Monday, December 20, 2010

We need a next level.

In recent posts and tweets by David Warlick about one of his ISTE 2010 presentation proposals being rejected, I noticed a common thread between him and I: the need for a next level. Warlick tweeted about having one of his proposals, "Cracking the native experience," a seemingly "next level" presentation idea rejected:

"It seems that we are spending a lot of time talking about 21st century learning, 21st century education, and 21st century skills, but not so much about what it actually looks like.  I’d wanted to talk a bit about 21st century pedagogies and suggest that our learners ‘native’ information experiences might be a good place to look for examples."
This was rejected by the ISTE board, while his back-up plan was accepted. His "back-up" is one that I have seen twice and is very good, but it focuses on the importance of PLN's. As Mr. Warlick points out:
"...this seems like an old topic, at least for folks who attend ISTE."
Having attended recent education technology conferences myself, and having seen many of the same breakout sessions in different locations, I can't help but find myself in the same boat as Mr. Warlick.

I, like many, am excited about 21st century skills and technologies and I consider myself to be an intermediate user and classroom implementer of these. I have a pretty strong PLN. I know where to go to find just about any instructional material I need. My students can build simple websites. They know the basics of blogging. They can produce multimedia presentations (over and above powerpoint). We have and use a class ning, wiki, and website.

It seems that every ed tech conference and breakout session is still stuck in that basic mode of introduction to these things. I crave more. What's the next step? How do I get more out of what I have already? I have yet to attend a conference for Level 2 Ed Tech Users.

So here's my challenge to anyone who can (or to no one because I have no followers...YET!): create an ed tech conference, or just a 45 minute breakout session for me and teachers like me who are ready for the next level. I want to know where to go now that I have a working wiki. I want to know how I can use my Ning more effectively to help my students succeed. Tell me how to successfully get students to build more creative and accurate content for the web. These are 21st century (Level II) skills. This is what I need in a conference.

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