Today, I attended the day-long TEC-SIG meeting in Austin. TEC-SIG is one of the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) of TCEA and every now and then we get together to share resources and to collaborate on ideas.
Today’s session was a good look into Apple and their tools for schools. It wasn’t anything really new for me since i recently blogged about the use of iPods and iTouch pods in schools instead of laptops. Unfortunately, I made the post “private” because I felt I was too harsh and condemning of districts choosing to go 1:1 with laptops. In other words, my tone went negative when I am trying so hard to be more positive here.
These are the notes I had in my iPhone from today’s morning session. They actually reference my blog post so you aren’t missing out on anything.
1) TCEA is soon to be offering more student contests and opportunities for students to collaborate with each other at the contest events. This reminds me of that old HBO Family show that used to air with kids showing movies they made and then talking about how they filmed and edited them. I once contacted the producers of the show to find out if I could order the series for a campus. They said no but that I could record the shows and use them in the classes. I wish they still aired that show. I think it was called “Kid Flicks”.
2) Learned about a document put together by the Visioning Institute which is a group of superintendents and the Texas Association of School Administrators. The document is for “Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas: A Work in Progress for Conversation and Further Development”. I picked up a copy and I think it is a good framework for gathering all this 21st century discussion into a plan and direction for districts to move with. I have a copy of it and I am looking forward to reading it.
Additional copies available here
3) Dr. Tom Burnett from Apple presented and his presentation was spot-on! I have a note to self that says “First, Break All the Rules”. I believe I referenced this book title because the presentation was about taking that step out of our own comfort areas of technology use for our students. I wrote about iPods in classrooms and I hear teachers say that they can’t imagine kids in elementary schools using them because the screens are so small.
For whom? The kids or the teachers?!? Step out of your own comfort zone and try it out for more than just a one session. Tom brought up a good point asking the audience why they were using laptops to take notes when so many have cell phones with note-taking abilities. The general answer of the crowd “so i can see the screen”. Do kids need to see that big screen?? Are they complaining about the text and video being too small?
While on this topic, do we really want to select one device for every user? What about the people who need to see larger text or video? Are we really looking to defy differientated instruction by purchasing one product for everyone? We already go with ONE textbook for every student. Why not the same type of computer for everyone?? Is this model really working?? Can we differientiate technology AND education??
Plus, is one device the one device for everyone? Can we differentiate technology and education?
With the new MEdia and the increase of the Cloud Computing concept – do we need to really invest in the hard drive computer anymore??? We discuss the idea of cross-platforming with Linux, Apple, and Windows but with the cloud – with the web – there is no platform!
Districts still considering 1:1 laptop initiatives should really invest in attending the Austin South by Southwest Interactive conference in the spring. Step out of education conferences and look into what the “real world” of Inter-tainment (interactive entertainment) is doing. Why are the universities closing their computer labs? Why aren’t they going with laptops anymore?
And in the world of Intertainment, let’s see what Blockbuster will be in 3 years with the onslaught of video streaming services and rentals. Dell now sells a PC with movies preloaded on the hard drive. iTunes sells movies for rent in its browser. I can watch television programming on Hulu.com. And Blu-Ray?? Did it really win the market from HD with these types of options available in the cloud?
My advice for anyone thinking of laptop intiatives: Look BOTH WAYS before crossing that street!! Step outside of just education. Watch the media initiatives. Learn why the actors, producers, writers, and directors have been striking and the deals they are making for the new Intertainment Television.
Back to the presentation:
4) Apple is trying to create the best learning environments for this generation. Are going back to the idea of the early 80s with Apple Computers of Tomorrow (part deux). They are trying to “create the best learning environments for THIS generation!
Research study posted on Apple involving a three year technology immersion study by an independent group of researchers. Information to be posted on TEC-SIG but data shows how technology has impacted student learners and assessments.
I hope to post a link to this great presentation by Dr. Burnett. It was good seeing him again!
Next we had Maria Henderson from Apple discuss how Apple is working with educators to help “Create, Distribute, Access, and Collaborate. Maria’s Del.icio.us account is “iteachdigital” and her links will be posted on there.
She discussed the Insomnia Film Festival which is a 24 hour straight project for students in high school to participate in creating and producing a short film. They are given 5 items that must go into their film for posting to the festival online. The start date is the end of October and it looks pretty fun.
We also learned about Final Cut Professional/Studio certifications taught through Apple and through the Region 20 Service Center. Peachpit Press books are used for training guides with Prometric testing. Could be a solution for Media Tech in KISD.
And now I am sleepy so part two to come tomorrow.
All in all, a good day. It was great seeing my colleagues from Eanes! I really enjoyed sitting at the table with you all again. Oh how I miss Skype conversations and our Friday meetings!!
Want more information on the media and Interactive Media? I am reading about these items in Wired, Entertainment Weekly, Empire magazine, hearing about it in interviews on Sirius radio, reading media blogs and news posts, Aintitcoolnews.com, and following entertainment producers on Twitter and MySpace. Watch the trends about Blu-Ray DVD and new technologies for getting entertainment into the homes. All of this is happening around us and it is on the frontline, cutting edge future.
Get in the conversation!