Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Savvy Technologist Wins

Faced a tough decision today when the session scheduling gurus put three of my favorite presenters against each other at the 2:00-3:00 time slot. David Warlick was "Telling the New Story," Will Richardson was "Learning with Blogs," and Tim Wilson was talking about "Introducing the Read/Write Web: Challenges, Opportunities, and and Implications."

I chose Tim's session (not because he's from Minnesota) since I've more recently seen both David and Will make presentations. Also, I had to duck out at the beginning of Tim's podcasting presentation at the Minnesota e-Learning Summit in May, so this was a chance to fill that void although this was on a different topic.

After several good examples of how the read/write web is totally different from the read-only web, he went through a few bullet lists that I found interesting.

How do we keep kids safe?

  • Keep student work on your network and servers. (legally, you need to be able to pull the plug.)
  • Monitor what they are doing
  • Implement a curriculum to teach students about appropriate online behavior.
  • Recognize that young people will encounter wierdos online. Get over it.

Professional Development Needed

  • Consider a shift from “just in case” training to “just in time” training.
  • Feed the rabbits and starve the snails. (Identify and support the champions)
  • Easier to run with 20, than drag 100.
  • Leaders have to lead. Administrators, you need to step up to the plate.

How do you assess student work in this environment?

  • Develop or adopt curriculum standards for information literacy.
  • Develop rubrics that cut across units and classrooms.
  • De-emphasize individual assessments.
  • Embrace self-assessment.

How will you ensure equitable access to technology for all learners?

  • Establish a baseline for hardware and software for all classrooms.
  • Consider extending the hours of your school’s media center and computer labs to better serve your community.
  • Have a serious equity conversation in your school.

Implications if we don’t get it right?

  • Change in next 10 years will dwarf the change of last 10 years.
  • Schools are at-risk of falling more and more behind
  • We are in a relevance race with our students.
  • Their real life becomes more and more different than life at school.
  • Our digital accents keep us from being understood.
  • What are you doing right now to prepare your students to collaborate seamlessly across cultures in jobs that probably don’t yet exist?
Tim's podcast, The Savvy Technologist, is one of the more popular educational technology podcasts on iTunes.

Links from Tim's presentation

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