Conferencing at the Penn Stater

First, the Penn Stater is a conference center and hotel on (or near) the campus of Pennsylvania State University.  I’ve been here a number of times and can vouch for the chocolate cake they serve at all banquets. 

First thing, is an opening keynote by Kyle Peck.  I’ve known Kyle for many years, since working with him and other Penn stalwarts in their tech academies for superintendents.

Kyle has begun, saying that he’s going to provide some opportunities for feedback (backchanneling) and is sharing a Chinese curse – May you live in  interesting times.  Kyle has a series of web pages to facilitate the backchanneling and polling, along with some very good instructions for each.  He’s now provided us with a number of entry points (cell phone, web, smart phone) to answer a set of questions about 1:1 and 21st century skills.

Interestingly, all of the folks sitting at the table I’m at already know about poll everywhere.  I need to file that away for tonights keynote — which I am still planning. (now wondering if my wireless mouse is not supposed to work well when I’m running off of battery on this netbook).

I just discovered three blog questions that Kyle has posted.  There are a growing number of answering comments, which I will review latter on.  Basically, this is about collaboration through a variety of avenues or conduits.  It’s a good activiy, though the greatest value is when everyone is conversing through a single pipe.  This is a great learning opportunity, though, for teachers who are just starting to practice collaboration.

We’re back together now, and Kyle is saying that 1:1 is changing the behavior of teachers.  There is less lecture and more students working together.

Here are some quotes.  The first is from a comment posted by someone here in the conference.

They need to be critical thinkers, have their preconceptions challenged, and be able to express themselves clearly and appropriately.  Technology can provide an outlet or a stage for these actions.

This is from a business person talking about education reform…

We have the best conbustion engine we can build.  But it isn’t going to get us to Mars.  If our goal is to get to Mars, then we have to rethink how we’re going to transport ourselves.

He keeps referring to an association of manufactures who are coming out and describing what they think our childreen need to be learning in school. I need to find that.

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.