At the MEGA Showcase

[Live Blogged — please forgive any misspellings or awkward wording]

Each spring, MEGA holds a showcase event where teachers and students from the area (all over central North Carolina) are here demonstrating some of the things that they are doing with technology, and mostly with science.  Interestingly, I’ve seen two classes that are using MUVEs (Multi-User Virtual Environments) in learning.  An elementary school that I did some staff development in a couple of years ago.  They are using a tool called Quest Atlantis.  The children are playing the rolls of humans who have landed in Atlantis to help the people (beings) there to solve their problems.

The high school class is using

Tim Magner, Director of the Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education.

Tim Magner, the director of Educational Technology with the Department of Education in Washington, is our speaker, and is said to be planing to talk about School 2.0.  I’ll be jotting notes down here.

We’re not in Kansas any more.  Things are different.  Lots of reports that are talking about these changes and education is the engine of our continued economic viability. 

The advantage of using a cell phone over using a pay phone is that we prefer to call a person, not a place.  That was an interesting distinction, but mostly the presentation is the same sort of thing that David Thornburg has been doing for years.  But the message is important.  It’s an information and communication revolution.  We are needing more information, sharing more information, using more information.  “We now connected in more ways to more people and more information than ever before.

Kids prefer text messaging, but it isn’t just text.  They’re sharing images, audio, and video — multimedia.

He’s talking ab out neil gershenfeld’s predictions about digital fabrication.  What do MUVEs help us in preparation for a world where the fabrication of our things is personal.  You’ll buy the chasis of a cell phone and design and make your own housing.  Very personal.

Now he’s showing a very interesting video about nanotechnology and the ability to have medication gear specifically to our DNA characteristics.  Nanotools that seek out and kill cancer cells.  He states that these are not only the new tools, but also the new jobs.  I would add that it is also the new questions.

Now, we’re getting getting to School 2.0.  The problem is that people talk past each other.  There is no entry point language to use.  It’s the reason that they created the School 2.0 Post.  Now he’s opened it up for discussion. There was a question about the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.  He says that what left out of this description of 21st century skills what it actually looks like in the 7th grade classroom.  “This is the messy stuff.  This is the stuff that doesn’t fit on a bummer sticker.

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.