By Nancy Caramanico, CIO Advisor
Recently, COSN (Consortium of School Networking) held their 2011 conference in New Orleans. Mastering the Moment was the theme of the COSN conference this year. In choosing this theme, COSN's focus was on assisting school and technology leadership on implementing the best and newest of technologies into schools. To do so successfully, leaders need to also recognize the unique challenges brought by the economy and the rapidly changing educational and technological landscape. A rich blend of educational presenters, keynotes, technical presenters and sponsors came together to share, discuss, plan and look to the future. New Orleans is a place rich with history. It is also well know for music and especially jazz music. It was a perfect setting for discussing emerging technologies, schools, the future and 'Mastering the Moment'.
Jazz is... An open-ended music designed for open minds. Anonymous
For any ensemble to play well, all have to work together. Such is the case with transforming our classrooms today. To transform learning today we need to pay close attention to emerging technologies and the needs of our learners. Paying attention alone won't make change happen though. The collaborative,ensemble work of the various players can. The visionaries, the leaders, the policy makers, the technical support people, the teachers and the students. Each has an important part to play. Working in unison, they can apply the latest of research and tools and make a profound difference in our schools and transform teaching and learning so that is the best it can be for students.Mobile learning, cloud and collaborative, social Web 2.0 computing were the big topics of the conference. To support schools in applying these emerging technologies many excellent resources were shared. Here is a top sampling:
Top 8 Technology Resources for School Leaders from COSN 2011
1. Mobile Learning Initiative - Leadership for Mobile Learning - An initiative dedicated to assisting school leaders in planning for and successfully implementing mobile technologies. Tapping into the best of mobile learning practice and policy, this team will investigate, discuss and share their findings.
2. Collaborate on Mobile Learning - Access4learning - Online collaboration to benefit student learning and mobile initiatives will be available to those who join this site. It is an online forum for sharing resources and solutions on mobile learning and 'bring your own technology' to school scenarios.
3. Technology Policies One Stop Shop - AUP Guide in the Web 2.0 and Mobile Era - Fostering online safety and access to the extraordinary resources found on the web are the focus of this guide. New technologies require new policies and procedures. There is a solution for that! Here schools can find legal information, state law guides, sample Technology Acceptable Use Policies and related research. This guide helps schools to weigh the latest trends and incorporate their use into policies.
4. Emerging Technologies Showcase - Horizon Report Hub - Emerging Technologies are detailed each year in the Horizon Report, recently released by the Global HP Initiative. This new site allows school leaders to find examples, supporting research and media to aid in the implementation of each of the emerging trends. School leaders can learn more about the Horizon Report research process also be visiting the project wiki.
5. Green Technology Resources -Green Computing Initiative - Take care of our earth and save money too by going Green. Purchasing and Disposal, Energy Management and Green Schools certifications are detailed here.
6. Web Collaboration Tools and Rules - Participatory Learning in Schools - Social Learning is here to stay. View materials for exploring the possibilities.
7. Speak Up for EdTech Funding - ETAN Edtech Action Network - Federal funding is essential for schools. Like many other budgets this one funding is endangered. Visitors can write to legislators to voice support for Educational Technology here.
8. Figure in Savings - Total Cost of Ownership - A set of tools and strategies for calculating costs and improvements. With the correct data, school leaders can make the cost saving, effective decisions for providing school technology.
Surely, today's changing educational and technological landscape requires open minds and a collaborative efforts by those in schools and in our larger community. Just as quality jazz music requires rhythm and improvisation, today's widely changing landscape requires a new open ended, open minded way of viewing the world, of viewing education and a strong, collaborative effort of those in our schools.
Cross posted on Techconnects