K12 Online Conference – Session 1

This post is a forum posting for the K12 Online Conference.  In our first session we watched Stephen Heppel’s keynote and I asked participants to briefly reflect on it.  As I respond to others posts and reflect on these sessions, I will post my entries here.

Stephen Heppell – Pre-Conference Keynote: “It Simply Isn’t the 20th Century Anymore Is It?: So Why Would We Teach As Though It Was?”

  1. One thing that I’ve been dealing with a lot lately has to do with student’s prior knowledge regarding the use of technology. As adults, we see that students use technology in a variety of different ways and they seem to move through and use it seamlessly. This was the basis of Marc Prensky’s work in defining “digital immigrants” and “digital natives”. Through my work with students, I see that there is a comfort level with technology, however, there is also a very surface level understanding of how it works and what it can be used for.
  2. Stephen Heppel brought up the point, “Content is NOT King”, essentially stating that in the past so many websites were set up as content portals and expected users to come simply because of the content they were linking to. I think this has changed significantly with the dawn of social networking sites. Heppel’s point is to focus on the community aspects of the web. His presentation reminded me of my early graduate work when my class joined a Yahoo! Group. My instructor encouraged us to see the value of collaboration, group interaction and the social side of the web. It makes me think about the students that I observe in my travels around the district. So many of these sites are simply for them to get information and be comsumers of the web rather than creators. The experience is much different when they have the ability to interact with a site in a social setting.
  3. Heppel ends his presentation with the phrase that he sees this as the “Death of education, but the dawn of learning.” This struck me as very familiar but I put it out of my mind. Then, as I was looking at by RSS reader, I came across a blog post by the same title posted by my friend Dawn Hogue.

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