I’m home from Maine and the ACTEM state conference. It was touch and go with delays all along the three leg journey from Augusta, to Boston, to Charlotte, and home to Raleigh. For those who are far away, Maine was the first of a handful of states in the U.S. that have decided that it is the state’s responsibility to take learning into the 21st century by investing in access to digital networked information for every teacher and student. Led by former governor, Angus King (present at the opening of the conference), it was a bold and expensive move, especially for a state as rural as Maine — and a state so challenged by rapid economic change.
I come away even more convinced that we are not going to achieve the changes in public education that some of us preach, until we have thrown out the paper and started teaching from a purely digital networked information environment. Staff development will be critical. Leadership will be critical. But the sense that I got from the conversations I had and overheard at that conference is that presented with the void of a new and barely tapped information tool, your great teachers (leader teachers) will blaze trails very quickly and very creatively, and the rest will follow.
We have no choice!
Check out the ACTEM Hitchhikr page for just a smatering of the bloggings that have already come out of that conference.
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