Oakland Schools (county in SE Michigan) hosted a technology conference today. The opening keynoter was Lee Rainie from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. His presentation was a timeline of when new technologies were introduced. He eventually got to web 2.0 resources. His presentation fit the need of the audience. There were only four people who knew what Twitter was, and only a few that had heard of del.icio.us, to name a few of the tools that were mentioned. A few people from my district asked me about some of what was mentioned in the keynote, so that was good!
This is a cool story: A teacher from my district (the wonderful John Shaw) presented about a blogging project he did with 4th graders using Blogmeister, see handout. He showed how easy it is to embed Flickr slideshows and audio recordings. His student teacher was there, too. She did not have an active role in the presentation, but she chimed in with a few thoughts here and there. After the session, a curriculum director from a local district approached her and told her that they had two teaching positions available and told her to apply, telling her that she wanted to hire teachers that did these kinds of projects. Hooray!
I presented in teh afternoon about an 8th grade Social Studies unit that is taught using Moodle. All of our 8th graders will be involved, as this is used as a performance assessment for technology literacy. It was fun to share about the development of the curriculum and the teacher professional development.
At the end of the day, Julie Evans of Project Tomorrow shared the results from the nation-wide Speak Up data, as well as specific results for Oakland County. The results are included in her PowerPoint presentation. “The students want to be productive in school, and want to have access to their devices… their laptop, mp3 player, Smartphones, and PDAs!”
Bruce Umpstead gave an overview of the state of Michigan’s use of technology. He did a great job of highlighting the key points and his philosophy matches mine! He will be the keynoter for Walled Lake’s Spice it Up Conference on August 26, and his message would be perfect for our administrators and teachers.