ISTE 2012 #09 – Final

A few conference statistics as events wind up:

Attendees: 13,312

Exhibition hall: covered 5 football fields

Average distance walked by attendees each day: 6 miles

Wireless access points: 321

Network cable laid: 18,650 feet

Great conference, met interesting people from a variety of countries and backgrounds and engaged in numerous interesting professional conversations. Have a large list of apps and website recommendations to go through later to see what will be useful. Digesting information and ideas that confirmed and challenged my own thoughts and will run around in my head while I modify my future actions.

Looking forward to ISTE 2013 in San Antonio.

ISTE 2012 #08 – BYOD session

The concept of BYOD sessions is great a but after being in a not so successful session here are a few considerations for running this type of session. One person working interactivelty with 150 people is a tough gig so I won’t mention the name of the session I was in. The presenter was certainly very knowledgeable about the topic but this type of session requires more than that.

If the session is to be collaborative then make the login as simple as possible and if possible distribute this to attendees before the session or at least on the big screen as people arrive.

If your audience requires a particular level of knowledge then make that very obvious in the session brief.

Be prepared for the devices that attendees will bring. If particular hardware or software functionality is required make that very obvious in the session brief.

Stick to and cover the material in your session brief, after all this is why people came to the session.

Create an online resource of the session material so attendees can spend their time interacting and not note taking.

Pace the session appropriate to the complexity of the material presented.

Run and refer to a back channel (eg todaysmeet) to keep in touch with your audience.

ISTE 2012 #07 – Google Certified Teachers sharing
GoogleApps regional summits

These are my notes on the functionality presented during this session, unfortunately not enough time to note down step by step instructions so you may need to do some exploring to fully experience these features:

Google Books – search the world’s libraries, import into a document, highlight search and link words.

Spellchecker – indexes incorrect spellings in context, draws from web pages not a static database. Not perfect but gets better every day as it is constantly building its knowledge base.

Google Drive – cloud syncing, open multiple documents stored in foldersPresentations – more image options, camera option.

Gmail – enable extra features in settings>Labs – use canned responses and filters to auto respond to requests.

Google Maps – Save to Maps feature builds custom maps to display specific location information with walking, driving and public transport directions, share with others.

Google Art projects – navigate through museums to see artworks, more museums being added.

YouTube – create playlists, set up school channel in Google Apps for Education, new project –

ISTE 2012 #06 – Flipped Classroom

There is no ONE flipped classroom model but rather many variations of it. More correctly it can be viewed as flipped learning.

The big question to ask yourself is : What is the best use of your time in the classroom?

The flipped classroom is about finding the best way to maximise your effective classroom time. Creating videos is not an essential element although many use this approach to varying extents.

Flipping Blooms – low end tasks at home & higher lever interactions and creation at school.

A flipped classroom model maximises learning opportunities – it caters for individualised learning, allowing students to progress at their own rate while freeing the teacher to interact more with those students who require assistance. It gives students more control of and more responsibility for their own learning.

Front loading static, procedural and admin type instruction creates a launch point that allows teachers to use classroom time to evaluate and collaborate. Front loading should also be used to challenge students and prepare them for classroom activities.

Doesn’t have to involve video, only make a video if that is the most effective way to convey the material, especially don’t re-create something that has already been done. Allow students to create their own videos for whole class use, if appropriate.

Encourage students to do their own informational research beyond whatever you have created.

Flipping PD for teachers allows them to access material when it suits them.

Flipped Classroom is a technique and not a pedagogy that in practice can look however you want it to look but it must be a student centred approach that translates into more effective teaching and learning opportunities.

ISTE 2012 #05 – Day 2 Keynote

A very entertaining and thought provoking keynote by Dr Yong Zhao on Defining High Quality Education. He likened  Educational reform to a G PS taking us along an unknown route. Knowing the destination critical to how you get there.

The big question he asked was: Where are we going with education? The answer will most certainly not be found with standardised testing, being highly critical of such programs : USA’s No Child Left Behind and Australia’s NAPLAN.

He then took aim at PISA – countries with high test scores also produce low creativity and low levels of student confidence which was concerning as confidence underpins creativity and innovation.

He challenged us to reflect on what is it that really matters and to reflect on creativity – it  can’t be taught but it can be killed.

In the current age of Globalisation and in its future we will have to be not good but great and certainly not mass producers.

His final comment was to reassure us all that test scores do not reflect your teaching ability, your students’ future or your school’s capabilities.

ISTE 2012 #04 – We Need More PD

Based on projects involvIng Generation Yes

Papert stated that the closer to the classroom the PD happens the more effective it is. Traditional teacher PD doesn’t work this way so a different approach is to use a knowledgeable resource that is already in the school – Students.

Authentic problems for Student Support Leaders :

– tech support for teachers

– PD support for teachers

– Student technology literacy

Students as teacher mentors : “it can be frustrating but if we keep repeating it the teacher usually gets it.”  Students assist teachers with extended projects as well as quick help.

Student Technology Leaders assist other students with IT matters through help desk or through School tech geniuses like Apple Genius Bar.

Kids see themselves as the future for tech use in our schools.

Giving students something positive to do means they aren’t spending their time “beating the system”

Allow students to be agents of change and not just objects of change.

Digital citizenship is a verb, it is about what students and teachers do.

Example given of a technology day for principals where tech support was 15 ten year olds.

ISTE 2012 #02 – Creativity

Creativity does not come in Aha moments but is the result of a process involving feedback and modified refined attempt. Conditions that affect creativity :

– Playfulness: be in a happy state of mind

– Time: cannot rush creative thinking, ideas need time to incubate

– Exploration: try things, go for quantity

– Failure: don’t be afraid of it, learn from it, cannot succeed unless you first fail

– Variety: lots and lots of it

– Freedom autonomy choice

– A real challenge

– Think with your hands, move

– Clear understandings of constraints

– Knowledge, skills, mastery, expertise

– Encouragement


Personal passion, discipline and commitment


Explore the web, PLN, Try something new, Divergent thinking and Design tools
Best creative tools for divergent thinking start with a blank page.


Model openness, encourage failure

Open language – could, might, possible

Methods – mashups, tinkering, re-edit, mimic

Experience – lots of different ideas and situations

Assessment – can it be measured

ISTE 2012 #01

Day 1 at ISTE and the corridors are full of people who arrived only 5 min early to find sessions already full. Yes, I was one of those so ended up in a session that turned out to be a book promo about the relationship  between pedagogy, technology and change so gave it a chance. The presenter was knowledgeable but basically just quoted research and stats.

Some interesting points :

– The most important factor in ed’n stats is the width of the gap between the high & low performers

– Worse than bored students is teaching bored students

– Digital savvy is not pedagogy

– Quoting Hattie – teacher as Activator is 6 times more effective than teacher as Facilitator

– only 8% of teachers fully integrate technology in their classrooms.

– 23% feel confident enough to use technology in their classroom.

– One in three teachers is considering leaving the profession – so every third teacher a child has doesn’t really want to be there? That greatly effects commitment which affects  the quality of education those students receive.
Change knowledge: what is needed to affect change that results in greater student achievement, it requires:

-Focus -Innovation -Empathy -Capacity Building -Contagion -Transparency -Elimination of non essentials (distractors) -Leadership

ISTE 2012 San Diego

With 62 countries represented and 20,000 people expected through the doors ISTE is a big event revolving around technology in education.

It kicked off last night with a very disappointing keynote that had a great title and a great panel but it fell very flat. Mark Prensky was the only one who at least attempted to address the title. One panel member gave little more than a corporate advertisement and the few questions posed to the panel were very shallow. So points for attempting to be different with the opening keynote but unfortunately it was just not the event it could have been.

Interesting points :

The human race is built on diversity but our education system is built on conformity and compliance – if that is all we offer then don’t be surprised that that is all you get back. – Robinson
Empower teachers to dare to do what they know is right and not just cover the curriculum –  Prensky
Standardised testing puts an over emphasis on literacy/numeracy teaching at the expense of the Arts, this is a catastrophe – Robinson
What do we keep in our heads and what to we relegate to machines? – Prensky