I am fortunate to work in a school where 1) professional development is valued, and 2) the nearly limitless potential impact of technology is recognized.
Because of that, my school is sending me to the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. I work/live in New York City, so sending me to Austin comes at a significant expense to the school. However, SXSW is a place where some of the most brilliant thinkers on technology and the future will be presenting. This is an opportunity for me to learn about developing technologies and approaches to using them. Most people who attend SXSW aren’t educators – but, they are thinkers. And that is why I want to be there. I want to push the boundaries of how we think about education and what’s possible. I plan to surround myself with outside-of-the-box folks who might help inspire future projects within my school.
My school, while traditional, became a 1:1 laptop school in 1998. This was very early, and as a girls school was pioneering. We are now 9 years in to the program and we know a lot more than when we started. Computers in the hands of every student have great potential, but require a dramatic shift in the way we think about the classroom. School change is an art and science, and anyone good will tell you that real changes takes years and great effort. I hope to be inspired by folks at SXSW like Kathy Sierra, Will Wright, Dan Rather, Limor Fried and hosts of other speakers who will be there.
So many of us attend professional development sessions that train on completely hands-on skills. That is great, that is necessary. But, are we spending enough time doing professional development on vision, on future-thinking? Probably not, so I am going to seize this opportunity.
Is anyone else going to South by Southwest? Please leave a comment, perhaps we can have an educator meetup in Austin.
Technorati Tags: 1:1, Austin, Creating Passionate Users, Dan Rather, education, future, Kathy Sierra, laptops, Limor Fried, professional development, school, school change, South by Southwest, SXSW, Texas, vison, Will Wright