I had the good fortune to attend EduBloggerCon at ISTE 2011 in Philadelphia. For many years I had followed the various EduBloggerCons from a distance. Following the various conversations from afar helped me to understand the conversations that were taking place. However, being here in person allowed me to interact as part of a face-to-face group, meet individuals I had only emailed and twittered with, and have individual conversations.
I find that the best way for me to remember all that I learned is to post things on Twitter so I can then go back and read them later. First I attended a session about ChromeBooks . I learned that this is a whole new operating system and computer run by Google. People in the group have used this device in their schools. One of the challenges is that you have to be connected to the Internet to use most of the tools that are kept in the cloud. It will be interesting to see how this product looks in a year from now.
Next, I attended a session about “Flip Teaching“. Depending on who you talk with, Flip Teaching is about teachers spending time with students in class focused on their needs, having individual conversations with students, doing group discussions, simulations and other interactive and relationship building activities while things like lecture and presentations are recorded for students to watch at home on their own time. Some suggest that elementary teachers have been flip teaching forever, while high school teachers need to do more flip teaching to better engage their students.
After lunch I attended the session, “Leadership and Technology Use“. This group was facilitated by Scott McLeod (fun seeing Scott in person after following his blog for many years). This was a well attended session and Scott did a good job of guiding the conversation. After complaining about the barriers put up by administrators, the group agreed that it was important to work with administrators so they better understand effective technology use. The summary of the session was Some ways to support admin to know effective tech use, admin specific workshops, build on personal interest, peer-to-peer training (admins train admins), educate up, structured, systemic and role specific and planned and organized in an intentional way.
There were also other activities which were fun to listen to, but I found that interacting with other professionals in groups and listening to the thoughts of those present was most useful to me. As one of my final tweets stated, it sure would be nice if school could be organized in the same way that EduBloggerCon was. Thanks to organizer Steve Hargadon and Blackboard/Collaborate and ISTE for supporting this event!