An Interesting Day in Wildwood

 Singing Vendors
Singing Vendors at Wildwood 2007

When I got to the convention center, in Wildwood, yesterday, I was informed immediately that the Internet was down, but that they were working on it and it should be up in minutes.  I was not very worried, because I was presenting on games in education, which is mostly presentation slides and video.  But I did worry about Beth Lynne Ritter-Guth, who was presenting on Second Life.  As it turned out, it was the local ISP that was down, and it took almost all day to bring the Internet back up.

After two sessions, the conference organizers decided to change the schedule a bit.  Rather than do the rest of the scheduled breakout sessions, they asked if I would be willing to do the keynote address during the afternoon, and the rest of the breakout sessions on Friday.  Even though I was not entirely ready and had not rehearsed it yet, I agreed, because this seemed like a good way for the Second Life and the CIESE presentations to work — assuming that we’d have Internet the next day.

Also part of the change in schedule was a presentation by Verizon on Thinkfinity (think Marco Polo).  I asked if they would go first, after lunch, so that I would have time to finish up my slides.  They agreed, and a very engaging presenter walked through some of the aspects of the new Marco Polo — Thinkfinity.  I’m not being fair, because I was only paying half attention to the presentation (perhaps as little as a quarter), but I didn’t really see anything new.  They’ve obviously made changes and beefed things up, but in a broader sense, what’s new.  I’ll ask them today, and report if I find anything new and noteworthy.

Anyway, I did my keynote at about 3:00 (not a good time to deliver a keynote) and it seemed to go well.  It was about new literacy, but from the perspective of Web 2.0.  Web 1.0 changed the behavior of information by making it more networked, digital, and overwhelming.  Web 2.0 makes it more participatory, reader directed, and people-connecting.  This changes was it means to be a reader, a processor of information, and a communicator.  Blah blah blah — you’ve heard it before.

My main take-away was that administrators (principals and superintendents), by and large, get it.  They know that things are changing and that their schools are not.  But, like teachers, they are constrained by the demands of their jobs and by a federal education system that discourages innovation and forward thinking.  No Child Left Behind implies that there is a place that schools should be, and once there, all will be well.  It should be All Children Ready for the Future.

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.