Saturday saw the enthusiastic Web 2.0 bloggers all gathered together at the EdubloggerCon, prior to the official launch of NECC the following day. It’s impossible to cover what we learned that day, but it is certain that the whole experience of this unconference was amazing. The first thing was seeing so many bloggers in one place at one time ‘in the flesh’.
Everyone had their wow moment – but for me the opportunity to say ‘hello’ to Ewan McIntosh was very cool, as was the chance to catch up with Will Richardson, meet up with Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davies. The list was long, and consequently the value of the sessions during the day were equally interesting. Catch the reports and feedback at the wiki.
These people can all be found at some time or another at the Bloggers’ Cafe – hub of all things fantastic and innovative. The Cafe features a live feed via Summarize of twitter feeds – just totally amazing to see the activity going on throughout the conference, and the concurrent reporting unavailable as as a result….and this before the actual launch of the conference! You can pick up the feed yourself at the Summize NECC.
As part of our Study Tour we have the opportunity to take part in a number of briefings. This morning we met with Kieth Kruger from CosN. Keith mentioned some of the following:
People who advocate for investment in technology have over-promised. That transformational uses of technology happens when leadership is inspired. Technology stages have three cycles. First wave – technology infrastructure. Second wave is really around applications and professional development. Third is about standing back and asking what it is we can do with technology that will change what it is we are doing. We need to focus on teachers, but what COsn focuses on what it is that needs to be done to transform leadership. Do policy makers ‘get it’! The biggest challenge for integrators of technology is the lack of vision of those in leadership positions. 90% of superintendents ‘run away’ from technology. The trick is to capture the leadership by exploring the big educational problems – and exploration of whether or not technology has something to offer in this area. Technology has changed the role of superintendents to communicate with their community. And we need new pedagogy and assessment – to reflect on the lives of students outside of school. We need new ways of delivering professional development. In all these contexts school districts need to change in the way the work and operate within education.
ISTE Leadership Forum
Now on Sunday and we have had the opportunity to take part in the ISTE Leadership symposium. Again, much to learn and very interesting to see the leadership of this organisation. At this morning’s session (after a sumptuous breakfast) we spent time exploring ISTE’s Educational Technology Standards for Students (ISTE NETS) – the next generation.
These standards are created under the following headings:
- Creativity and Innovation
- Communication and Collaboration
- Research and Information Fluency
- Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision-making
- Digital citizenship
- Technology Operations and Concepts
We had the opportunity to listen to key thought leaders, and four super-star teachers, amongst whom is Julie Lindsay, well known in the blogosphere for her work in the Horizon Project.
We broke into groups to look at some great practice in action. The aussies were very pleased to support and learn more from Roland Gesthuizen about use of drama and hand puppet theatre as a way of teaching technology values.
We were also delighted to meet Peggy Sheehy from Ramapo! Man, was it exciting to hear somebody talking about the same thing that we have been talking about in terms of the vital role that Second Life can place in our mainstream curriculum. Frankly, this conference is way cool!
Back in the bloggers cafe, and we just kept on meeting with more and
more wonderful folks!
Dean and I chatted with Paul Harrington.
After that we went off and had lunch with Ewan McIntosh. Terrific, four different accents around one food table in San Antonio. Everyone is here, and the twitter feed keeps us up to date with ‘breaking news’ at ISTE!