‘LearningMan 2020’ will bring education, technology changemaking to virtual summer camp


The LearningMan tracks will be themed after real-world summer camp activities.

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Blend the playful atmosphere of a summer camp or festival with the spirit of educational and technological collaboration — and LearningMan 2020 is born.

The event, presented by ASU ShapingEDU, will convene a global community of faculty, students, learning designers, administrators and technologists to push the creative envelope for serving students and advancing learner success. Anyone from the education and technology world, even beyond ASU, can attend this virtual “summer camp.”

From July 20-27, LearningMan 2020 will be an education and technology changemaking event for all. Anyone from the education and technology world, even beyond Arizona State University, can attend this virtual summer camp-style event. Campers taking part will experience an experimental fusion of hands-on learning, storytelling and tech hacks by collaborating in interactive talks and working sessions based on daily tracks.

“In these tumultuous times, coming together as a community is more important than ever to learn, discuss and take action to improve education for all learners,” said Allison Hall, one of several ShapingEDU community leaders and director of learning experience transformation at ASU’s University Technology Office. “I'm looking forward to LearningMan 2020 to connect with colleagues, old and new, about how to bring the future of education into practice today.”

The LearningMan tracks, themed after real-world summer camp activities, will invite campers to:

  • “Flip” scary stories — sharing perspectives on how people have waded through the fear of starting something new and innovative. 

  • Take part in “arts and crafts” — creating better learning experiences and the best, inclusive practices of learning design is like working on a creative project.

  • Practice “(a)synchronized swimming” for the future of the digital campus, integrating a number of communication tools and technologies to rethink what digital immersion looks like.

  • Find new tech hacks in the camp “toolshed,” with hands-on workshops for emerging technologies.

  • Go on remote weekend nature walks, enjoy nightly community activities and spend time in virtual creative spaces for making and sharing.

These experiences, led by a cohort of camp counselors made up of education and industry leaders, will uncover best practices in learning design, educational technology tools and development, and emergent thinking — all with the shared mission for enabling student success in all of its dimensions.

Campers will self-select from each day’s multitude of sessions, taking place in a variety of digital communication and creative spaces both synchronously and asynchronously. Zoom, Slack, virtual reality and other platforms will be leveraged to keep the interaction moving.

A digital credential — a virtual patch like one earned for accomplishments at camp — for each of the daily tracks can also be earned by all campers, showcasing LearningMan’s own educational experience.

The pandemic has prompted a shift in what is possible for learning experiences, leveraging hundreds of years of pedagogical research along with new “remote resilience” findings. LearningMan 2020 seeks to create actionable solutions in the suddenly uncharted territory of the future of education.

“Higher education has reached a watershed moment,” said Emory Craig, ShapingEDU Innovator in Residence. “Buffeted by a global pandemic, the rapidly growing demands of a digital economy, changing needs of students, and innovative technologies such as VR and AI, the old paradigms for how we live, learn and work no longer apply. More than ever, we need this insightful community of dreamers, doers and changemakers who see every challenge as an opportunity to reinvent the future.”

LearningMan is also a gateway to the established community of practice of thousands of changemakers that is ShapingEDU. As the organizer of LearningMan 2020, ShapingEDU is also poised to advance its 10 actions to shape the future of learning.

Lead event sponsors include: Adobe, Slack, Workday and AWS, and Instructure. Corporate sponsors are Juniper Networks and Zoom, with more to come.

Register and find more information about LearningMan 2020.

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