Skip to main content

Thoughts on the Aspen Ideas Festival

One of my wife's favorite newspaper writers/bloggers is Joel Achenbach from the Washington Post. She started following him during her undergrad at American University, and now follows him on "Achenblog".
This week, Joel is in Aspen at "Ideas Camp", The Aspen Ideas Festival. The newspaper sent him to cover the event and listen to "important people", with "important ideas!"
Tuesday, he posted about the camp, and it contained this quote:
Last night I heard Craig Barrett, chairman of Intel, warn that the U.S. is in danger of falling behind the rest of the world in science and engineering. He was pretty grim about it -- says short-sighted politicians and teachers unions and so on are resistant to long-term changes in the educational system here. He favors charter schools and vouchers. Best line: A person in the audience asked what kind of technology he'd like to see in classrooms. "The technology I want to see in classrooms? Good teachers."
The next day, there was a post containing this:
Quote of the day so far: "Knowing things is very 20th century. You just need to be able to find things." -- Danny Hillis [on how Google has changed the way we think]

These quotes got me to thinking about "Go Wireless" our 1-to-1 laptop initiative, and upcoming pilot. When someone from the "outside world" such as Barrett declares that "the technology I want to see in classrooms is: Good Teachers", it gives me pause. I think my role as a technology integrationist is really to help people become better teachers, which will in turn result in improved student achievement. I think it's true that we can put millions of dollars of technology into classrooms, but if the teacher is not prepared to use it, it is wasted money.
The focus of our community of practice this fall will be on pedagogy, how to transform classrooms from teacher centered to student centered, authentic learning environments.
Hillis may be right, students will need to have the 21st Century skills to find, rather than know, but it will take a "Good Teacher" to impart those skills, and guide students on how to use and analyze the information they find!
I hope our community of practice is a step in the right direction!

Comments

Mr. Boone said…
I agree that the best investment in technology in the classroom should be the investment in good teachers and good teaching. The approach described is that of a Constructivist pedagogy. Here is a link to a good paper on the constructivist classroom...
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the post Mike! I'm looking forward to finding out 1-to-1 computing can do for my students and for me too!

Popular posts from this blog

Educon 2.1: Panel Discussion on Educational Change and Reform

The Sunday panel moderated by Andy Carvin, National Public Radio , focussed on Education Change. The panel included: David Bromley -- Regional Director, Big Picture Schools Chris Lehmann -- Principal, Science Leadership Academy Marc Mannella -- Principal, KIPP Philadelphia Bette Manchester -- Former State Educational Technology Director, Maine Gary Stager-- Executive Director of the Constructivist Consortium Mike Wang -- Executive Director of Teach For America Greater Philadelphia January 29-31, 2009 Educon 2.2 announced Save the Date!! Here is a clip from the session . Carvin asked each on the panel give an "Opening Statement". What does School Reform Look Like now that we have a new President in the White House. Lehmann -"I am hopeful", That data driven decision making recognizes that the best data we have on our students is the work that they do in the classroom every day. Mannella -Explained that KIPP schools fundamental belief that "All of us WILL Learn

Notes on EduCon 2.1 Opening Panel Discussion: What is the Purpose of School?

The "Official" opening to Educon 2.1 featured a panel discussion on "the purpose of school" at the Franklin Institute. Panel Members included: Joel Arquillos -Executive Director of 826LA (Writing workshops) -his boss has now started “ Once upon a School ”, a program paring classroom teachers with adult community members. Dr. Molefi Asante -Professor, African American Studies, Temple University (1st African American Studies program in U.S.) Kendall Crolius -Founding Partner, The Sulevia Group, also affiliated w/Heifer International Jeff Han -Founder, Perceptive Pixel and inventor of the Multi-Touch Screen (iPhone users were genuflecting in his presence!) Prakash Nair -Co-Founder, Fielding Nair International- Archetects and Change Agents for Education Dr. Steven Squyres -Principal Investigator, Mars Exploration Rover Mission Diane Castelbuono Deputy Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education PA Department of Education Moderator-Frederic Bertley -Vice Pr

Nos Chemins vers la paix: Award Winning Video!

Valley View Middle School French Imersion teacher, Heather Palmer created this award winning video, Nos Chemins vers la paix , for the Tel.A.Vision " Vision For America " Contest. Photo and video editing at www.OneTrueMedia.com Powered by One True Media , Tel.A.Vision.tv allows students to create videos that share their vision for the future. Heather wanted to use this video to promote the Wiki she and her students created for "6 Billion Paths to Peace." On the wiki, Palmer states: Our project was inspired by the program " Six Billion Paths to Peace ", an initiative of the Shinnyo-en foundation. We like the challenge the program offers us: commit to making a difference in this moment, in this day, in this lifetime! Palmer received her award last week at the National Service Learning Conference, in Nashville, TN. Way to go, Heather! NOTE: A few weeks ago while looking at the copyright free music available on the site, I notice a cover of the "Spin