October 2, 2010 at New Milford High School, New Jersey
This is a delayed posting of my attendance at the first #TSTEC in New Milford, NJ.
This was the first time I meet Eric Scheninger, Principal of New Milford High School. He had worked with Teq and Schoology to bring this conference to New Jersey as a venue for technology professional development for teachers. Included were presenters Adam Bellow, Tom Whitby, Samatha Morra, and many teachers in the tr-state area that were doing great things in the classrooms by integrating technology within their lessons.
This conference was fantastic and introduced me to how to implement social networking, online learning, using cell phones, etc. in the classroom. The presentations were all available online and using cell phones and twitter the audience had the opportunity to participate. I do plan to post pictures and some of my notes that I have on the different workshops I attended.
Lisa Neilsen's presentation regarding her blog (The Innovative Educator, http://innovativeeducator.blogspot.com/) and the use of social networking, cell phones, twitter, facebook, etc. within the classroom.
Lisa Nielsen : presentation thinking outside of the ban. The presentation can be found on http://tinyurl.com/thinkoutsidetheban. There is a principal in ridgefield, nj that was interviewed about blocking social networking and parents should say no to students that do social networking. In teaching as a Submersive Activity by Neil Postman in 1971 spoke about schools being the way they are due to how we as educators create the environment in the schools. She assist principals, teachers and students how to create blogs. She created the Innovative Educator blog and then was banned from having the blog from her employer and many comments regarding not having a blog. She wrote in Technology and Learning about the risking of blogging. She wrote on using cell phone in the classroom how to harness the use of cellphones for homework. http://tinyurl.com/cellphones. 2,500 students receive cell phone articles in NYC why not use this for education purposes? Texting messaging 5 ways to be used in schools.
I also attended George Engel, Pre-Calculus teacher from Clarkson Central Schools and how he used cellphones in his class to get instant feedback from students and what was presented in a lesson. For the firts time I was introduced to BackChanneling, Wiffiti and how they could be used in classroom instruction.
One of the scheduled presentations was done by Tom Whitby from St. Joseph's College. His presentation inroduced me to many of the Web 2.0 Tools that could be used in the classroom by teachers that would be at no cost to the school district. During his presentation there was a discussion on what is blocked or not blocked in a district and how could a teacher convince the administration and IT staff the need for these tools to better prepare students for the 21st century. The need for teacher to be student-centered rather teacher focused was also discussed and how teachers can progress to this model of teaching and learning.
I left this conference totally convinced that for my district to move forward there would be a need to adopt mobile technology with the use of cell phone in the classrooms. But this would require to get buy-in from all district stakeholders and the beginning process would be to change the present technology policy to include personal mobile devices. Due to financial limitations it would be ncessary for the district to allow students to bring in their own devices in the classroom so that they could be used for instructional purposes.