It’s the Saturday following the Western Regional Computer Advisory Committee’s Symposium 2010. Over 400 people jammed the meeting rooms at the Lamplighter Inn. Many more followed the hashtag #RCAC2010 online as the event unfolded. Many others may have stumbled on the stream by accident or go looking for the comments this weekend. For the day, the stream was very active during Symposium and was seen to be trending on Twitter.
We engaged some of the brightest minds in education that we could. In this case, we had a pair of notable global keynote speaker/authors and many progressive educators from the Western Ontario region sharing their visions and best practices. As one of the members of the organizing committee, I’ve always wondered about the impact that attendance at any of these sessions might have had. Every attempt has been made to make the day conducive for focussed learning. Yes, there is technology theme to the day but the use of technology is minimalized so that the day is all about ideas and hopefully some thoughtful planning for the future.
To that end, I ask…
- What will you do to manage the explosion of information and the advancement of technological innovation that Moore’s Law describes?
- Do you have a plan for technology being a fluency in your school or is the computer lab an event that everyone books to do computer stuff that may not be related to anything else that’s happening in the day?
- Will you advocate or plan for increasing the use of portable technology at the point of instruction? Can your students use their own devices? What is a computer anyway by today’s standards?
- Are you going to take some time to explore the titles that OSAPAC licenses to see if there’s a fit to your curriculum? Will you lobby your system to get things installed correctly and made available in a timely manner?
- Are you ready to really leverage the Read/Write web and harvest the potential? Does your class or school have a Facebook or other social media presence? How does your class network and interface with the world outside your classroom walls?
- If you’re a principal, are you ready to break down the isolation that can be your school to network and grow professionally with others in your position worldwide?
- How will your students deal with the concept of Infowhelm? Is an “I’m feeling lucky” search going to suffice? Or, will you turn instead to the rich resources that Knowledge Ontario is amassing to make the online experience the best learning experience that it can be?
- Is a pen just a pen? Are you ready to embrace and advocate for new technologies that free students from the drudgery of making yet another note and, instead, turning the process into one of deeper understanding with a more level playing field for all?
- What sorts of Habitudes do you and your students need to be successful a year, 5 years, 10 years from now? Have you assembled your dream team yet? How can you make sure that genius is never educationally beat out of your students?
- Do you use technology for technology’s sake? Or, are you leveraging it with curriculum expectations for a richer experience?
- Can you justify exposing the contemporary digital mind to an educational career devoted to the analogue learnings of the past?
- Can you step back and make the connections so that students become the lead learners in their own right? When was the last time that you partnered with others who are ready to share what they know and you don’t but wish you did? Can secondary school real life experience model citizenship for younger students?
- Are you able to put aside pre-conceived notions about what a piece of software was and look at what’s new and available right now?
- Is your interactive whiteboard a 21st Century Drive-in Movie theatre or is it a tool for engagement like no other? Can it be a literacy tool or just an expensive place to display movies?
- Are you prepared to access the wisdom of a province and rich resources that can help you stop reinventing the wheel when dealing with new topics. Can you accept that great resources don’t always come printed on the pages of a textbook or teacher’s manual?
Probably the biggest question would be – is #RCAC2010 a hashtag for December 9? Or is it the catalyst for a continued, professional discussion? I blogged recently, Are You Passionate for Professional Learning? Instead of a day that’s done, can this be a launching pad for things that are new and exciting? If you’re not connected now, will this be your personal tipping point? Can you tip your school? If you are connected, are you ready to really make this discussion a part of your professional arsenal?
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