A few disclaimers:I am following the ISTE 2010 convention peripherally via Twitter and bloggers, and while I am sure amazing things have happened there (I've never left a conference without adding a superlative or two to my vocabulary), my twisted, twittered view (Twisttered©?) shudders at the pablum passing for profundity proffered by professionals.
Twitter, despite its claim that it "is without a doubt the best way to share and discover what is happening right now," cannot capture the synergism generated at a conference, especially for those of us sitting thousands of miles away.
ISTE stands for International Society for Technology in Education--this is a techie, not teachie, convention, so perhaps I expect too much.
Denver is the Mile High city--lower air pressure means fewer oxygen molecules per breath. Fewer oxygen molecules ->less efficient cellular respiration -> tired brain cells -> pablum.
So take this with a grain of salt and a shot of good Irish.
Here's a list of some of the TOP 3 retweets at #ISTE10 as of this morning. Really, you could look it up:
Technology doesn't improve education, it changes it......
TEACHERS improve education.
a) This is a testable hypothesis. Go to a modern high school. Sit by a classroom door while you send your sidekick--you have a sidekick, no?--down the scary custodian basement to kill the power. Observe teachers as they bemoan their fate.
"I can't teach without lights! Without PowerPoint! Without my SMARToard! Without pencils!"
OK, the last one doesn't need power, but it's still a technological advance.
b) Why the either/or? Why not pry open our brains a crack and consider that both teachers and technology improve education. It's like saying Wheels don't improve cars....ENGINES improve cars.
c) Our paranoia is showing--screaming "TEACHERS" doesn't make us look terribly suave, not that that's our goal, but still, why not let go of the self-righteous anger. We have a pretty good gig. It's getting even better with the new tech tools in our toy box.
77% of all future jobs will require tech skills.
a) If by tech skills you mean anything that requires a tool, well, then 77% is too low--unless 13% of the jobs will be Walmart greeters.
b) "Future" is a long, long time, so this statement isn't even falsiable even if it made sense.
c) 77%? I mean really, this is the exact number we used in medicine during rounds--if you want something to sound highish and scientific, you said 77%. If you wanted a lowish number, you said 23%. No one ever challenges "77%" and "23%"--until now. SHOW ME THE DATA!!!! (I asked multiple times via Twitter--I was ignored.)
The killer app for 21st Century learning is a good teacher.
This one is a real crowd-pleaser! Wow, we're the killer apps of all time! We're one with the machine!
Get a grip--we're reducing ourselves to technological techno-babble now. We are not apps, we are human. This was still obvious in the 20th century, back when centuries were not capitalized.
When you go home, take a deep breath of real air, take a nap, pour yourself some coffee, then go peruse #ISTE10 on Twitter.
If the best of the best are this confused, God help the rest of us....