Podcast 14… Dinner with Bloggers


I think I understand how competitive the news business is in trying to get out stories before the other guy. As far as I can tell I’m at least the 4th one to talk about this event. But I have something the others do not; Audio. Although the quality is not your Savvy Technologist standard but if you want to sit in with the likes of Wes Fryer, Will Richardson, Tim Wilson, Rob Mancabelli and others this might be for you.

podcast
23 MB 1:06

My only regret is that I didn’t have more time with Steve Dembo and have him in on this conversation. Steve was sitting down from us and was busy having his own great conversation.… Read the rest

Let’s ban the laptops…another lame response to disruptive technology

I’m working hard here at trying to introduce laptops in the classroom. This does not help.

In the article, Professor Entman says:

“My main concern was they were focusing on trying to transcribe every word that was I saying, rather than thinking and analyzing,“ Entman said Monday. “The computers interfere with making eye contact. You’ve got this picket fence between you and the students.“

Sounds like a management issue here. You can argue all day whether students should be more focused, whether they should be handwriting, the reality is the notebook is here and by trying to ban or restrict technology you are not addressing the more important question of how to take advantage of it. It’s often about engagment. If the professor is not engaging, students will find things that are more engaging. If the concern is about thinking and analyzing, there are many ways to facilitate that online as well.

Banning technology is always the easiest solution but it’s usually not the best.

Here’s a response from one student:

“If we continue without laptops, I’m out of here. I’m gone; I won’t be able to keep up,“ said student Cory Winsett, who said his hand-written notes are incomplete

Read the rest

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