It is that time of year again…ISTE 2010 (formerly NECC) is kicking off today. I have just arrived in Denver for the big show and am waiting for my collegue to join me before leaving the airport to check-in. In usual fashion, there are flight delays (but not on my flight this time) that have given me additional time to get caught up on some blogs as well as a chance to watch (Yes…I did find a food place in the airport that was showing the knockout match between the USA and Ghana) the USA get knocked out of the World Cup. They played hard into overtime but in the end there were simply too many missed opportunities. Oh well…now it is Go Brazil!
So, what will this year’s conference bring? What will be the highlights…low lights and general “takeaways” from ISTE 2010? Leading into the conference, it seems that Twitter is off and running with both #iste and #iste10. I believe that the latter is the tag that will be most frequent this year. While I have not been able to attend the “un-conference” as I am still waiting at the airport, I do see from Twitter that there are some common threads. Some are familiar, some are new and some just make my head spin. For example, why is it that in today, the comment from Twitter that seemed to get some RT time was “when was the last time you took your class to a pencil lab?” I am wondering why this is even worth stating in today’s environment. However, I do understand as I have had similar conversations where people just don’t get it. Think about this…when asked to speak about how we can “allow” laptops into a school, the conversation becomes an hour and a half conversation of “convince me WHY they should be allowed”. With conversations like that taking place all across our educational community, it is no wonder that people feel the need to RT about the ridiculousness of a “Pencil Lab”.
Now, here is what I am hoping for:
- Conversations about big ideas rather than passing fads
- Dialogue that leads to personal and professional growth rather than discussions about tools.
- Exchanges about necessary changes rather than how to make old ideas work again
- Claims of fact being supported by data and research rather than sound bites that carry the day
- Learner centered conversations rather than school focused conversations
Now, I realize that this is a tall order but one can hope. While I have seen some hope with the early tweets from the un-conference, there are many that seem to fall into the category of “we are still taking about this?” OR “Why is this something that is important?” OR “HUH???. Here are a few examples:
- I’m just using my iPad here…Been using it all day and still have 45% battery left! Working well for note taking.
- Thinking about the possibility of the iPad as a 1:1 device in schools
- iPad can eliminate the need for printed textbook, can eliminating textbook help pay for the cost of the iPad?
- Ways to integrate technology on your own…
However, here are a few that seem to be headed in the right direction:
- Technology doesn’t improve education, it changes it…TEACHERS improve education
- iPad is a beautiful consumption device but not a creative device. Are we just teaching kids to consume and not create?
- Great readers always read w/the writer in mind & great writers always write w/the reader in mind. Do we model that?
- Be careful people, semantics is imperative for communication. It is not a triviality (response to series of tweets surrounding ideas equating PLN’s to COP’s)
Well, it appears we are off and running. This I can assure you…the next 4 days will be filled with some great conversations, debates and ideas. I just hope that they are of a quality that can really make a difference and help people and the profession grow. I do know this…I am looking to sharing my storytelling through digital threads session on Tuesday. Each time that I have done this, it seems to touch people in ways beyond my imagination and expectations. The power of story as captured and retold through social media and shared with the world in a way that can make a difference on someone’s life. That is my hope for my session and the conversations that will grow out of our time together. I will post more about this session later under a separate post. For now:
Twitter Goes to School: Telling Stories through Digital Threads
Tuesday June 29th
11:00am – 12:00pm
Location: CCC 405/406/407
Hope to see you there and as always, I invite comments and expanded dialogue about ideas shared in this blog post and others you might find.
So…without further delay…let the conference experience begin.