Calling all brains

This site has been a significant part of my PLN for just over a year. I’m asking for your help. If you could pick anyone, anything, or anyplace, What books would you read? What conferences, workshops, or meetings would you attend? Who would you travel to meet with? Who would you fly in to sit at the table with you? Who would you pick to help you in your strategic brainstorming or planning? Who could help inject progressive, innovative ideas about the future of education and the technologies that will drive it? Anyone. Yes, I am serious.

Why should you care?

I don’t know if I can say why you should care about a project in Missouri. However, I do believe I know why you will. Because you are a bunch of committed, forward-thinking educators. Folks like us know the power of buy-in at all levels of implementation. Here’s betting that the readers of this blog realize the power potential of solid know-how combined with administrative support.

Please help. I could submit my own recommendations. I essentially do that quite regularly behind the driver’s seat of this blog. The articles I write examine interesting avenues and advocate passionate positions. My blogroll is a list of folks I rely on for new learning. I have a set of books on my shelf that were important to me, but really… the elements of my learning network allow it to be a dynamic, hyper-responsive, thing. There is even a pretty good chance you came here from the Twitterverse- and that has become a frighteningly good resources as of late.

PLEASE reply with comments here on the main post as well, as this will be forwarded throughout my district in a day or so.


Tags: 21st, Administration, Apple, Century, METC, NECC, NECC2009, PLN, Twitter, blog, More…edtech, schools, vision

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Being new to many of the technologies available for teachers, the only thing that I can offer is the book that I learned from and is the textbook for my one of my classes - Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (2008) by Will Richardson
That was my top... (near the first) book as well.
I hate to title (sorry, Will)... it is far richer instructionally than the tool-centered focus of the title.

I thought it was a really nice find.
This is an excellent comment... as is Matt's. I thank you both for commenting both places. You really do help me prove what an amazing thing it is to cultivate a PLN. These are two of the best responses (in my opinion) I have yet received to this post.

And yes- I could agree more on the idea that few teachers who think they want to use a "blog"... really know what that means. I try to steer many of them into what I call "blogging lite" on Ning networks which also feature really solid discussion forums. It does irk me to see member of my school network post things to the blog that are meant to be discussion starters... and then post (as you nicely put it) individual expressions into the discussion forum. I try really hard to differentiate the two entities. I use discussion forums far more than blog posts on my Principles of Biology network, as evidenced within the link.

There are some of the new instructional nuances of the 21st Century (or at least the past two years).

Excellent posts by both of you for such different reasons... you guys are great!

I want to ditto the vote for Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (2008) by Will Richardson. I don't know how a teacher could read the book and not start looking at how to have his/her students use technology more.
Thanks for clarifying my thoughts. You phrased it much better than I did.

I agree that teachers need to learn to fish but so do the students. The technology that our students will need to be successful in their future jobs probably has not been invented yet. We need to teach them how to learn new technology so that they will be able to learn and use future technology.
Books: Digital Literacy by Paul Gilster, A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, and In Search for Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms by Martin Brooks

Conferences: I’ve only been to two, VSTE – Virginia Society for Technology Educators and FETC. I am also planning on going to NECC this year.

Who would you travel to meet with? Anyone who is a Discovery Educator or works with Discovery Education (Steve Dembo, who’s already been listed), Jennifer Dorman (also a DEN member), and Nancy Bosch, and my professors from my graduate program at GMU.
I am really liking Daniel Pink as well...

I too will be at NECC again this summer.

Good suggestions below as well.

Thanks much.
Are you presenting at NECC or just participating?
Just participating. I went to San Antonio in '08... and signed up early for '09, but the timeline to submit anything passed me by easily with all that is going on in my building/district this year.

That certainly is something I would like to do for the next one, however.
I think it is definitely worthwhile to check out Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death. This is not an ed tech book, but in my opinion the bible of the media literacy movement. Through his engaging prose, Postman offers a true portrait of the impact media has on on our lives. Orwell speaks about how the government controls people through fear; Postman turns that idea around and says that the simplest way to control the masses is by feeding them a steady diet of media. We spend a great deal of time talking about the importance of integrating the tools and how they transform classroom practice, but all too often forget to think about how these tools impact us.
Also interesting... I'll have to check that out.
I've also read Postman's The Disappearance of Childhood. Again, not exactly related to ed tech, but there are ideas that feed into it.



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