July 7, 2011

ISTE Debrief: Don’t Hide the Internet from Kids

If you didn’t make it to ISTE 2011, you missed a great time. There was more going on than any sane person could absorb in a month and all 30,000+ of us attendees tried to do it in four days. The seminars cover every topic from tech integration to how to use specific programs to general trends. I tried to attend a few of each to not only learn new material but to make sure what I’m teaching is as relevant this year as when I first taught it to my classes.

Here are some of my thoughts:

  • Teachers are not lecturers. We are guides, even fellow-learners
  • Students learn by doing more than being taught. Encourage this
  • There are a lot of ‘right’ ways to learn
  • Students are problem-solvers. Let this happen
  • Technology is about offering options in learning styles
  • Technology offers different ways to teach different learners. Use it that way.
  • Work beyond the classroom because class is too short, kids aren’t engaged the entire five hours
  • Paperless classroom is possible. Figure it out.
  • Virtual presentations so kids hear from the experts in real time
  • Access online mentors and advisors
  • Don’t be afraid of social media (Twitter, Facebook, blogs). Embrace them to make teaching more relevant
  • Every time there was a list of websites to encourage student learning, it included Khan Academy
  • Presenters seemed unclear of an effective way to assess learning in the Web 2.0 world. The sessions that tried to explain this usually fell back to rubrics as the best method–not very trending is it?
  • ISTE recommended setting aside two hours for the Exhibitor Hall. It should have been five.

Besides tech ed, I learned a lot about stuff I didn’t expect to, such as:

  • How to organize my receipts on my mobile phone
  • How to scan QR codes with my mobile phone
  • How to scan documents with my mobile phone
  • How to always sit by an outlet because my clunky old laptop kept dumping battery power
  • How to always sit by an outlet because I ran through all the battery in my brand new iPhone
  • How much I need an iPad—that 3-year old laptop is heavy! (and, they don’t make you unpack iPads at the airport)

This video sums it all up. Take four minutes. Enjoy:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqDigEggJkw&w=560&h=349]

Now watch this next video only if you attended. Recognize anything?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM-H2zGjW8Y&w=560&h=349]

Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, ISTE article reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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