Virtual NECC Post #1: Blood on the cutting edge; interactive presentation techniques, students as tech support

Here is what I've learned from my first virtual session of NECC and a roundup most profound three things I've learned this morning.

Web 2.0 panel: Staying on the cutting edge without bleeding

David Warlick, Will Richardson, and others participated in a panel about Web 2.0. Dave shared some of the questions he was asked. I particularly like the question: “How can we stay on the cutting edge without too much bleeding?”

I think this question reflects why so many people are hesitant to venture into the New Internet. Dave's response is excellent:

Get lots of band-aids. We need to get use to it. We need to relax experiment, share, and continue to learn and grow. Kids who learn how to learn, and learn how to teach themselves, will be able to take care of themselves.

We must set expectations of parents and teachers that there will be breaches to the filter that happen occasionally and how to use that teachable moment as an opportunity to instill both honesty in the student (reporting it to the teacher) and the ethics it may bring up. We WILL bleed. Parents need to know that we are monitoring and vigilant, but that amidst the vigilants, things happen. I'd rather it happen in front of me than at home, at midnight, alone.

Presenters are involving the audience in interactive presentations to teach.

In Jennifer first meeting, I was particularly taken with the fact that the presenter, Mike Lawrence, used the audience to participate in a live drama to teach his point about the evolution of digital education. This model is certainly one I desire to emulate. There was supposed to be a web cast, but as of yet, I cannot find it!

Involving youth in School Tech Support promotes leadership. Results and how to's.

Michael Stokes and his buddy Jeff from SEGATech have shared some incredible information about Empowering Youth and Providing Support: Evaluation Findings from Youth Technical Support Programs.

Jeff says:

Although there are a number of different programs to train students to acquire tech skills for the purpose of addressing a lack of technicians in schools, there appears to be a convergence of similar results. Pupils involved in theses kinds of programs are walking away with more tech skills. Schools that have adopted youth technical support programs are demonstrating that attendance is increasing, academic performance is improving, and learners are being exposed to 21st century skills.

I personally have both a middle schooler and high schooler trained to assist me in technology support. I have found that when I have done upgrades and installations that the involvement of technologically proficient students has helped me greatly and taught the students valuable skills. When they are involved in tech support, they have to invoke intuitive learning and also begin to understand that when you deal with technology it is rarely by the book. According to Michael, these programs:

“The programs increase leaership skills, improve grades, improve communication skills, student confidence gains, and students are more engaged in learning.”

The four similar options explored in this seminar include:
CREATE, Dell TechKnow, GenYes, MOUSE, and Student Tech Corps

I have been asking for students to be assigned to me for a period of the day for just this purpose. I believe that one of these programs will be the answer for me.

I hope that bloggers at NECC will keep posting great information. I may actually get to Skype in on a presentation so I need to go set it up on my laptop.

I will be part of this conference and am already getting infected with the excitement right over the Internet! People at NECC, blog well, and blog often. Don't worry about spell check. If I'm not finding you, make sure you're tagging correctly.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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mac.n.tux July 5, 2006 - 10:40 pm

we have been using students in maintaining our computer laboratories as well as providing tech support. we are getting students from non-IT courses such as business administration, philoshophy, etc., too. :D

Jason July 5, 2006 - 8:15 pm

Wow…it is sweet that you attending virtually. I hope it goes well but not TOO well…I don’t want districts to use this as a replacement as the actual event. :)

Vicki A. Davis July 5, 2006 - 8:19 pm

Don’t worry, Jason. Anyone who has ever been to a conference knows that in person is ALWAYS the best. I just remember John Dvorak opted out of a recent tech show and provided the best coverage of that show. This is my effort to look at the glass as being half full AND to show teachers the power of RSS. I’m going to blog how I did it when I’m done. This will help many conferences and in particular the teachers and administrators that could benefit!

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