It's Friday morning at CUE 2012. There are are several thousand teachers here in Palm Springs to learn more about educational technology and pedagogy.
So, can I write a blog post sitting on the floor in the back of a huge room filled with very tech savvy educators listening to Diane Ravitch? (Yes, I can.) She is speaking about the ability of technology to create student centered learning and overcome the omissions of textbooks. She is also speaking about corporate influence in educational technology and corporate greed focused on education. The rest will be a factoid filed, eye opening explanation of how the racket works with virtual schools and how this is bad for students and teachers.
I have lots of great sessions I want to attend, four really interesting things in the next session alone. Yesterday the gold nugget was a session about using iPads to teach history. My district is in the middle of a five year 1:1 rollout, and the IT department has just announced that teachers getting devices for their students this year will have iPads instead of netbooks. For us that means mostly history teachers, so I was thrilled to be able to attend this session. Cheryl Davis did an excellent job taking us through some hands on practice with three different lessons using a variety of apps, most of which were new to me. She will be presenting the session again at ISTE in June and I highly recommend it. https://sites.google.com/site/historywhispering/home
The other two sessions I went to yesterday were focused on Google tools. The highlight was Matt Schwartz getting a huge crowd of 300 to chant Yes, Yes, Yes to the Google tools in his session. Then he went on to show some great ways he is using them in his classroom. The other session on Google tools and the iPad, didn't help me see any new utility for Google and iPads. The same issues are still there.
I'm not sure yet what today will bring. There are at least three or four things in each session that I want to go to. Lots of friends are presenting at the same time. I tried marking my program with the things I want to see before I went to bed last night. I look forward to seeing where I end up.