Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

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This last week I had the great opportunity to attend the National School Board Associations T+L Conference in Seattle. This conference focuses on big ideas and issues for schools dealing with technology. With the conference being so close to home, we were able to bring a team of 5 people from our district. It was great to join Carl Bruner, our superintendent, Cathey Frederick, assistant superaintendent for Teaching and Learning, Ed Doherty our Information Technology Director, and LuAnne Burkhart our School Board Director. We were all inspired and gained a common vision as we attended sessions, walked through the exhibits and met together to share what we were learning. One big idea that we all came away with is the power of using technology to make learning in our district more transparent to our community. We came away with great ideas for opening up and sharing with our community using video, online classes, websites, blogs, podcasts and more. Here are some of the highlights of the conference for me.

Moodle How and Why with Randy Orwin: I attended a half day pre-conference workshop on using Moodles in many different ways. Moodle is very flexible, open source online course software. It can be used to extend classroom work and discussions, present online classes, organize material to share with others, create polls and much, much more. For me it was great to see examples of many different uses of Moodle.

Information Literacy in the 21st Century: In this session, we discussed issues and ideas associated with information literacy. Ideas about Cyber Saftey, Internet Etiquette and encouraging global citizenship were discussed.

Paul Saffo: a futurist, was the keynote speaker. The big idea was that the consumer economy is coming to a close. It was done in by its success. People now want more that they can possibly be satisfyed with. The new economy is based on creating and consuming in the same act. Google is a great example of this.

Apple Teach for the Future: Highschools: The design principals of this new highschool include 21st Century skills, relevant and applied curriculum, informative assessments, culture of creativity and innovation,social and emotional connection and 24/7 access.

Exhibits: Lots of great stuff out there for integrating tech into the curriculum. I was impressed with the improvements in doc cameras and a new wand tool that takes the place of an interactive whiteboard. Would have been more impressed if the price would have been lower.

Online PLCs: This is an area I am trying to develop in our district so it was great to see how a school has put together online teaching communities and learning using Blackboard. Blackboard is similar to Moodle so I could see possiblities of how I could develop this in our district.

Tim Tyson: Tim Tyson shared his vision and inspiration about how he transformed and challenged his middle school students to be their very best and change the world through their videos.

District Modles: I attended 3 different workshops where districts were sharing how they organize their professional development and tech training. Again, this was great for me to see as I help develop this for our district.

One last fun thing. As I was sitting in the hallway getting some juice for my laptop and blogging, 3 huge names in Ed Tech wondered by and engaged in a conversation right beside me. It was great to hear Steve Hargadon, David Warlick and Gary Stager discuss blogging, microblogging and changing information. It felt a little like I was lurking, but I really was there first...:)
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