And away we go…

So we opened today for business, and within the first couple of hours, we were full to the brim! Not so bad – the 5th day of school and we are getting close to being ready across the board (meaning mobile labs, equipment,etc.). Next year, maybe by day 3…

Lab Opens Tuesday

The Computer Lab opens for business on Tuesday 9/13. The lab opens at 8am every day. Students can come in early to work without signing up in advance – just come in. During the day, students can use the lab during studyhall or other classs as long as there is room. Students should ask their teacher to call the lab to check if there is room prior to coming down.

Up & Running

The second inservice went very well last week (a “cold water” event for those folks as well – see previous entry). Now here we are the day before school starts, and we are ready to go. With all the new equipment that has come in, we will have quite a bit of shuffling and organizing over the next few days, but we are in good shape.

We are going to do some neat learning with technology this year!

Cold Water, Anyone?

We had the first inservice today to get teachers “up to speed” on technolgoy upgrades, educational resources, and web communication tools. I think the day went well – I planned to cover many different things since we had a full day, and we made great progress. Since I have been planning this day for a while, my brain is in school mode – quite different from the frame of mind most folks were in returning to school for the first time in a while. I think some felt like they had a bucket of cold water tossed on them in terms of today being a rude awakening to the return of the school year. Despite this everyone indicated it was a helpful day.

Now as long as noone turns around and kicks sand in my face… 🙂 I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s group!

Day 4 Theme

This one was easier to come up with as I spent my last half day at the Technology Leadership Forum sponsored by ISTE. The theme for day 4 was:

Vision

There are 11 essential conditions a district must have for successful technology implementation. Those 11 conditions are:
-Shared Vision
-Equitable Access
-Skilled Personnel
-Professional Development
-Technical Assistance
-Content Standars and Curriculum Resources
-Student-Centered Learning
-Assessment and Accountability
-Community Support
-Support Policies
-External Conditions

The focus of this forum was on developing a shared vision. Without a shared vision of technology, shared by ALL stakeholders, it is impossible to move forward with a technology plan that will succeed.

Day 3 Theme

A lot went on for me in day 3, but if I have to boil it down into a theme, it would be:

The Future

The day started with a keynote by futurist & author Joel Baker, who spoke on his book (and theory) Five Regions of the Future. I then spent some time looking at the state of Internet2 (see other entry on this), and also time at a great forum on what districts and technology directors need to do to support & drive education technology. Toss in a bit of time on graduate programs and what’s new in art and music technology, and what you have is a great day looking at the future.

The future looks bright for educational technology, and I’m excited!

Sweet

PACCoutside.jpgPACCinside.jpg

One of my hobbies is architecture – I’m a sucker for an awesome building, and the PA Convention Center is one. The entry building you see above is the old railroad train shed (the oldest surviving single-span arched train shed in the world). Upon entering and going upstairs, you are greeted by the grand hall also shown above. The “new” section with all the convention halls and rooms is straight back, in the next block.

This is an awesome re-use and combination of Philly history with current needs. Oh, so sweet!

Day 2 Theme

Contructivism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
In education, constructivism is a learning theory which holds that knowledge is not transmitted unchanged from teacher to student, but instead that learning is an active process of recreating knowledge. Constructivists teach techniques that place emphasis on the role of learning activities in a good curriculum. See constructivism (learning theory).

This could easily be the conference theme, and the theme of most current educational conferences. Educational technology shines best when it is used in a constructivist classroom, assisting in the building of knowledge rather than the rote dissemination of knowledge. Over and over the “call to arms” heard is to create loud, messy classrooms where students build their own knowledge. Now if we could only get the state tests to hear the call…

Day 1 Theme

The theme that came out of today (based on my participation in the Tech Coordinators forum and Keynote) is:

Knowledge is a conversation, not a destination.

We know this, but we don’t always practice it. Schools are still entrenched in “disbursing” information for the purpose of testing. Technology in the hands of kids at home is making them connected in so many ways. They are having conversations constantly and taking control of what they learn, when they learn it, and how they learn it.