years sessions.
  • It’s Free – yes, free. There is no charge to be part of the event. Free is good.

You can find more information over at http://www.k12onlineconference.org

I really do encourage you to take a look at the site, put the date in your calendar and take part in some way during the two weeks of the event. Pick an area that you’d like to know more about and watch one of the videos, listen to one of the podcasts, read some of the conversations. Contribute. Get involved. You can take part as little or as much as you like. Engage with it in realtime or in your own time. Contribute actively or consume passively. It’s all good.

On a personal note, I “attended” last years conference. It was amazing. I came away with so many new ideas and it has made a big difference to the way in which I think about teaching in the new millennium, and to the networking I have been able to tap into. I watched and listened to many of the sessions. I even volunteered to help moderate a couple of the live events. This year I volunteered to be part of the organising team, because I really think this event has the potential to make a difference to what we do as teachers and I wanted to be part of that. But I thought Australia was seriously underrepresented last year and I’d like to do something about changing that this year.

Feel free to send this email on to your work colleagues. In the next week or so, the organising team will be distributing a printable flyer that can be placed on school noticeboards. When it is available, I would really appreciate it if you could print one and display it for your school staff to see. It’s the teachers who are not “plugged in”, who are not part of communities like OzTeachers, that are the ones we’d most like to reach with K12 Online. Anything you can do to help spread the word would be wonderful...

Thanks.