Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Full Brain after First Day at BLC 2010

I have had a great first day of the Building Learning Communities conference, but my brain is full. The day started with an interesting keynote by Mitch Resnick, the inventor of Scratch. I do a lot with Scratch at my school and it was wonderful to see all of the projects that students are doing with the Scratch software. Mitch pointed out that good technology should have a low floor, so that it is easy to get started with, a high ceiling, so that students can take it far, and a wide walls, so that students can follow their own interests. Scratch certainly has that and I think it is a great rubric for evaluating any software.

In my second session I was not the smartest person in the room with Dean Shareski. School is no longer the primary place for learning. He asked the great question, what does it mean to be a life long learner? How do we move past an educational model that is tethered in time and place. Students have already moved there, when will schools follow?

In Jeff Utecht's session on Blended Learning, he showed us how his school is using blogs as online portfolios of their work over their entire school career. He suggests finding a container that works for you, whether it be a blog, a wiki or a ning, and using that to hold student work. He also encouraged us to be connectors for our students to use our own networks to help network our students and expose their work to a wider audience.

Finally, I learned about different iPad apps at Seth Bowers's session. He showed us too many to talk about, but he nicely posted a list here.

If you aren't at the conference, you can follow a lot of what is going on by searching #blc10 on Twitter or checking out the delicious bookmarks tagged BLC10. If you are here, I hope you will leave a comment and or a link and share some of the highlights of your first day!

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