Thursday, March 11, 2010

MACUL Conference 2010 (Grand Rapids)

Well I  made to Grand Rapids. There are many new and exciting technology being featured here at MACUL. The superintendent for the State of Michigan was the Keynote this morning. The white boards are in trouble here as there is many other cheaper solutions then them being shown here today. I will write more tonight about the neat new tools out there to help with K12 educational technology.

Look at Epson projection units they have a unit call the 450WI and it has interactive board technology built into them and no need for a white board with electronics built in that can go bad and could be difficult to ship in to repair.

There was many sessions on Google docs and how we can us this cloud computing technology to change our students learning by increasing collaboration projects.

Danielle Letter again put on a great presentation on how to engage student in learning with an interactive session on Who am I where students learn to open up to a world of learning out side of there normal learning location and to interact with student in a different classroom any where in the world. She is the new leader of TWICE the organization in Michigan that exemplifies how we can use distant learning to connect our children to the world of learning.

The other big take away is this for me, there were many sessions on social tool interaction. These were Facebook, Cell phones as personal learning tools, it was YouTube and many other videos. We at most schools are blocking this type of activity but we need to look at why we are doing this if it show great potential to engage students in learning. I believe that we are blocking many of these things because we don't want to be managers of our classrooms and the learning environment. I propose that if we actively engage student in learning they will not get off task as much and they will police them self's. If you walk past a master teacher classroom you don't see them with a big stick just waiting for a student to step out of line. Instead you see a dynamic leader of education inspiring students a guide on the side with student fully engaged in what the learning activity is.

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I am the Director of Technology at a K-12 School system.