Tuesday, January 31, 2006

NewCon - Conferences

David Warlick just wrote about the possibilities of a new style of high tech conferences where we could participate through networks. I already feel that conferences are reaching me in ways they could not before. I have listened to a number of keynote addresses via podcasts and webcasts. But this is unidirectional. I can't interact with the speakers or the other delegates. The advantage is I don't have to spend the money to get to the conference and I can listen independent of the time the actual session took place. But imagine what it will be like when people can participate more actively from a distance. We have the technology - let's put it to good use.

There are already a number of opportunities for networking. I have occasionally listened to EdTech Talk You can either listen to archived copies of shows or you can listen live. When listening live you can take part in a real time chat with other participants - build community. The show features interesting people in the field from around the world who connect via Skype. If there is room in the Skype conference and a member of the chatroom has been making some interesting contributions, they may be invited to join the Skype conference.

Another interesting model is Tapped In, where educators can connect for real time and participate in a realtime exchange with other teachers and to get information from a leader. Topics are focused and the calendar is available well ahead of time. Goal: join a session.

The possibilities for connection are growing. The world is growing smaller - or flatter!


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Personal Learning Space

There has been a lot of talk of a blog as a personal learning space. This resonates with me. The more one personalizes a blogspace the more it becomes a one stop place to read, reflect and write. posting blogrolls on the site or the blogs you are currently reading and putting links to other resources you consult regularly, the blog can be the place you go to read the latest musings of those who you respect and a place to respond to those posts.

I like to use my blog as a place to hone my thinking (though I don't write often enough ). Note to self - write more and spend some time making this space more of a personal learning environment.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Sticky Memory

I just read a post from Will Richardson on literacy. He talks about the amount of information we process now and it is astronomical. One point he makes is that aside from organizing what he reads through del.icio.us and bloglines, he makes the information sticky by blogging it (just what I am doing now). Another point he makes is that students, faced with this enormous quantity of information are going to have to learn how to vet it and learn to recognize patterns in what they read.

I too have found that writing not only helps me retain what I read but also helps me understand what I read.

David Warlick talks about the 4 E's : exposing knowledge, employing information, expressing ideas, and ethics on the Internet. Education will have to change, but as I said in my last post - this is not easy.


Time Flies

Well - it is a long time. House renovations are over and I can now get back to thinking about education and technology. I have been slower in my reading but have been listening to a variety of podcasts. January and the new resolutions......

I listened to David Warlick's podcast on his thoughts about education in the future and I have to say I am not as optimistic as he is. I do see a faster push for schools to adopt 1:1 computing, but will it change educational practises? There are some amazing teachers out there, but I find change is not a feature of many educators or the parents of the students. There is the attitude of "If it worked for me why should I change?" I have seen laptops go into a class and be used for writing, but little changes regarding how the teaching and learning is going on. A computer is not just a fancy pencil. It offers new ways of thinking and relating to the world.