Okay, wow. Yesterday’s blog was random and unorganized. I can’t promise this will be much better, however, as I’m still really excited about all of the things I learned yesterday.
First, I’ll explain where we were. Helen and I, along with three other people from our district, went to the Tech & Learning forum in Austin, Texas. First, I loved that attendees received a notebook with all of the presentations’ PowerPoints, overviews from the presenters, and a place for our own notes. The only way it would have been easier would have been to have a wiki for us to take notes and share with others – oh wait – we had that, too!
The keynote was presented by David Jakes. His topic was “Making IT Stick.” What makes an idea more than just “new and fun” and something that has educational value. Wow. GREAT information. Here are the seven key points:
- There must be a high degree of organizational readiness for the innovation.
- The innovation must have multiple entry points for a spectrum of usership: each of these entry points must support effective use by teachers and students.
- The innovation must clearly address an instructional need, with benefits for both teacher and student.
- The innovation must add value to an instructional process.
- There must be visible and tangible results indicating that the innovation improves student learning.
- The technology has been taken out of the technology, or innovation,
- The teacher has become a confident, active, and visible user. Use becomes seamless and transparent.
These are great points to help evaluate what we’re using and if we’re using it effectively and how can make it more effective. David shared anectodes about modern concerts with cellphones, YouTube for education. He shared some incredible statistics on the growth different Web 2.0 applications. All I can say is, “Wow.”
After the keynote, most of my group went in different directions for the breakout sessions. I sent one with my iPod and mic as he was attending a session I wanted to sit in on, too. But I decided on another. So while he was learning about digital storytelling, I was learning about a technology immersion project. It was an interesting session, but I should have read the notes before picking it. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be and much better for someone more at the district level than me on a campus.
After lunch, we had roundtable discussions. I picked the table about iPods, GPS devices and other gadgets. I felt kind of pathetic as I had nearly every gadget that was described. But I was sitting next to my new gadget obessed friend, Heather and I felt at home. We talked a bit about using the gadgets in in education as well as some software applications to help with limitations – software to convert iPod video into other formats for example. It was a fun conversation and I could kick myself for not having any business cards with me. I shared my email and I hope my new friends write me here because I can’t wait to share!
The afternoon breakout session I selected was on Web 2.0 presented by David Warlick. Another Wow session that’s for sure. That’s the one I rambled on earlier. Truth is, I mostly wanted to post something quickly and watch it appear in HitchHikr. We’re definitely going to podcast about that site! This David talked about some things I’m already very familiar with (like aggregators and social bookmarking, for example) but I learned so much more. Like I didn’t know just how many different things you could aggregate – people’s bookmarks, web searches. And I have a long list of things I want to look at later. Here’s a list:
- Note sharing – I’d put “wiki” here but I mean more the value of sharing notes via a wiki interface.
I mentioned Innertoob during this conversation. Later, while I was reviewing the notes of others on David’s wiki, I saw someone had written Innertube. So I just went in and changed tube to toob. In HIS notes! Sweeeeet!
The conversations that this forum generated among ourselves was amazing enough alone. I can’t wait to search Technorati for more blogs on these topics and read others’ opinions. And I still have the other sessions to listen to. In fact, Helen was *not* at a boring session. Her sessions sounded just as exciting as mine and darn it – she didn’t record. I’m hoping her session was podcast. I’ll keep an eye out on HitchHikr from an update.
Now to sort through my thoughts and share with Helen and see what juicy bits we’ll share on the podcast…