Alan November is the senior partner in and founder of November Learning, a company that empowers educators to apply tools and strategies across the curriculum. November, an international leader in education technology, was among the first to recognize the importance of Web 2.0 technologies in enhancing classroom learning. He is the author of Empowering Students with Technology and a founder of the Stanford Institute for Educational Leadership Through Technology. November, who was selected as one of the original five national Christa McAuliffe educators, leads the Building Learning Communities summer conference, which features presenters and participants from all over the world.
Contributing editor Matt Bolch spoke with Mr. November about his take on edtech.
MB: What's the next big technological application/device likely to impact education?
The realization that technology planning is the wrong paradigm. Information and global communications is the real revolution. Too many schools are technology rich and information and relationship poor.
MB: From your perspective, what issues are educators struggling with today?
Time, time and time ... Technology training is insufficient. The difficult, time-consuming work is redesigning the assignments we give students to be more rigorous and motivating. The only way to accomplish this is to give teachers the time to develop these assignments. Otherwise, we are bolting technology on top of old work, and this will not get us very far.
??MB: What can a participant expect to get out of a Building Learning Communities conference?
Your mind will never be the same. You will meet educators from all over the world who are doing amazing things within their classrooms. It is a total immersion into the concept of building learning communities and transforming the culture of teaching and learning to an empowering, globally connected launch for life long learning. You will leave with an enhanced personal learning network and the practical applications to really make a difference for our students. You will laugh, be deeply reflective and be gob-smacked.