Don’t call it a laptop project….Gary Stager

Last year at FETC, I came to one session early to hear the tail end of a session by Gary Stager. I remember thinking he was quite different from the other presenters. I’m not sure what his presentation was about but he certainly had a unique delivery. Quite irreverant and refreshing. Add to that his New Jersey accent, and you’ve got someone worth listening to. I remember one line he used. Paraphrased somewhat,

“there’s always one blowhard in the crowd that says, “it’s not about the technology”, then I say why are we at at technology conference instead of a Montessori conference”.

Something like that. So this year I was happy to hear what he had to say about one to one computing. He’s been doing it for 16 years. He’s passionate about using it as an “imagination machine”. Here’s a few of my rather scraggly notes.

It’s not a project. This is not an experiment. The laptop computer is the primary learning instrument of the day. Failed ventures often focus on increased usage and continuing with the same old curriculum. Must offer emotion and excitement for buy-in.

We should be as concerned about future students as our current ones.… Read the rest

GPS with the kids

Had an interesting day at Ross with Grades 4 and 5 introducing them to GPS and Geocaching. We certainly had some problems getting accurate satellite readings. Even with all the problems, there was no lack of interest and enthusiasm. Lots of math, science and social studies concepts are necessary for them to develop understanding on Global Positioning. We’ll try again on Friday.

This is the location of the parking lot.
.Geocache location

Here are the enthusiastic kids.

ross geocacher 1Read the rest

Geocaching and my 73 year old father

My dad turns 73 this month. For Christmas, I bought him a GPS or Global Postioning device.,
I’ve now got him hooked on geocaching. Geocaching is like a big game of hide and seek but there’s more to it. He has found over 10 caches in his winter home of Lakeland, Florida. He planted his first cache this week. He calls me a few times a week to keep me updated. On my recent trip to Florida, we got to do several caches together. We had a blast.
Technology doesn’t know how old you are.

Read the rest