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5 Developing Themes at ISTE ’10
By Henry Thiele
I attended EduBloggerCon, the Constructivist Consortium,
the opening events, and more at ISTE ’10, and through my
interactions there, I have begun to see some themes developing
in the conference:
1 It has been a rough year. Between budget cuts, leadership
challenges, and the increasing responsibilities associated
with technology in schools, everyone was mentally
exhausted heading into the conference. Excitement about
changing practices and adding resources to schools has
been tempered by budget concerns.
2 We have some pretty big decisions looming about
how we are going to handle an influx of personal
mobile computing devices into our society. With the iPad,
the new iPhone, Android devices, and the continued growth
of netbooks, there are a lot more discussions of how we are
going to respond to this trend as schools. These conversations
center on network infrastructure, policy, instructional
strategies, and preparing teachers for this change.
3 Digital divide. The changes described in number 2
are starting to show how ugly the digital divide is
becoming. The gap between those able to have the world’s
information in their hands and those unable to is a growing
social problem. When connectivity is factored in along with
access to hardware, the difficulty becomes greater and
4 Assessment: Many educators are struggling more with
assessment and its design. It seems that most agree
with attaching some form of accountability to assessment.
But nobody has quite figured out how to do it. It is
becoming apparent, however, that technology will have to
be involved in whatever solution does present itself, if for
efficiency if nothing else.
5 Personalizing education: More people are talking about
making teaching and learning more personal, saying that
education has to be tailored to each individual. There is a lot
of frustration and confusion about how to make this happen
when we are still working in an environment designed to
“press out parts” rather than create individual masterpieces.