Techies in Texas

I experienced an information-packed day today at the Hewlett Packard K-12 Executive Education Forum! I found myself gazing longingly at not only the products, services, and partnerships that HP presented, but also at the sun streaming down on the green grass outside! There is no snow here and it is 70 degrees. It is a very nice change in the middle of February, however briefly I am actually experiencing the outdoors.

Unfortunately, due to the non-disclosure statement I signed today, I can not review the day in too much detail. I can say that, in addition to the a-ha moments I scribbled down during lectures like a staffing model for my department and a measurable pilot program plan, and the business card swapping and plans for site visits made with new and knowledgeable faces, I grabbed a few nuggets in this first of 2 days that are safe to share :

Curriculum and instructional needs should drive the selection of applications. And applications should drive the selection of hardware and infrastructure. It should NOT be the other way around. It is imperative, therefore, that Technology, Curriculum, and Instructional Technology planning mesh.

To help make data-driven decisions about professional development needs in IT, see icot.iste.org for a free assessment tool of the usage of technology in the classroom.

Technology plans must be livable documents that are reviewed annually and adjusted based on data.

Is your energy bill too high, and eating into your IT budget? See verdiem.com to install the Edison app that will significantly reduce the amount of energy your computers consume.

See freerice.net to enable students to study vocabulary while helping a 3rd world country.

Even free open-source applications (like Moodle, or Joomla) require IT staff time and training and ultimately dollars – so why not let someone else provide a solution?

Professional development models can and should include a variety of approaches like : (a) live face-to-face instruction (b) live online instruction via apps like Sype and GoToMeeting(c) posted online tutorials for self-paced learning (d) mentor-lead focus groups that follow the train-the-trainer model (e) summer boot camps with an incentive to attend and complete it…

HP claims that Apple’s iLife suite is not industry-standard but Adobe’s Digital Classroom Collection is. Apple would claim its suite of tools drives the quality of content and values the understanding of the creation process as opposed to application-specific skill-building. Which one is best for a K-6 learning environment? Why not have both? (  :

So what is on tap for tomorrow?

I came to better understand thin client virtualizaton today as a cost-effective solution for classroom student stations, especially the mobile thin client, but I need to know more…

I am intrigued by the usage of Adobe Acrobat 9 for eportfolio creation…

I wonder why I should be so excited about the tablets (when I had one for 2 years and was not utilizing its pen interface much)?!

…more to come…zzzzz

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