Today was the first day of the Summer Tech Institute in Belfast, Maine. What a great group of people, both those teaching and those of us in student mode. The conversations started on the car-pool ride up and didn’t stop all day long. I enjoyed the opportunity to put some faces to some names, and met a couple of my Second Life classmates in RL. What a great thing to be at an institute where multitasking is encouraged and expected, rather than seen as a distraction. No prima donnas here! Everyone is wonderfully open, supportive of a broad range of ability levels, and perfectly willing to step aside and let the conversation evolve with a minimum of interference.
I’m sure tomorrow we’ll tackle more specific tools, uses in the classroom and the pedagogy behind them. We tend to be the proverbial “choir”, be we the technology integrators, classroom teachers or administrators attending the institute. Many of us are looking for those facts, research, and examples of successes in Maine classrooms that we can take back to those who are perhaps less visionary in their understanding of how one might use technology to help create a 21st Century learning environment. It’s not about teaching tech. It’s about the process, the discussion, the connections and using the tools that really are the tools of today and tomorrow for solid instructional, curricular ends.
Plus it really is a whole lot of fun. This week is an excellent example of engaged learners, self motivated students who love the material and want as much as we can get our hands on. Keep it coming!
*My flickr stream has photos from the institute and they are tagged summertech08 . Check daily for additions, use the tag so we can share if you have some too!