I knew, from past attendees, what a fabulous conference this was, a highly professional event hosting a range of great international and local speakers and showcasing new technology easily applied in all educational settings.
I went along imaging I was going to have my mind sent spinning by technology I did not quite understand. Instead, I learnt so much more! The conference went way beyond technology - instead ...
Mobile devices put technology directly at student's finger tips - giving them assistive technology directly at their point of learning.
"Less used well is more" was a big take way - it's not what you've got but the way you maximise what you do have. It is about knowing what it is you want to employ the technology for and the outcomes you want to achieve.
Technology gives us opportunities, options and variety in our goal to develop critical and creative thinkers.
Knowing our students, what it is we want them to learn and understanding how they will best learn it is our key role as teachers, our employment of technology must be purposeful and anchored in great pedagogy.
Take away quotes, learnings, thoughts...
- "Team Teach with yourself" (thanks Kevin Honeycutt). Ever wished there were 2 of you? Use technology to capture what you do so your students can watch you (over and over) while you teach within your class.
- "Try another way" Use technology to diversify teaching and learning, to find another way for children to access and demonstrate their learning. - thanks Greg O'Connor
- Be "device agnostic" ( Kevin again) pick the right tool for the job, don't let the technology drive you.
- UDL - Universal Design for Learning - a great framework that reminds us about the diversity of our learners. Use multiple ways to convey learning, encourage multiple ways for students to express their learning and you will achieve multiple engagement.
- Adults use assistive technology and a multiple range of devices every day - yet when we allow students to do this we wonder if they are "cheating". Is it cheating or enabling?
- Assistive versus compensatory teaching - the tension between remediating to try to close the widening gap or giving tools and strategies to allow students with a gap to access and participate in their learning. Technology is a massive support in assisting our learners.
- Expert teachers are the number one factor in student achievement. Expert teachers make purposeful decisions about the pedagogy and technology they employ in teaching and learning
- Technology is messy! (Thanks again Kevin) jump in, have a go, it won't hurt!