I just reserved my hotel room for ISTE 2012 and I am starting to freak out. I don’t know why, but I am really excited about this year’s conference. It might be because I use the annual ISTE conference as the charger for my edtech batteries. Usually by the time I finish the school year I am brain-fried, and I find myself lacking inspiration for what to do next with my students. But then I go to ISTE…
I mostly go to ISTE conferences for two main reasons:
1) First and foremost I go to be inspired, and I never know where this inspiration will come from. Sometimes it happens in a conference session or at a keynote, but more often than not it happens when I am just visiting with fellow attendees.
2) My second reason is to steal ideas, I am under a lot of pressure to be the “Techie Guy” in my school and I need to find some good ideas to steal and make them my own. My principal might ask where I got the idea to use LEGO WeDo or something like that and I just say, “Oh, it just came to me one day.”
So beware fellow attendees of ISTE, watch what you say when you are around me, you never know when I might just be inspired to use our steal your ideas.
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School
I remember reading Thomas Friedman’s book called The World is Flat years ago and thinking that our children are really going to grow up in a different world. His premise was that the world was now flat because of the Internet and that any one in any country could do a job, if that job could be done with a computer. Which if you are a student in school, you could be in a lot of trouble.
With that said, I didn’t really think about this Flat World idea until this past week…
You see, I woke up Tuesday morning with the heavy thought hanging over me that I needed to write a new script for my LEGO animation group that was starting in a few weeks. Although I like writing scripts, I just have too many things on my plate right now to deal with it. So then the thought came to me that I should outsource it.
That’s right, I wanted to outsource my script writing to someone else in this Flat World. So I went to oDesk.com, created an account and posted the job at about 10 PM Tuesday night. (it took less than 15 minutes to do all of this). I woke up Wednesday morning and I had14 applicants that wanted the job that I posted. Honestly, about two-thirds of the applicants were highly qualified for this job. We’re talking experience screenwriters who specialized in writing for children. The hourly rate ranged from $3 to $35 (Bangladesh to United States respectively).
I picked someone from the Philippines and hired them to do the job. By the time I got home after school I had a beautifully written screenplay in my inbox and the total cost to me was $7.70
Suddenly, I started to panic for my two children. You see, I have a senior and a sophomore in high school right now, what does this mean to them? How do they compete? The Flat World has just hit home and I contributed to it!
The answer is 21st Century Skills. I have been beating this drum for years and now I see these skills are more important than ever. My children, your children, our students need to develop 21st Century Skills, because if they are doing something that can be done cheaper in another county — it will be. 21st Century Skills cannot be outsourced.
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke ElementaryRead More
#edchat #edtech #elemchat
I just finished our video entry to this year’s LEGO Smart Creativity Contest. We really need the $5000 prize, so keep your fingers crossed.
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary
#edtech #elearning #elemchat
I got into teaching for a number of different reasons, one of which was to have my summers off to lay around and do nothing. I have been teaching for over 13 years and I never had a summer off, but I keep my fingers crossed that one summer it will happen.
Instead, like many teachers I spend my summers getting ready for the following school year. I revise lessons, attend conferences and training and basically spend every day trying to be better at what I do — teach children technology.
Being a tech teacher I have the added pressure of keeping up with new technology. I never want my work to be stale so I spend a lot of time each summer learning how to do something new with technology. So I am sure that I will be stending a lot of time in my Atomic Learning account learning some new tech skills from their tutorials and workshops. This summer I plan on learning how to do stop-frame animation so that I can teach my students how to animate LEGO next fall. http://www.brickfilms.com/
This summer I plan to read two books; The Death and Life of the Great American School by Diane Revitch and Teach like a Champion by Doug Lemov.
PODSTOCK: Although I have never attended before, I am really looking forward to attending this smaller conference. I think that these people are most like who I am or who I want to be as a tech teacher. http://podstock.ning.com/
ISTE: This is the big one and this year it is in Philly. Although I love most everything about this big daddy of edtech conferences, what I really like about ISTE actually takes place the day before. It is called EduBloggerCon and it where I get to rub shoulders with other people who do what I do. Blogger and podcasters that are the Who’s Who of educational technology. http://www.edubloggercon.com/EduBloggerCon+2011
Who knows, maybe next summer will be the one that I will take off and relax, meanwhile I will continue my pursuit of better edtech lessons for my students.Read More
Student Technology – LEGO WeDO, a set on Flickr.
Here is my new set on students using LEGO WeDO in my elementary school.Read More