Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friday - Engage me. Engage them.

The second speaker during the TLI Kickoff was Wes Fryer. Recently, he also was featured during
the Discovery Educator Network Fall Virtual Conference on October 23rd. The audio at our in-
person event wasn't great during his portion of the day's virtual program at our location. It is
great that the session was archived. ( I was excited
to hear him on the DEN Fall Virtual Conference (a disembodied voice on a screen). I was even
more thrilled to find out that I would be able to attend TLI Kickoff and witness him in-person.

Listening to him truly energized me again towards changing the education process. Shifting from
media consumer to media producer. As he stated with today's technology advances is there any
reason that students and teachers are not creating their own ebooks? How amazing technology is!
Not only is he absolutely right, we should be creating with free/inexpensive tools. But we can
save, document, archive, portfolio compile, etc. In fact, he amazingly posted not only his
resources and slides. But also the audio from the day. All available at

The more I listened the more engaged I became. The more engaged I became the more I discovered
that I had to bring back to my staff and students. As a member of the assembled audience I am
thinking to myself:
  • We have to connect with Mr. Fryer.
  • We have so much to learn from him.

Apparently, he had been kindly informed about our school district's FCC grant program that is
launching. I have been involved in some of the research and design of this project. So it was
great when he mentions that he would like to connect with the school district involved with the
grant. It was a pleasure to represent my district and state "I am here from there." I should be
seeking Mr. Fryer out. How wonderful that he was as equally willing to connect with our
district! I definitely plan to help build the bridge between this man, steering a well built
technology integration ship and my director of technology, helping to prepare students for
whatever ship comes their way in the future. Many moments in life during my work day are
memorable ones. Those aha moments when the spark of knowledge acceptance comes across in a
visible way. But I must say, this moment will be remembered as a favorite. To paraphraze it is
a big deal to upload thoughts from our brains to a trusted spot on the web. I was thoroughly
engaged and nodding in agreement of how powerful the cloud is becoming. How distance no longer
separates our learning. Case in point. This respected technology integrator is willing to
collaborate from afar with our district. Digital contact information was shared so that we can
"meet in the cloud." Before meeting in the cloud, we met over a lovely lunch at the Edith Macy
Conference Center. Another gentleman from the audience joined the informal conversation around
the table over our salad and entree. These are the moments I love in Edtech. Twitter, panoramic
software, Evernote, Classroom Blogmeister, Comments for kids and more were touched upon. This
reminds me of some of the greatest take-away moments I have from the Discovery Summer Institute.

I have so many ideas swimming in my head for digital portfolios, digital creation, the need to
share, and more. I love my weekends but Monday through Friday becomes more appealing with an
internal excitement such as this. Mr. Fryer challenged us to share like this. And then share
some more. We are no longer islands in our classroom. Ready to set sail?

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