Friday, February 12, 2010

2010 TIES Coordinator Conference recap

Well, back home after the annual TIES Coordinator Conference. Always a good time to network with colleagues working in school technology around the state. There were some very good sessions this year and you can find some of the session resources posted on the TIES Wiki if you are interested. Here are a few brief highlights...
  • Google, Google and more Google - Yes, this was quite the buzz. More and more schools seem to be riding the Google wave (pun intended if you know about Google Wave!) The Google Apps for Education package provides an enticing group of apps and who can beat the price. So... are schools moving this direction because it meets their needs or because it is free? I'll be researching this more as several of the districts I work with are looking seriously at this.
  • Mobile devices - The upcoming iPad from Apple was a topic of many. No, the Apple rep didn't have one to show us, but there was a fair amount of discussion about how this might affect education. I'm sure you'll hear more from me on this in upcoming posts.
  • Social Networking - Aimee Bissonette from Little Buffalo Law & Consulting discussed the legal implications of cell phones, email, texting, social networking, etc. both in and outside of schools. Her advice in a nutshell... be prepared, have set policies about such things in place for both staff and students and don't "look the other way."
  • Speed Geeking - Like speed dating only you have people with some expertise in various instructional technologies sitting at the tables and others who would like to learn about those technologies get to rotate through talking to each "expert" for three to five minutes.
As always, a good learning and networking experience. Check the wiki site linked above for more information.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mobile Computing Revisited

Wow... A lot has happened since my last post. For now, I want to comment on mobile technology again. I'll be discussing this topic once more at the TIES Coordinator's Conference with the hope of engaging some school technology personnel in a discussion of why devices like the iPod Touch may have a place in our classrooms. Now, of course, the iPad (still a rather unfortunate name, I think) has been announced and we have the potential of adding a device that runs all the iPhone/Touch apps on a screen with some real estate. It could be an interesting year ahead in mobile computing. Here are some good reads about the iPad and Touch that you might find interesting...

Article from the Apple Learning Exchange

Post at the MEMO (MN School Technology) website

Blog Post from Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk Blog