ISTE 2010 – Day 3

On the morning of the 3rd day, I held a special appreciation for technology.  The keynote  began at 8:30am and when I woke up, I was still very tired from the previous day.  There was no way I could get myself ready and walk to the convention center in time.  Fortunately, the keynote was streamed live over the internet and I was able to  watch it from the comfort of my hotel room.

The keynote took the form of a panel who shared their perspectives on the relevance and importance of excellence and innovation. This theme was derived from the context of the theme for the entire conference:  Exploring Excellence.

There were some key points made in the discussion.  One of the most profound was the declaration of the student member who said, “I wish I had learned how to learn”.   The twitter feed shows that this resonated with many of the people who were listening.

A second key point that was raised was the declaration that we need to trust our teachers more as per the model of Google.  By trusting our teachers, we are encouraging creativity and innovation.

The remaining time of the day was spent listening to a number of terrific presenters.  I was able to hear Ian Jukes once again (I had heard him last year at ECOO).  He spoke on ‘disruptive innovation’ describing how the world is changing around us and education has to change in order to remain relevant.

The highlight of the day was the presentation by Doug Johnson. After hearing his talk, I think I would consider myself a ‘radical centrist’ though I still have to do some more reflecting on what that really means.    (I know I will be writing at least one blog entry after the conference is over spending more time reflecting on what I have learned rather than just describing what I did.  There are just some things that I need to take time to process before I can fully understand what they mean and what they mean to me)

I was able to spend more time with my Ontario peeps today.  I have a lot of respect for people like @kentmanning, @brendasherry, @zbpipe, @dougpete, @peterskillen and my co-worker and close friend @ron_mill.  It really is a pleasure to enjoy this conference with these committed educators from Ontario.

FTW … Harry

Advertisements

ISTE 2010 – Day 2

I have to admit that I really looked forward to the second day of the conference.  When I examined the program, there were so many great presentations being offered and it would be my first opportunity to visit the Exhibitor floor filled with hundreds of vendor displays.

Part of the problem for the day was that there were too many great choices … Leslie Fischer, David Warlick, David Thornburg, Hall Davidson, Will Richardson, Steve Hargadon and Bernie Dodge.  The topics covered a wide range as well – from hand held devices like the ipod touch to open source software and technology.

The hilight of the sessions I attended was David Thornburg who reflected on the need for us to begin preparing our students for the 22nd century.  It was a terrific thought provoking presentation with some great visuals.  I am looking forward to having David as one of the keynote speakers at ECOO 2010 in Toronto this November.

One of the privileges of coming to ISTE 2010 are the other opportunities that are available.  I was pleased to be invited to attend a reception hosted by the Canadian Consulate in Denver.  Ed Tech leaders from education and business came together to celebrate the work that is being done in Canada.

The evening ended with a dinner hosted by IBM Canada.  This was a relaxing way to end a wonderful day.

Still feeling the wind

Harry

ISTE 2010 – Day 1

After spending Sun morning watching the World Cup (ENG was robbed of a goal but in the end I do believe that the better team won – GER), I made my way to the Colorado Convention Center and joined @ron_mill and @dougpete.  Together we made our way to the Wells Fargo Theatre for a pre-conference plenary designed to help kick the conference off and let people know about the work of ISTE.

Featuring Mario Armstrong (from NPR), the kickoff was a well produced, entertaining event where we were introduced to the tools needed to help educators defeat the ‘Locked Net Monster” (school administrators and IT administrators who lock down teachers’ and students’ access to the web), the ‘Dollar n Centaur’ (lack of available funds), the ‘Medi-ogre’ (the attitude that good enough is good enough) and the fierce ‘AbominableNo-man’ (representing all the nay-sayers who like things just the way they are).  The focus of the day were the resources that are available (cue commercial for ISTE) for educators to help them face these ‘foes’.

The afternoon was focused upon networking and I took the opportunity to explore the area that featured the various SIG (special interest groups) that belong to ISTE.  I was amazed at the number and variety of groups that exist.

The evening began with the formal start of the conference the opening keynote.  The key note was presented by Jean-François Rischard, His keynote was received with mixed reaction.  His powerpoint slides were not very well received – too much text and very hard to read.   I should have not been surprised but many people left the theatre before the end of the talk.  many complained that his address was not targeted at educators.  Personally, I disagree.  Global issues are important and they should also be important for our students.  It was too bad that he did not make that connection until the end of the presentation when many people had already left.

I ended the first day ‘networking’ with @brendasherry and @peterskillen and some new friends reflecting on the day at the Hard Rock Cafe.  What a day to start ISTE 2010.

It is time for me to jump in …

Well I finally decided it was time to start publishing a real blog. I may even surprise myself if I am able to keep it going. But I am currently attending ISTE 2010 and if this environment does not inspire me nothing will.

ISTE 2010 is an international conference where educators come to learn, to be inspire, to be encouraged, to be overwhelmed …you get the idea. Over 15000 are attending the conference this year in Denver CO. The opening keynote starts in an hour. The conference will hopefully help me to kickstart this endeavor.   So let the fun begin.

The real start of this blog is to explain its title.  I recently discovered the joys of riding a motorcycle.  For those who are, I own and ride a Honda Shadow Spirit 750.  I love to ride and I love the feeling of having the wind in your face as I ride.  I once read something about the difference between riding a bike and driving a car.  I really did not understand the difference until I began riding a year ago.

When you drive in a car, you can look out the window and and enjoy the scenery as you drive down the highway.  The driver is a spectator. But as a biker riding down the highway, there are no windows.  You are a part of the scenery.

There are many stretches of highway through southern Ontario (where I live) that I have driven many times.  Now when I ride those same roads, it is like I am riding them for the first time.

And so, this really is the reference I am making in the title of this blog.  When I ride – with the wind in my face – I am not only on my way to get somewhere, I am also enjoying the journey.

This blog will be my journal reflecting both on the places I am going and on the journey along the way.

So I look forward to sharing and I welcome all those who would like to ride with me – even just for a section of the trip.

May the wind in your face remind you that you are moving forward.

Harry