Tag Archives: Jeff Utecht

My Full Circle Moment.

Learning2 was recently held for the first time in Europe.

I was lucky enough to work with my Director of Technology, Stephen Reiach, to organize and host this conference at our school.

And, for me, having this conference happen, at my school, was the completion of something I’d had my eye on for a long time.

You see, close to three years ago, I started campaigning to bring #learning2 to Europe and ASM.



So picking Jeff up from the airport was really a full circle moment for me.


#fullcircle Caitlin and me with Jeff. ASM's 2 CoETaIL graduates.

Caitlin and me with Jeff.
ASM’s 2 CoETaIL graduates.

I’m still high on all the emotions that have been a part of this conference.

I had a chance to work with some amazing people. The Learning2 Leaders we selected simply blew my mind. They were all so personable, warm and friendly. I have such great memories from our week together.

omg. these people. #thebest

omg. these people. #thebest

I’m ready to do it all again.

Ok, maybe without dealing with the hotels and buses.

Some #learning2 lessons learned…

  • The pink shirt crew was so amazing. I mean, really. I’m thankful for all the kind feedback our team received. We worked hard and I think it paid off.
  • I want to be Paula’s¬†shadow, following her around, soaking up all her amazing-ness and warmth. Since Paula is at UWCSEA and both Tricia and Jocelyn are headed there next year, it must be a great place to work and learn. Keeping that one on my radar.
  • A good hotel three years ago might not be a good hotel now.
  • Strong wifi keeps everyone happy.
  • Delegate, delegate, delegate. I should have done this more.
  • Probably don’t ask to do a Learning2 talk while you are the conference organizer. This was close to being the one thing that nearly sent me over the edge. I’m proud of the talk I gave, but it was a lot to ask of myself at that moment.
me. on stage. #terrifying

me. on stage. #terrifying

  • If Simon is around, be sure to have plenty of coffee and prosecco on hand.
  • Mark is completely incapable of a normal photo.
  • Keeping a beard free of food and bits is a tough job, one I learned from watching Marcello eating gelato. (If you haven’t met this guy, you must!) #coetailoriginalonlinecohort
  • Student workshops and speakers are the best! I mean, have you seen Scintilla’s talk? But be selective in choosing your speakers and presenters. Jeff’s wise words of wisdom for identifying speakers included, “You almost have to pick the kid that school doesn’t work for.”
  • People drink a lot of COFFEE. Our security guard sure spent a lot of time at the coffee stand. Or was that because of the girl serving the coffee. Hmmmm.
  • Everyone loved the chocolatier and his chocolates, especially our Filippo!

Things I learned, but really already knew:

  • Learning2 is an amazing conference.

If you didn’t make it to Learning2.016 in Milan this year, mark your calendars for Warsaw next April.

You won’t want to miss it!

Did you love the music at Learning2? DJ Panther, two of the awesome pink shirt crew, put together these tunes, which I’ll link below!

Playlist 1

Playlist 2

Were you at Learning2 in Milan? Favorite moment? Or take away?

Learning 2.015 Manila

Last week I was lucky enough to have the chance to attend Learning2 at the International School of Manila.

Almost a week has gone by and I’m still wow’ed by the thoughts running through my head.

What’s at the top of the list?

Sam Sherratt’s talk on breaking free from the molds that we all find ourselves stuck in: schedules, what a ‘teacher’ is, the school itself. He drew all his own visuals (I think in the Paper app for iPad) and they were amazing.

And I’m still thinking about what he said.

And thinking about how I can break free of the molds around me.

It makes me think that moving to Asia to work isn’t a bad idea.


Listening to both Jeff and Kim speak is always a highlight. They are both so passionate about education and the direction we should be heading.

Kim focused on rethinking our perceptions of social media in a classroom and allowing our students to use those platforms to share their learning. She says, “We can empower our students to build communities around ideas that matter to make a difference in our world today.”


Jeff questioned, “What do we need to replace because it’s 2015?” He went on to wonder why any 2nd grader is learning about maps on paper, since no one uses that format any longer. It’s a really good question. Shouldn’t we be teaching the students how to navigate Google Maps on the devices so that they are learning the modality they’ll use in real life?


Towards the end of his talk he mentioned the idea that all international schools want to be a “leading” school, but also ask for the research behind a new idea he might present. Jeff stipulated that leading schools don’t follow the research, they create it.

I had never looked at it like that before.

But it is so true.

And thought provoking.

I wonder how many school directors will take the time to really think about that idea.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the conference was the role the students played. They were active in several workshops I attended and two high school students lead a workshop on Makey Makeys that I was blown away by. High school students leading a room full of teachers. They had great visuals and plenty of hands-on activities.


Many adults could take a few lessons from these students.

And now, I sit in my desk in Milan, exactly six months in advance of the Learning2 conference in Milan.

It’s going to be awesome!

But there’s still a long way to go between here and awesomeness!

Time to get back to work!


We hope you’ll join us for Learning2 in Milan April 7-9, 2016!


ISTurin Presentation Links

Tomorrow I’m presenting at the International School of Turin. They’re putting on a technology conference as part of their 50th Anniversary celebration and they’ve brought in the one and only Jeff Utecht as the keynote speaker. It’s a small conference, but I’m pleased to have been offered a spot presenting by Greg Read, Head of ICT, after meeting him this summer at the Apple Distinguished Educator Institute in Cork, Ireland.

My presentation is entitled “Connecting Students Globally.” Here’s my Google Doc of resources I’m sharing with the attendees.