June 28, 2011

ISTE 2011 – Day Three

Posted by Dr. Laura Guertin


What an absolutely fun way to start Day Three of the conference.  While waiting for the opening plenary to begin, the standing/sitting-on-the-floor-room-only crowd was entertained by dancing robots and then a short performance by STOMP!  Then, we shifted into our academic/teacher hats for the plenary.  Some random statements from the plenary I jotted down (actually entered into the iPad I borrowed from my husband):

  • Live what you teach
  • The #1 reason people choose the field of education is to make a difference in the lives of young people.
  • Leadership is a choice, not a position.
  • We all need strong skill sets, tool sets, and mind sets.
  • Believe in the possibilities.
  • Live life in crescendo.
  • Technology is meant to bless, not just to impress.
  • Be sure you haven’t had your career ladder against the wrong wall the entire time.

Moving on, I attended a workshop in the exhibit hall booth of the Library of Congress.  The presentation was titled “Social Media and the Library of Congress.”  I’m ashamed to say that I have not utilized or even investigated this amazing resource as much as I can/should.  But I am certainly going to dive in and spend several hours exploring the digitized map collection, resources on national parks and conservation, and the images/audio/video that are copyright free and available for students to use in multimedia projects.  And their primary source sets and lesson plans will be valuable for me to share with the in-service teachers I work with this summer.  Thank you, LOC!

After grabbing lunch at Reading Terminal Market, I headed over to the poster hall to help @humanitiesTREK (account no longer active) set up her poster on Teaching World Music with Google Earth.  I’m so proud of this undergraduate researcher and the success of her work!  Thank you to all the wonderful conference goers that stopped by to chat with Labanya about her creative accomplishments.

I then headed over with @earthspacequest to the Model Lesson session titled “Information Please: Using Infographics to Teach Digital Age Literacies.”  I have never been a big fan of infographics – they seem to cartoon-ny and not a clear way to communicate important data.  I learned that any graph/map is considered an infographic, and I love maps, so I guess I am a fan.  However, I am going to be very cautious about using and presenting infographics to my students, as I find that students need a lesson on “graphic literacy.” For some reason, my students think everything belongs in a pie chart.  Students need to be thoughtful with how to represent data and use graphics to communicate a targeted message.

I feel that I’ve learned so much at this conference – can it be possible that there is still more to learn???  Something Sara (@earthspacequest) and I spent a little time speaking about (and I hope we can continue and expand the conversation) is all the technology that is available to educators.  Do we really need to use it?  Will a SmartBoard really help me achieve the learning goals I have for my students?  Is Twitter really necessary for news updates, or why can’t I just visit CNN.com and “google” for updates?  This goes back to one of the statements from the morning plenary, “technology is meant to bless, not just to impress.”  I consider myself pretty thoughtful in my approach to using technology in the classroom, but now I need to think even more…