TIES Conference Report

TIES 2010 Education Technology Conference

I attended one workshop, three keynote speeches, and six breakout sessions during my 3 days at the 2010 TIES Conference in Minneapolis on December 4-7. I found the information and ideas in the keynote speeches to be thought provoking. I particularly liked Sir Ken Robinson's message that education needs new metaphors, because the existing metaphors were created for an education system that was designed to meet the needs of students in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is not a new message for me, just the metaphor. 

Even though I attended sessions about things I was previously away from, I took away new information and ideas from every session. Katie Titler's session about using cell phones in the classroom was intriguing, exciting, and inspiring. My Emerging Technology paper for this project was mobile phones as learning tools, and Katie's presentation exemplified everything I read, thought, and wrote about. 

I don't regret any of my session choices, but I do wish I would have attended the Google Apps for Educator workshop on Sunday instead of the SMART Advanced workshop. The SMART Advanced workshop was well-planned and had great strategies and information, but it was very similar to a workshop I attended earlier this summer. I chose the SMART Advanced workshop over the Google Apps workshop to give me additional knowledge and skills for my position as District Technology Integration Specialist. 

Considering the positive experiences I had at the conference, the three best were the conversations my colleague and traveling partner and I had in our daily commute from Mankato to Minneapolis, having a video clip of me being interviewed as a conference attendee be presented to the audience of the Sir Ken Robinson keynote in the conference and pre-keynote introduction, and meeting classmate Andrea Cacek by random chance in the Vendor exhibit hall. I'm looking forward to next year.

Sunday, December, 4

All-day hands-on workshop presented by Chris Carlson from Mahtomedi Public Schools.

This workshop focused strategies for creating and using the SMART Board for teaching and learning based on Dr. Marzano's 9 effective elements* to increase student achievement and his research regarding the use of interactive white boards (IWB). Activities during this workshop involved hands-on training, active learning strategies, chunking, reflecting, and interaction with the tools. 

(* Voting devices, graphic representations, reinforcers, chunking, previewing, reviewing, summarizing, reflection, physical and mental interactivity with content.)

Monday, December 5

Sir Ken Robinson - Keynote Speaker

Some notes from Sir Ken's keynote:

Imagination is vital for achievement and success
  • You can predict and prepare for the future, but you won't know until it happens and you need to act
  • Failure to imagine has pinned us in our worst catastrophes
  • We are living in a period of revolution
  • If we are to meet this revolution we must do things differently
    • This is the other climate crisis
  • These shifts are global but in U.S. the dropout rate is 40%
  • Kids drop out because kids don't think education is about them
  • Should go back to basics, but need to identify them
    • Basics are about people

Disruptive and transformative technologies have slowly changed society and tech is doing same thing to education, but much more quickly.
  • Computers will be as smart as humans
  • Tech has connected humans more than any other way or time before
    • Note: Video: How many people can live on earth
  • Our education systems were designed in 19th C when only 1 billion people lived on earth and have not changed to meet the needs of current 7 billion
  • Our children are moving into a world we don't know or understand
  • Education systems are not based on aptitudes but on abilities and meeting common low level expectations - norms
  • Our education systems need to be predicated on talent and the conditions that encourage talent
  • Life is organic - we compose our lives and they are a constant interaction - a creative process
Education must be:
  • Personal
  • Cultural
  • Economic
New Metaphors are needed
  • The 2004 Death Valley record setting rainfall and subsequent growth of wildflowers is a metaphor for what people and schools need to do differently
  • Human organizations are more like organisims than mechanisms and schools need to change and cultivate high expectations combined with individualized learning opportunities that embrace richer possibilities

Cell Phones: Learning in and beyond the classroom
Interesting presentation by Katie Titler, who described how she has used Cell Phones to increase engagement and student achievement in her Spanish Language classes for the past 1-1/2 years. Highlighted Voki, Blabberize, and PollEverywhere.

Going Beyond the Basics of Creating a Google Earth Field Trip
Jean Oswald demonstrated the basic components of Google Earth and how to embed images and YouTube videos to create a media rich virtual field trip using GE. Jean also described how educators can apply for a Google Earth Grant to received Google Earth Pro for free: http://sitescontent.google.com/google-earth-for-educators/google-earth-pro-grants-wizard

Using Technology Tools for Authentic Assessment
Pamela Manders presented examples of how teachers in her school use technology tools for authentic assessment. The examples incuded: PowerPoint presentations that embedded a blend of content information and student created media, glogster posters, and self-recorded presentations that were shared via YouTube.

Enhancing Active Learning with Technology

Vivian Johnson presented about active learning and formative assessments using technology tools. Some examples are: using Dabbleboard for K-W-L and real-time chats.

Tuesday, December 6

Bernie Trilling - Keynote Speaker
Advisor and consultant at 21st Century Learning

Some notes from Bernie's keynote:

Asked the question, "What will the world be like 20 years from now?" and then facilitated collaborative discussion that came up with list that represents a plan to start to answer question. 

A Connectivist Yankee in King Ning's Court: True Adventures in Open Space
Scott Schwister from Hamline University presented about his attempt to meet the void for a social network for teacher professional development in Minnesota. The backdrop to Scott's story is Connectivism, which he presented a short overview before taling about his experience creating a social network using Buddypress and Wordpress Multi-User.

PLCs: The Professional Development Equivalent of a Neighborhood Block Party
Patrick Crothers, Michelle Ford, and Kathy Kraemer presented how they use PLCs as the vehicle for technology integration in their districts. An a-ha point I took away from this presentation is to align tech integration with learning initiatives in district and not have it be isolated as tech for tech's sake.

Engaging Students in Online Learning Experiences
Susan Patrick - President & CEO iNACOL

Some notes from Susan's keynote:

TPAC for Online & Blended Learning

T - Technology Platforms
  • Enterprise architecture
  • Learning management system / virtual learning environment
  • 1:1 computing
  • Broadband internet infrastructure
  • New SIS models for standards-based and new competency-based approaches
P - People / Pedagogy / Professional Development
  • Teachers need new skills to teach online
  • Admin need new skills to manage online programs
  • New Response to Intervention models through blended
A - Assessment
  • Online / Adaptive
  • Personalization engines
  • Performance-based
C - Online Content
  • Online courses
  • Dual enrollment
  • Credit recover
  • Common core curriculum
K-12 Online learning is growing 30% annually

Blended learning has two buckets or models
  • Blended courses, when a class has both f2f and online activities
  • Blended programs, when a school has both f2f and online classes 
    • Buffet style, when a student has both f2f and fully-online classes
    • Emporium

Online blended course definitions
Allen, Seamens & Garrett - Blending In: The Extent and Promise of Blended Education in... (PDF)

Iconoculture - Nancy Robinson

Innovations impacting global needs in next 10 years:
#1 Alternative energy
#2 Desalination of water
#3 Precision farming
#8 Virtual learning

Educause's 2010 Horizons Report for what will be the next trends in education
  • Mobile computing
  • Open content
  • Visualization: data analysis
  • Gesture-based computing
Mobile computing is at top of charts/ lists for next generation trends in edu

Move away from seat-time and toward competency- based learning

Education should be like a metaphor of learning to ski...you can't start on the moguls until you're ready.