Monday, May 30, 2011

June 1 - Panel Discussion on "Unschooling"

Join me Wednesday, June 1st, for a live and interactive Future of Education panel discussion on "unschooling." Our panelists are Clark Aldrich, Kate Fridkis, Monika Hardy, and Lisa Nielsen. We'll use Clark's recently-published book, Unschooling Rules, as the basis for the conversation. In particular, we'll look at the innovative methods of education that can be found in home-schooling and unschooling, and how those principles could be applied to public school settings.

From the Wikipedia article on Unschooling:  "Unschooling is a range of educational philosophies and practices centered on allowing children to learn through their natural life experiences, including child directed play, game play, household responsibilities, work experience, and social interaction, rather than through a more traditional school curriculum. Unschooling encourages exploration of activities led by the children themselves, facilitated by the adults. Unschooling differs from conventional schooling principally in the thesis that standard curricula and conventional grading methods, as well as other features of traditional schooling, are counterproductive to the goal of maximizing the education of each child."

Date: Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern / 12am GMT (next day--international times here)
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In Elluminate. Log in at The Elluminate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Elluminate, please visit Recordings of the session will be posted within a day of the event here.
Event Recording: The recording of the session will be posted here afterwards.  The LearnCentral event page is

Clark Aldrich is a global education thought leader, labeled a guru by Fortune Magazine.  His experience ranges from spending years working with children at a leading environmental education foundation to serving on boards of universities, of companies, and in the intelligence community.

Clark Aldrich is also one of the top educational game designers in the world, including the recent anti-doping game underwritten by the World Anti-Doping Agency.  His educational games are market leaders in their categories, use custom Artificial Intelligence systems, have been rigorously proven to drive long term desired changes in competence and conviction, and have been translated and deployed in dozens of countries and languages.  He is also a pioneer in educational games for deaf and blind students.

His projects have been award- and patent-winning and generated millions in revenue.  Aldrich is also the author of Unschooling Rules (Greenleaf, 2011) and four earlier books: Simulations and the Future of Learning (Wiley, 2004), Learning By Doing (Wiley, 2005), The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games (Wiley, 2009), and Learning Online with Games, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds (Wiley, 2009).

Aldrich's work has been featured in hundreds of sources, including CBS, ABC, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, NPR, CNET, Business 2.0, BusinessWeek, U.S. News and World Reports. Clients (past and present) include Harvard Business School Publishing, Cisco, Microsoft, Department of Defense, Full Sail University's Master of Educational Media program, Center for Army Leadership, HP, Shell, GM, UPS, McDonald's, and the National Security Agency. He was also the Governor's representative on Connecticut's Joint Committee on Educational Technology.

Clark Aldrich founded and serves as the Managing Partner of Clark Aldrich Designs to enable new results from education.  Clark Aldrich and his colleagues work with corporate, military, government, and academic organizations balancing both strategic and hands-on work.  Previously Aldrich was the founder and director of research for Gartner’s online learning analysis. He graduated from Brown University with a degree in Cognitive Science, and earlier in his career worked on special projects for Xerox' executive team.

Lisa Nielsen is best known as creator of The Innovative Educator blog and Transforming Education for the 21st Century learning network. Lisa is an outspoken and passionate advocate of learning innovatively. She is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and for providing a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen also writes for Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, and Leading & Learning and is the author of the soon- to-be-released book, Teaching Generation Text.  Most recently Lisa has been exploring the possibility of applying unschooling pedagogy in a school environment.

Based in New York City, Ms. Nielsen currently serves as an educational administrator. She has worked for more than a decade in various capacities helping schools and districts to educate in innovative ways that will prepare students for 21st century success. You can follow her on Twitter @InnovativeEdu.  )Disclaimer: The information shared does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.)

Kate Fridkis recently received a Master's from Columbia University. She writes for HuffPo and AOL's, blogs at Eat the Damn Cake and Un-schooled, and is the lay cantor at a synagogue in central NJ. She loves bagels.

Monika Hardy is facilitating a district innovation lab 2010-2011, where students are creating projects/courses per passion.  More about Monika's work is at and

Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education