So I just completed a three week Tri-Edu-Thon :D.
It started three weeks ago when I was invited to be a panelist at the #NYSAIS at the Lower School Heads and Early Childhood Conference held at Mohonk Mountain House in NY. Wow! Such a beautiful location. I met some really wonderful, unique and “with-it” people. It was a true pleasure to be a part of that group and help lead an “unconference” session. I want to Thank Josie Holford, Head of Poughkeepsie Day School for connecting me to this fantastic group of Educators and to Barbara Swanson for welcoming me so warmly and for organzing such a remarkable event.
There I talked about tech fluency, literacy and “the app trap”. You can see my talk outline here.
From there I beat feet to #ISTE12 I had never been to Southern California before and I decided to make a two+ week adventure out of the journey. #ISTE12 was great because I had the chance to meet up with other colleagues from both my online connections as well as my own school. My school, for those who don’t know, is part of an International Network of Schools. We spent the better part of Sunday meeting with Tech Coordinators and Teachers as well as having time to talk with people from my own school. It was interesting to hear their point of view on technology and realize, in general, how isolated the tech integrators are from the classroom. In fact they are often two entirely different skills, as they generally deal with the “hardware” problems “my computer won’t work” or “what are the intricacies of a 1:1 ipad program” or “what are the advantages and disadvantages of a BYOD program”. All were discussed at length that day.
However, the other topic that came up over and over and over again, and one that I have come to simply shake my head at is “how can we all communicate with each other better?” Over and over I hear this question from people still living in the silo-ed world of not actually USING technology to communicate and ie to become connected. There are gigantic and complex Narnia-ic worlds of which the majority of folks have no knowledge of- even tech integrators! WHEN to use a doc vs a form vs a blog vs a wiki vs a livebinder vs a chat vs an app, not to mention the how of each of those applications.
As for which #ISTE12 I had a new approach this year and I spent way more time networking than attending sessions. Don’t get me wrong, I floated in and out of multiple sessions from: Allen November, David Warlick, Sylvia Martinez, Gary Stager, Adam Bellow (who took the place by storm!) But I focused more on meeting up with many of the people I have been chatting with on a regular basis as well as meeting up with new friends. I even stumbled into presenting in one of Steve Hardagon’s famous “off-grid” presentations on BBCollaborate, though I am told the recording cracked out halfway through bc of internet connectivity issues. haha, at #ISTE.
I also attended a “Birds of a Feather” SIG (Special Interest Group) for Early Childhood Technology. That part was probably one of the most interesting of the conference and continues to be so as I wade into the waters of learning the politics, history and special interests of those living in the space of Early Childhood education and Technology. I felt really proud and keenly aware of #Kinderchat unique voice in this area as well as the scale of innovation that is happening within this (IMHO) incredibly unique Network.
Network. It always loops back to Network! I find this particularly interesting as, looping back, my school is a Network school and thinking about how these things are formed and what it actually means has become a definite fascination for me. (See more below)
One of the most humbling parts of being a connected educator is realizing how fortunate you are to receive such support for Professional Development. So many of my #Kinderchat colleagues must pay their own way to conferences. I would never have been able to participate in #ISTE12 without the support of my school and I am very grateful to my school for sending me out to San Diego.
— Mardelle Sauerborn (@learningmurd) July 14, 2012
I made these two drawings to show “lecture” or “session” vs “networking” or “connectivity” structures:
The Cave, watering hole, fire paper by Thorn___
Now for #EdCampKinder
From Michelle in British Columbia:
Our meetings spanned the entire time we were in Vegas, but instead of being in a conference room, they had multiple locations…the airport, the hotel lobby, the street as we walked around the city, the pool, the restaurants we ate in and everywhere in-between. It was a four day, intensive conversation that had started on twitter and finally resulted some very special personal time.