Before I seriously try to digest all the notes, business cards, web addresses, software, CDs, DVDs, books, brochures, handouts, ideas, and marginalia that I accumulated this week, I just want to have a fun post and revel in all the glorious visual stimulation that made being here in person special.
Kathy Schrock was the keynote speaker to end the conference. She presented a fun and memory filled journey through the PSAs of our past but also the amazing student examples from today. I can't remember when I last saw the 1971 PSA with the Native American getting the trash thrown at his feet and then with him turning to the camera with a tear running down his cheek. The idea of students producing them really covers several areas involving not only technology but socially purposeful and relevant messages for other students. At the end of her presentation she repurposed everyone's cell phones like lighters at a rock concert.
Earlier I strolled through the exhibitors hall and walked by the Department of Education and took a picture of the School 2.0 poster that was created to show how technology can be integrated into the classroom. There was no lack of post-its for suggestions on how to follow through on the Web 2.0 technology now renamed School 2.0. I took an online survey and made my suggestions. I'm not sure how the School 2.0 fits into the NCLB initiative. The person at the help desk said that the poster should be available sometime in August on line. What a powerful example to those administrators, board members, or superintendents who prefer to bury their head in the sand and block accessibility to blogs and podcasts. If someone at the DOE gets it what further proof do the district powers that be need to see that if they don't change they will make the classrooms in their district irrelevant to their students. I had met Steve Hargadon and he has started a web site called supportblogging that those of you who are struggling with this issue might want to also check out.
Lastly I still don't understand what Microsoft was trying to do with their setup on the exhibitors floor, but those sure were large lava lamps. I can't say that I ever really equated surfboards and a Hawaiian theme with lava lamps
but it's true they do have lava flows in Hawaii on a regular basis, so I guess it sort of makes sense. I think of surfing as the last popular more innocent activity before the counter culture arrived and with it the desires for retinal, hypnotic stimulation i.e. the lava lamp. Oh well I guess you could call it a mashup of nonproductive recreational activities. The couches they provided were certainly bland and corporate looking. I guess they forgot to go retro in that department, but maybe they exceeded their budget with the other decorations.