On thursday I went to Concord, NC to attend the North Carolina Association for Educational Communication & Technology conference. In the morning, I attended a session by the folks who do teachertube.com. The talk was interesting if only to hear a presentation about web 2.0 from the “school 2.0″ perspective. The speaker (Jason Smith) talked about the digital divide between students and their learning environments. His point was that the divide between how students know/interact with technology and how schools typically ask them to learn is a significant problem. A good quote from a student that he used in relationship to this point was “when I go to school I have to power down.” His observations about the impact that catering to Millennails and the difficulty in really achieving substantive change in how we approach information, teaching, and learning seemed to resonate with the audience.
At 11:45 I presented with Melissa Thibault from LEARN NC about the Digital Forsyth project. The attendees were very engaged and suggested some approaches for creating content and getting involvement from the k-12 community that I look forward to following-up on.
After a lunch of PBnJ, I went to a session by Kevin Oliver from NCSU. His talk was structured around a laundry list of social software/web 2.0 applications and how they can be used in the classroom. In addition to covering these tools he also talked about different categories of tools (such as publication, annotation, mashups, editing, selling, etc). The list of applications was fascinating but even more interesting was hearing the specific questions from the teachers “can I export that?” “what kind of links can I create to the site?” “Is there any way to back-up that data?” Rather than posting the notes I took, here is a link to his handout of tools.
I ended the afternoon with a presentation by Lisa Mitchell (yep – my sister) on her use of technology to help document and connect resources from a recent trip to Japan. While I had heard some of her talk previously, I did not know about her approach for getting souvenirs from around Japan. The group of 200 teachers she was with split up into 10 groups during their second week and traveled to the corners of Japan. She gave each group 500 yen and asked that the find something to bring back from their travel. During her presentation, Lisa showed how she used these objects to help teach students about the experience.
While I was only able to spend the one day at this conference I was amazed at the similarities between the education and library professions. Perhaps that shouldn’t be so amazing but it was eye opening to see educators dealing with the same issues of change in the areas of technology, information, and learning that librarians are.