Tech Forum – Chicago

I’m sitting the Chicago for a couple of hours, and this will probably be my best opportunity to write for a while. I just wanted to make some comments about the Tech Forum conference that I worked yesterday. The keynote speaker was Chris Dede, and my first chance to hear him. The over all message was that students are different today, and we need a different classrooms to address their needs. Dede did a very compelling job, calling up experiences from watching his own children.

I too, get a lot of insight about education in the 21st century from my children. I worry about about where I’ll get it when they’re both off. My son will be a high school senior next year.

Dede played a wonderful video by Panasonic that showed students in their natural/native information environment (video games, media players, mobile phones, laptop computers), and contrasted those images with students sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher and watching her write on a chalk board.

Dede said something in his talk, and again at lunch that disturbed me. He believes that our society does not have a will to invest in computers for schools. He is promoting more research in handhelds for students, for this reason. I hope, and believe, that he is wrong. Society will invest in what they are convinced to invest in. If we do see children walking into our classrooms five years from now, with computers under their arms, it will be because lots of people were talking about it today.

Another idea that Dede shared was a dissatisfaction with the value of learning styles and multiple intelligences. He was taking nothing away from the research in these areas, but preferred to work with Media-Base learning styles, which “Talk more about how people are similar!”

Afterward Dede, Matt Brown, and I did a futures panel. I Dede talked about gaming, Brown about GIS, and I talked about RSS and the three S flow — Syndicats, Subscribe, and Send.

More Later!

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.