Since I got back from the South Carolina EdTech Conference, things have been hectic around here but I wanted to share some things I got from the conference. It seemed for me and some others I spoke with, this conference could be a transition conference. What I mean is that we have been hearing Web 2.0 hype for awhile. While Web 2.0 is important for the future of education I feel there is something bigger building up and coming down the pike soon. My guess is distance learning will be the coming thing because it will bring together all of the Web 2.0 tools and can link students to teachers who can help them.
The other thing I took away is it may be time to bring students into the conversation on how best to educate them. For the second year in a row, we heard experts talk about how today's students are different because they are "Digital Natives" and have a different way of doing things. Districts across the country are spending millions or maybe billions of dollars, hiring and firing consultants, hiring and firing school administrators, to make Federal Government mandates. Yet, I have never heard of any true discussions about education which involves students. There was one brave young man who entered the Fireside Chat during the K12 Online Conference who provided thoughtful contributions to the conversation that night. Perhaps we need to hear more from young people like him. Perhaps it can give some fresh perspective on what needs to be done.
All in all, it was a good conference and I am looking forward to next year.