Today's Keynote is unusual for me. Rather than having just one person standing in front of a PowerPoint presentation we have several individuals (Linda Roberts, Senator Patrick J. Hogan, Dr. Karen B. Salmon, Jim Potter, and Sterlind S. Burke, Sr.) discussing "21st century skills."
They're having some microphone problems, but it's not too bad.
Jim Potter has a few good sound bits, including "We need a balance between perspiration and inspiration," and "We don't know what we don't know."
Dr. Salmon started a 1:1 laptop program where the students could take their computers home at the end of the day. The 1:1 initiative is seeping into Maryland, and so far it's working.
Sterlind Burke says we need to focus on ethics and how the technology can be used IN the curriculum, not just AS a curriculum. I'm on board with both points.
Senator Hogan makes a point about how most U.S. Senators know very little about how technology works and thus how it can affect education.
"Technology in service of curriculum"
Four key elements for the 21st century schools, according to Potter:
1. Administrative Support (including the community)
2. Facilities Planning (help students access anything, any time.)
3. Professional Development
4. Students! (Oh yeah, did we forget that part?)
Burke again - "All of these bells and whistles will be scary for County Commissioners. We need to answer the question of 'What's in it for me?'"
Potter answers - Better tech ed. will lead to better jobs, which lead to better salaries, which lead to a better economy. (On the down side, this is not an overnight change.)