Here are my “Top Six” takeaways from TechForum in Westchester, NY last Friday:
- Great analogy from Mike St Pierre:
Social Media = Embassy —>> Outpost.
His presentation explains in more detail, but the idea is that the Embassy is the home base, the social media that is controlled and organized by a district. The Outposts are the frontier where all the activity takes place, for instance, in Twitter streams.
- All of the speakers in one breakout session about shaping a social media plan for your school agreed that when schools exude a positive social media presence, the community responds positively. It’s simple human behavior that we see in lots of social interactions, but with schools so “paranoid” about using social media, it was refreshing to hear teachers and administrators agree that giving up control can actually lead to a successful social media presence.
- Technology infrastructure continues to be a huge concern and cost for schools. Most adults in the U.S. take fast, plentiful Internet access for granted, especially in business locations. Yet for a myriad of reasons, schools are having trouble catching up.
- Chromebooks are poised to surpass iPads (and most other tablets and laptops) as the defacto school-provided computing device.
- The message in keynote speaker Jon Bergmann’s presentation was uncannily similar to this article that just appeared in Wired magazine. Basically, teachers should facilitate inquiry-based learning.
- Cool new “tools” that I discovered: Tagboard, Smore, and Educlipper.
Thanks to the Sprout Fund for sponsoring my trip! More info and applications for conference stipends and other Sprout programs can be found here.