On Thursday, October 11th, 2007 we hosted the Fall meeting of the LMAIS Tech Coordinator group. We probably had close to 25 people from 20 different schools represented at the meeting.
A couple of things that I'm taking away from this:
1. Vinnie Vrotny's demonstration of back channeling via twitter and google docs presentations really got me thinking about classroom instruction, the role of the teacher, the role of the student, physical room layout, etc. Since our meeting I've created a twitter account and a voicethread account. Both are really interesting applications. Vinnie's use of back channeling via google docs powerpoint was neat as well-this is definitely something we can apply in future collaborative projects with our students.
2. Web 2.0 thoughts-we had a nice discussion on this...everything from barriers to implementation, how to promote the use of these tools with teachers/students, to success stories (Chris Butera's success story with google docs at his school was a good one). I do think that web 2.0 lends itself quite well to learning environments that support constructivism, student inquiry, and student uncovering of knowledge. To me it works well in physical spaces that promote group work and good connectivity for students. The traditional schedule of several periods a day meeting for a short amount of time makes it difficult to use this stuff on a wider scale with students (IMHO)...
3. Classroom of the future-again, another good discussion on this point. I like the points brought up by Gary Stager in his blog that suggest schools learn a lesson about design from Starbucks and Borders, which are two places that young people like to hang out at! Classrooms should be warm, comfortable, promote interaction and collaboration, support easy connectivity; basically, they should be workspaces that support constructivist teaching and learning!
4. We went out to dinner with Curt Leinick from the Lab School on Wednesday night...this proved to be great dialogue and an experience we can hopefully have at future LMAIS meetings (Peter from Latin school mentioned they would be willing to host a dinner the night before the spring meeting).
All-in-all, it was another positive and beneficial meeting with a nice exchange of ideas and stories. I am already looking forward to our spring meeting down at Latin School in Chicago!