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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Refections from ISTE 2010

It has been approximately 2 weeks since I returned from ISTE 2010 in Denver, Colorado. I find that ISTE is the best conference I attend because of all of the conversations that occur outside of the sessions. It is a conference where you can sit down and talk with some of the gurus of educational technology. People like, Jeff Utecht, Will Richardson, David Warlick and Dean Shareski. These people are in fact educators like you and me. They LOVE to have you walk up, introduce yourself and engage in a conversation with them.

Part of the benefit of ISTE is making connections with colleagues from around the world and sharing your thoughts, ideas and theories. I know many people have never attended ISTE or may never get the chance (if you get the chance you HAVE to go). So, this blog post is about sharing with my PLN. Those of you that read my blog.

I attended ISTE with Jared Nichol, a colleague of mine from Cold Lake HS. Jared and I share many of the same views on technology in education even though we teach different subjects. I teach mathematics and Jared teacher English and Multimedia.

Jared and I had the privilege of attending not only ISTE but TedXDenverEdu. It just so happens that this TED event was happening in Denver at the same time as ISTE. The entire event was focused on education. While many of the keynote speeches were excellent this one stood out. It is delivered by Keith R. Krueger who is CEO of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), a national nonprofit organization that serves as the voice of K-12 technology leaders, especially school district CTO's, who use technology strategically to improve teaching and learning. Keith not only talks about the problems we are having in education but also offers solutions to these problems that will not cost a huge amount of money.

While Jared and I attended great sessions throughout the entire ISTE conference there are always a couple that stick out as "really good"!!

The final keynote presentation by Jeff Piontek ,who is the Head of School for the Hawaii Technology Academy, was a great way to end the conference. We left this keynote presentation with that "feel good" feeling in the pit of our stomach.
Make sure you fast forward this video to 16 minutes. That is where Jeff's keynote talk begins.

Well, I know I have only shared a couple of sessions from my ISTE experience. I hope these two videos go a little ways towards inspiring you for the upcoming school year. I know I am pumped!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I have been thinking....

Summer vacation is a great time to sit back and reflect. All of those ideas that have been bouncing around in my head can now be given some more serious thought.

One of the things I have wanted to do since attending NECC 2009 in Washington D.C. is to organize an EdubloggerCon event right here in my hometown of Cold Lake, Alberta. I really like the format of EdubloggerCon. You get a bunch of educators together, they decide what topics they would like to discuss, you set up an online schedule on a wiki and the attendees decide which topics they would like to participate in. The key word here is "participate". There are no "speakers" at the sessions.
Everyone gets together and discusses the topic for that session. It represents the collective sharing of knowledge amongst each other. We share our successes and failures, we help solve each others problems and the best thing of all, we develop connections amongst colleagues we may have never known before. This is truly powerful.

So, I guess my first goal for next school year is to organize EdubloggerCon Cold Lake. Stay tuned to find out how it works out.

If you have any experience or ideas for our event please leave a comment!!!