Saturday, September 08, 2007

Feeling comfortable with the Shifts.....

My last post talked about some of the 'shifts' that this blog will go through, since I am writing this personally and have created a new blog specifically for SMUHSD EdTech Professional Development. (SMUHSD Tech Bytes) But there are other 'shifts' that are going on that are worth noting.

On Thursday, I was involved in a training session on the use of 'DataDirector,' a new data presentation tool for schools to better use data to guide instruction. I have been a fan of 'DataDirector' for a two years now, I was very pleased when the SMUHSD decided to dump Edusoft and pick up 'Data Director.' In speaking with some of the other teachers in the session, the reviews were very, very positive.

In the afternoon, I was part of a panel of EdTech people speaking to a group at the Office 2.0 conference in San Francisco. The members of the group had been corresponding with each other via e-mail and building out some ideas on the 'Classroom 2.0' social networking site on Ning and on a wiki provided by 'Wikispaces.' This group of people are 'HEAVY HITTERS' in the EdTech arena and I am a High School teacher and Technology Coordinator. Steve Hargadon, the moderator of the group, is one of the Infinite Thinking Machine bloggers, as well as founder of k12 Computers. Steve Dembo, is the author of the Teach42 blog and works for the Discovery Educator Network. Adam Frey, is one of the co-founders of Wikispaces, a wiki tool that is free for educators. Anastasia Goodstein, is the author of the 'Ypulse' blog as well as the book, "Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens are Really Doing Online." Sylvia Martinez, is the President of Generation YES, a firm that assists schools in making transitions into 21st Century learning. Rushton Hurley, is the founder of NextVista for Learning, a site that allows students and teachers to post educational video to share with others. Karen Greenwood-Henke, is the founder of Nimble Press, a San Francisco educational consulting firm, and the author of the 'Grant Wrangler Blog,' aimed at the educational market. Guillaume Cohen, is the founder of Veodia, a live streaming video firm that provides service to conferences and other events. Veodia was on hand and took video of the entire presentation, which you can watch here, look for the 'Classroom 2.0 presentation.

Friday started with another meeting, the County Technology Coordinators as SMCOE. The meeting was a little awkward, since the County Technology Director has recently resigned and there isn't a replacement as of yet. Kathleen Ferenz, from CTAP and the GoogleIT sessions this summer, pinch hit for the county. To her credit, Kathleen set up a wiki for the County Technology Coordinators to begin the process of organizing for the remainder of the school year. There were plenty of new faces in the room, it made me feel a little dated. Most of the brainstorming session looked at different district goals and there was plenty of talk about "Cyber Safety," "Digital Citizenship" and "Information Literacy." Three topics we have done some work on in our Global Communications course.

This school year has started with lots of ambivalence and uncertainty and I know it is going to keep changing on all fronts; school, district, county, state and nationally. As an individual, I will just have to learn to 'feel comfortable with the shifts.' Perhaps all of us should?

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