Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tech Conferences

I am currently attending the California League of Middle Schools /Computer Using Educators conference in Monterey, CA. I've attended a number of fascinating sessions from data-driven decision making to converting a Wii remote to an interactive whiteboard. (Can't wait to try the last one out!)
Of course, the available technology was not nearly as advanced as the sessions and while wireless was sometimes available, it was down more than it was up and not available at all in over half of my sessions. I find this VERY frustrating when I'm at a technology conference, and I couldn't help but find a parallel to how our kids feel in our school settings. They are wired constantly via phone, iPod, and portable game devices, so why are we keeping them from using these resources. People have told me at many different conferences that they have turned the wireless access off because they want us to listen to the presenter. I'm not wired to just sit and listen. I need to synthesize what I'm learning and post to Twitter or my blog or take notes for myself in Google Docs. Why squeeze me into a four walled box when I'm just not wired that way? Well, the real problem is we're doing the same thing with kids - and considering that our "technology" savvy events aren't technologically enlightened, how can we expect it to trickle down into our schools?