I was kind of worried going into Day 3 at ISTE. For some reason, my iPad didn’t charge itself overnight and was sitting at 31% battery. Would that get me through the day? Nope. Sad to say but I ended up taking notes the old fashioned way with paper and a pen. How quaint. It was like NECC of days gone by!
At the end of the day, my scorecard looked liked this.
|Web Development an Applications||1|
|Portfolio Development with Google||
Student-Centered Interactive E-Portfolios with Google Apps
Doug and I attended this session to see what the possibilities were for portfolios using the Google Tools. The session was indeed a winner both from a philosophical approach to portfolios and then the actual function using the Google products. There are a number of players in the online productivity suite field but only Google currently offers all of the pieces to truly make the process rich with opportunities. I like these comments that I recorded during the session.
- personal ownership over one’s accomplishments
- active participants in their own personalized education – reflections, technology and collaborationdigital archive for life
- begins it begins before birth – ultrasound pictures are posted to Facebook and other media
- digital tattoo instead of digital portfolio – sometimes it never goes away
From both a pedagogical and a technical perspective, I’ve always liked the concept and have included artifact collection in every course that I’ve ever taught for student reflection. This nicely ties it all together. I’m going to dig deeper at Helen’s website at http://electronicportfolios.org/academy/.
The Yeah, Buts: Answering the Top 10 Arguments Against Change
Will Richardson and Rob Mancabelli presented an interesting interactive session about change and offered some of their own thoughts as to what the biggest barriers were. We started in a theatre and brainstormed a number of reasons and put it to an interactive poll. The typical barriers were identified: time, money, fear, access and from there Rob and Will dug into the content sharing their own thoughts as to what the blockers were. When will we stop coming up with excuses and just do it to the best of our abilities? It’s so frustrating to hear the same silly, lame excuses for not moving forward as an entire educational community. Will it take presentations to the US Congress and formal legislation to move the lethargic elephant in the room? (OK, my thoughts but come on – classroom computer technology has been around as long as ISTE – 32 years and we’re still having this discussion?)
Then, it was back to the exhibit hall to try and cover the rest of what I had previously missed. I failed. There was lots left on the table. If there’s a complaint that I have about the exhibit hall, it’s the trend towards amplification and the carnival-like presentations where people scream and holler for a lousy t-shirt. I boycott those automatically. I had discussions with some folks who had headaches as a result of their visits there. There doesn’t seem to be any limit over what is allowed and it makes for an increasingly annoying experience. But, I did get to the Tech4Learning booth and got a really nice demonstration of Pixie 3. With the OSAPAC licensing, this will be a terrific addition to the early years / primary multimedia editing suite. I really like the online collaboration part of this. It was great fun.
We also spend a considerable amount of time at the IPevo booth looking at their very affordable document camera. At $60, this could be a real game changer as opposed to the hundreds and hundreds that the other products are selling. If all that you want is to quickly attach to a USB port and get up and running, this is for you. Doug bought a couple. I didn’t think that sales were allowed on the floor but I guess anything goes.
Before long, the conference was over. As Harry noted on the escalator, our feet were reminding us that the conference is a day too long and our minds are telling us that we need a couple more days to see everything.
The closing session by Chris Lehmann was to serve as the inspirational push out the door. One of the quotes that were part of his speech was noteworthy “you can’t ignore the wisdom in the voices of children”. But, isn’t that part of the problem? Look around and see how easily they use technology and network and communicate. Yet, we still ignore the potential. While Chris did his best, the show was stolen by students from the Science Leadership Academy who expressed their thoughts. What an opportunity to be in front of so many teachers and have us all hanging on their every words. Why is education funding cut while two new penitentiaries are built?
But, the night is young and Doug and I had tickets to the Phillies’ game. We travelled the Philadelphia subway system from downtown to the ball park. It was a matter of maybe 15 minutes and that was that! You step out into the venue for football, hockey, basketball, and of course, baseball. The design is so intelligent. And yet, there were acres and acres for those who prefer to fight traffic. We say a really close interleague game with the Boston Red Sox with the Phillies winning 2-1.
The highlight though will go under life’s most embarrassing moments. It’s become customary to throw back the ball when the opposing team hits one out of the park. Philadelphia hit a home run right into our section in the outfield and the ball bounced around the aisles and landed in the row literally exactly in front of us. A gentleman in front of us literally dove and was climbing around to get the ball and succeeded and then threw it back on the field! Our section went silent as we all had a “what the heck” moment. Then the poor guy got a roasting. I’ve always heard about Philadelphia fans but got to see it first hand. His wife refused to talk to him and his daughter looked up the replay on MLB.com! Those were the nicest comments. Even the usher came over to admonish him as he would have taken the ball and got it autographed for him!
While we had outfield seats (the game was a sellout), the view was spectacular.
Picture of the day? If it wasn’t for the overhang, I could have had the Liberty Bell in motion. But we were packed in leaving but this bell that rings when the Phillies win got it for me today.
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