I will be presenting at the 30th Annual VSTE Conference in Roanoke, Virginia. My presentation title is On the Road to Deeper Learning, and it will focus upon the vision behind our 1:1 program.
Peter Martin also attended and volunteered as an IT support guru.
I also had the honor of helping present this year’s Making IT Happen Award, as I was last year’s recipient. This award is given to education leaders who have made a significant contribution to the field.
I also had the evening opportunity of serenading VSTE attendees at the Hotel Roanoke with music by Bach and Philip Glass.
Okay John, but what did you learn!?
- AppShed – a Tool for making web-based mobile apps
- Rushton Hurley – What to do (and not do) to get teachers to use technology in the classroom – this session focused on demonstrating benefits for teachers and not expecting everyone to do the same things with technology
- NextVista Resources – online resources from Hurley – including materials to inspire others
- Waze.com – Mobile app for taking headaches out of driving
- Animation Funkification – Great presentation by former GES-teacher David Clough on animation tools for the elementary (or secondary) classroom
- Professional Development for Professional Learning
- Podcasting App for iPad
I’m proud to be a member of VSTE and have served as one of their directors since 2008. Today, Liz Kuhns also serves on their board. Feel free to ask either one of us about some of their free learning opportunities.
What does the future of books hold? I believe we’re at a transition point between “books” and something… else. Below you’re going to find my “dry run” at this December’s VSTE conference, where I will demonstrate the use of iBooks Author 2.0 from Apple as a tool for creating rich-media digital books.
But I also think in taking the leap to create such a monster we have to understand our place in the landscape of digital media, including video, PDF, movies, the Web, and more. I believe that today there are a lot of viable mechanisms to distribute digital texts, and a lot of competing, viable formats (ePub, Flexbooks, PDF, the iBooks just to name a few). But I also believe today that the iBook app on the iPad and the rich textbook model from Apple are a pair of strong solutions–simply because the tool to create them is free and so easy to use.
The “chapter” isn’t finished on this… and that’s my point: we’re in a state of flux and development. The real innovations will take place with how we use these new interpretations of “book” to advance our mission as educators.
I’ve been really inspired over the past week after having attended two regional conferences that were chock-full of excellent speakers.
Professor Yong Zhao of the University of Oregon (above, at VA-ASCD) was on fire earlier, at the end of last week at the Virginia conference for ASCD. He talked very little about technology, but instead the American education system, with special insight into the connections between International test scores on things like Math and Science, creativity in education, and how we can compete globally. His talks (I attended both) were peppered with humor. His conclusions made me sit back and take notice; I found them at once both sensical, refreshing, and emotionally overwhelming. I look forward to studying his books.
Next, Chris Lehman, who appeared at both the VA-ASCD and VSTE conferences, who is the principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. Wow. I heard him at ISTE this past summer, and his message this time around was as focused and important. His school does G21 all the time. He gives promise that transforming a school to one that practices twenty-first century skills with an all-project based approach is possible.
Adam Bellow closed the VSTE conference and was new to me. But his message encapsulated with both humor and fast-paced engagement what I’ve been hearing from others for over 5 years… he was a good speaker, made deft use of slides to illustrate his points, and provided common-sense thinking on how and why we should utilize technology.
It will take me a few more weeks to wrap-up all the digestion from what I was able to observe. Goochland educators Sandy Kasch and Bea Cantor presented on addressing literacy with iPads, and Bea also did two more presentations in the Apple-sponsored room at VSTE on iPads: Flat to Fabulous on creating eBooks with Pages and iBooks and the other on iTunes U resources for K-12 educators. My colleagues Sean Campbell and Peter Martin also attended, Sean, working on the tech team for the conference committee in a volunteer role.
Below, I prepare to go into my presentation on the formation of VSTE Special Interest Groups. Congratulations to Mrs. Cantor for becoming elected as secretary of this new VSTE SIG.