Reflections on SC EdTech 2011

It has been a long time since I have posted to this blog and even longer since I attended EdTech.  Will Richardson was the keynote speaker, and I appreciated his passion to bring about meaningful change in the way we educate our students.  I felt a little like I was in church listening to a preacher telling us how we need tobegin by changing ourselves, but he was obviously successful with his message.  Here I am resurrecting my blog!

Some of my other “take-aways” were some additional thoughts about using QR codes in our classes with new iPod Touches and in the 5th grade ELA content-based GT classes that are soon receiving iPads.  This session on “Rejuvenating Your Curriculum” led by Latoya Scott, also introduced me to the free opportunities for classes to skype with NASA.  She also demonstrated the use of Museum Box. I already have an account but had not explored or used it.

Another interesting session I attended was on the Knewton Adaptive Learning Platform. This is a much more sophisticated learning delivery system than we are currently using.  From their website:

An adaptive system responds to the performance or activity of a user. A single-point adaptive learning system evaluates a student’s performance at one point in time in order to determine the level of instruction or material he receives from that point on. These recommendations do not adapt to user activity and performance as the student moves through the course materials. On the other hand, a computerized learning system that is continuously adaptive responds instantaneously (or near-instantaneously) in real-time to each individual’s performance and activity on the system.

The genius of this concept is that the way the platform is mapped, the learning content is contiuously personalized for each student’s learning styles and needs based on each new engagement by the learner.  This technology has the potential to enable students to take responsibility for their own learning and will allow them to progress at their own rate.

The biggest highlight was attending the awards luncheon to see Patrick Hanks, the Director   of Instructional Technology in my district (and my boss!) receive the ISTE “Making IT Happen” award, only 1 of 2 receiving this award in our state. He is a true advocate for students, learning, technology, and teachers, and we are very fortunate to work under his leadership.

The final morning I attended several other  good sessions including one led by my colleague, Brenda Maxwell, on her work with a  student tech team comprised of six 3rd grade students.  I have just begun working with a student tech team at my school, and I got lots  of ideas of ways I can help this leadership team to grow.



4 thoughts on “Reflections on SC EdTech 2011

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