#cu4techcon

#cu4techcon

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The 2nd annual CU4Tech Conference had a little bit of a rocky start as Krista Moroder attemped to facetime conference from Philly (tech problems on our end? Irony? *grin*). I think she did a great job of setting the tone for the conference, speaking to how technology is a but a tool meant to make the challenging task of teaching more efficient and more effective. Despite my own current revulsion at the mention of “efficient”, I begin to see how the whole point of a tool is to make something easier. My understanding of “Educational Technology” continues to evolve, and I begin to see that the infusion of current technology into pedagogy, curriculum and education is more about the way we do education in the first place that warrants the use of these kinds of tools. I mean, the pencil is a piece of old technology, but still a tool none the less.

 

The rest of the day was jammed packed with a lot of wise words, challenging insights, educational jargon up the wazoo (I didn’t go to Ed school), opportunities for networking, forming relationships and exploring the role of technology in one of the most empowering facilities of our society – educating learners. And a fair share of ongoing technical problems. 🙂 Mrs. Elizabeth Slifer (Carrie Busey) had an entire PBS presentation that just would not load up, so they adapted in real-time. Other presenters had slow videos or webpages to demo. Instead of pointing my finger and trying to complain, rather I use these as examples of imperfect tools and how people find dynamic, creative alternatives. We not only learn about the underlying tools and nitty-gritty details when we can (I just ask Dave Hohman), but we also learn to adapt. This is powerful. As we laughed about the technical difficulties later in the day, our lives are full of teachable moments and learning from mistakes – without which we do not grow.

 

Here are the sessions I attended, about 1/8th the total offering.

 

Google Apps in the Classroom (Erin Ludwick, Urbana High School)

classroom.google.com just came out, which Read the rest of this entry »

TED Talks ED

PBS joined together with TED to produce, what they called, their first TV show; a special section on Education:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ted-talks-education/

All 5 of the student interviews (only 2 shown during this show) can be seen at:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJicmE8fK0Ehc_d78_1WRKT2JXhzFAAB2

 

I found it to be very intriguing, in both good and bad ways. The cast of characters was quite impressive, from students with poignant messages to retired teachers with very compelling tales; Bill Gates and Sir Ken Robinson in the same half hour (Anthony Cody would just have a ball). I found a lot of things I agree with, and only a small smattering of points I disagree with. While I “felt good” about the show, it is not clear what exactly I, as an audience member, am supposed to do. Perhaps what I hear from this show is Geoffrey Canada’s call, “Enough is enough!” We cannot abide suboptimal schools. For whatever reason. Let us be active and involved in making things better. Of course the eternal question is, What exactly do we do?

 

Following are my “cliff notes” of the video.

{All times below are bookmarks into the elapsed time of the TEDtalksED video}

 

Singer/songwriter/accomplished artist John Legend was the MC. He kicked things off by Read the rest of this entry »