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Reflections on WEMTA, FTC, ASCD

I’ve had an interesting week–three conferences. Starting last Monday, I attended my state professional organization’s (WEMTA) annual conference. Tuesday afternoon WEMTA merged with the annual Wiscnet conference, our internet access provider. Later in the week, I had the great opportunity to attend ASCD. Needless to say my head is swimming with ideas. Here are a few ideas sticking with me:

  1. Punya Mishra:  It’s not the stuff, it’s how we use the stuff . . . how we “repurpose” technology for education. Learning before technology. His talk reminded me of Richard Clark’s idea that media will never influence learning.
  2. David Jakes & Ryan Bretag:  Pay closer attention to the learning spaces. How do they promote or demote your vision of learning?
  3. How could we make broadband internet access available for all of our community?
  4. Googledocs for assessment . . . I saw three great teachers talk about simple, yet elegant ways they use Googledocs to improve their assessment practices and reduce their paper load. For example, using the scanner/copier to scan first grader work. Put the resulting documents into a Google presentation and share. Or how about using a tablet or netbook to record anecdotal observations? Using a form means you now have a spreadsheet that can be sorted and shared. Since each of these teachers was working with others, more than one person could access the information. Check out Jenny Orr’s blog for her presentation.
  5. From Gary Stager: If you do a 1:1 program, it must be about creation, computation, and programming. Kids need to be able to personalize and dig into their laptops.
  6. Google offers an approachable Android programming tool like Scratch. Turning that on first thing tomorrow morning!

My flight is boarding, so that wraps it up for now.

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