This week I am attending NECC -- the National Education Computing Conference -- in San Diego, and I will be taking notes and gathering my ideas in this space. I am sitting in the ISTE-SIGTC (Special Interest Group for Tech. Coord). meeting, "The Role of Technology Leadership in a Changing Educational Landscape"
The Panel consists of David Warlick, Will Richardson, Tony Vincent, Thor Prichard, and John Hendron. Thor and John are new names for me -- I am not yet familiar with their work.
Tony shared his use of a "common" del.icio.us account that all teachers can subscribe to, and post links of interest, and then subscribe using an RSS catcher.
The discussion is revolving around the next "wave" of technology for education. Tony thinks it's the availability of online "applications" such as Google spreadsheet and Writely. Students and teachers who are limited by the "locked down" computers that have been placed in their hands, are finding online resources to do their work. Will says to check out http://techcrunch.com to learn about the apps that are coming out each week.
Tony shared a site called "secondlife" -- http://secondlife.com/ -- where you can create a character and "live" in a virtual world.
Thor says, We all love technology... why? He believes it can make our lives easier. It's about change... it's fundamentally less painful to do it the new way, instead of doing it the old way.
Will says that "everyday you have a professional development opportunity when you work with kids." There are a lot of opportunities to learn from our kids.
How do we convince parents that blogging and podcasting is safe? At Willowdale, Tony hosts a parent night to educate parents on the information. David says with the technology available, there can be parent nights every night.
Questions/commnets from the audience...
If teachers are expected to use these sites on their own time, when is their down time? Are we expecting too much of teachers? David mentioned that we are losing teachers because of the current "story" about what it is to be a teacher. Is the expectation that teachers spend their free time grading papers and working with these tools? He says we need to start talking about "Telling a Brand New Story" (BTW... his session is at 2 pm).
A quick summation from the panel...
David: told a story about a session in which he was live blogging during the presentation, and had several comments and conversations that were being carried on, one person was from Tasmania. Think of the possibilities for global communication in our classrooms.
Will: we are in a very disruptive moment now. Our classrooms will need to look and act differently. If we don't, we will become more irrelevant. It's going to get ugly, before it gets better. And, even with all that is available, there is still a digital divide.
John: We should not be engaging in the web 2.0 technologies because they exist. Think about the "sound" ways in which we know are ways to educate students. Then, look at how these tools can enhance or support these.
Thor: we are moving to an activity now to work with some of the online tools. He is taking us through del.icio.us. Bookmarks can be imported and tagged with popular terms. He demonstrated completing the registration process and how to add tags to websites that you bookmark. SIGTC is the tag that we can all use for websites we feel will be helpful to tech coordinators.
There is also a SIGTC "knowledge wiki" for notes, such as these from this morning's info:
Onto more learning ...
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