Technology Explosion in my Brain!

I just got home from the Georgia Education Technology Conference in Atlanta.  I have to say, it was GREAT!  And my brain is on complete overload!  I feel like I have so much to mentally sort through in the coming days and weeks that I don't quite know where to start.  First of all, the keynote speaker, Kevin Honeycutt, was phenomenal.  His main point was that our students are building a digital legacy, and it is up to us to show them how to build a positive one.  His website will take me years to go through all the technology resources for education!

I really thought that I was pretty "with it" as far as technology goes.  I now know that I am not.  I am so behind!  In today's world if you blink you have missed an infinite amount of information.  Leslie Fisher's sessions made me painfully aware of that fact.  From her I learned about some REALLY cool websites that I can use in my personal life as well as in the classroom.  (I'll post a roundup  later - that may be a way for me to sort through it all).

Some of what was said really pushes me out of my comfort zone.  Interactive e-books are pretty cool until you start talking about them replacing my beloved print books.  (Although I would kill for some textbook companies to start coming out with some phenomenal interactive ebooks instead of the 50 pound weights we hand out to our students!)  Bernajean Porter showed some great interactive and participatory story-telling ideas and I'm looking forward to buying and reading her book Digitales.  (But will I get the print or e-book version?)  The coolest thing she showed was Thing Link - where you can make images interactive for students.  This site is awesome and has unlimited potential in education!

Meg Ormiston was hilarious, although she pushed against the edge for me when she inferred that it was a good thing that we aren't teaching cursive in school anymore.  Although I see her point, a signature will always be a vital life skill.  She talked about how much of what we do is just "playing school" - making tri-fold posters, inane powerpoint presentations, and dioramas-- all of which are irrelevant skills in the real world.  She spoke about the need to teach students twitter skills, like how to complain in 140 characters or less.  She stated (and I've never thought about this) that every major company has a number of employees whose full time job is to watch twitter and respond to complaints mentioned in twitter comments.  Amazing.  Her point was that the formal business letter is dead and gone.

My immediate goals from this conference?

  • Sort through my notes and thoughts and try to get them organized mentally.
  • Start using Twitter as a means to build a personal learning network. (I'm @courtneyricole if you care to connect)
  • Learn and start using Google Apps (and not just google docs0.  
  • Play around with Sketch-up and Thing Link.  
If you are way ahead of me and have done something cool with Sketch-up or Thing Link, please post a comment (and possibly a link so I can see it)!  


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