Monday, June 25, 2012

San Domenico at ISTE Day 1

It may be summertime for our students but our faculty have been very busy this June!  We just concluded an amazingly positive iTeach 2012 conference here on our campus.  We are going to celebrate the learning and reflection that happened at iTeach on this blog soon -- but first, we bring coverage from our team attending the National Educational Computing Conference, ISTE 2012.

The first day of the ISTE Conference in San Diego was attended by faculty from all levels of the school, including: Brooke Gelber, Valerie Davis, Natasha McKeown, Cecily Stock, Kali Baird, Nancy Goralski, and Mike Sloan.  The conference kicked off with a welcome and orientation to the conference, which is huge with over 13, 000 attendees from across America and over 62 other countries.

The highlight was a panel moderated by the keynote speaker, Sir Ken Robinson, well known for his TED talks on creativity and author of the book Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative. He began his presentation by questioning current public education policy that places teachers in the role of simply “delivering” pre-determined content rather than “inspiring” students’ creativity and passion for discovery.

The panel discussion then went on to highlight how important it is to inspire this passion because as panelist Marc Prensky, author of Brain Gain: Technology and the Quest for Digital Wisdom, said, “Passion is going to lead us to achievement.” They then turned to the role technology can play. Shawn Covell, who was representing communications giant Qualcomm, underscored how ubiquitous technology is in our lives. In fact, she quoted a stunning statistic that within the next ten years the number of mobile devices used will actually exceed the number of humans globally.  Thus, as Mayim Bialik, actress on the show Big Bang Theory and neuroscientist pointed out, educators now more than ever need to guide students to appropriately maximize the potential these devices provide – ideally inspiring collaboration, innovation and critical thinking.

The panelists’ messages definitely resonated with all of us from San Domenico and very clearly summed up the reasons why we have felt it was so important to boldly introduce one-to-one technology.  We are excited to find out through the hundreds of workshops offered this week how we can continue best meet our teaching and learning objectives.  There is still so much to learn!

-Natasha McKeown

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