NECC 2009: Sunday Leadership Symposium

 Notes from the opening comments….

Opening panel:

Pamela Griffin: Importance of professional development.

Stephen Hockett: Talked mostly about data-driven decision-making and how it can work, but closed with an example of teacher with mobile devices. The teacher said that learning became more student-centered and about discovery, and that teaching is less about control. Advice: we spend too much time teaching 20th century skills with 20th century technology. We need to think outside of the box, use mobile devices, and giving teachers time to work with technology (pd).

Jeff Levin (Highland Tech High School graduate): graduate from a standards-based school…. “When students are given technology to use for learning, in some cases this can be good, and in other cases this can still be good.” Technology is a very strong asset to students. Advice: Remember that there are things that students are going to dislike about technology. Students will also use technology for things that teachers did not intend.

Dan Roberts: Technology has empowered people at his school,,  including students, teachers and staff. Let students use technology, it’s ok to fail. Learning has become more independent learning, both inside and out. They let students use what they have in their pockets, i.e. mobile phones, for taking pictures and video, and taking notes. Advice: not use technology for the sake of it, but to improve learning. “The opportunities are endless.” Students should have a say in their learning, give teachers and students an opportunity to take risks.

Obinna Johnson Ukwuani: Importance of the hands-on aspect of education using technology, especially in science, “it fortifies learning”.

Overview of National Ed Tech Plan

Linda Roberts: Build on what we know, but don’t be limited by it. We need a plan that will be used:

  • compel action by having a vision and very clear goals;
  • drive policy; and
  • spur investment (the trickiest part). Investment is money at national, state and local levels; investment in the system; and investment in people (we need them to make the plan happen, they need to feel vested in this venture)!!

Barbara Means: Technology has become a factor in its own right in education. Bases for goal setting include new education priorities, research, new and emerging tech capabilities, …

Technology’s potential to support four educational transformations:

  • Access to high quality learning experiences;
  • Remaking the teaching profession;
  • Providing info to create a transparent educational system and continuous improvement at all levels;
  • enhancing collaboration and content management to derive cost savings and

Planning activities (plan is to be created in 8 months, i.e. done by the end of 2009/early 2010!!):

  • Outreach to key stakeholders
  • technical working group (includes John Seely Brown, Aneesh Chopra, Roy Pea, Barbara Means, Linda Roberts, Chris Dede, Barry Fishman, etc.) 
  • commissioned research and data analyses
  • solicitation of white papers and view points/comments
  • public website (; as requested by the Obama administration for purposes of transparency of the process). Will go live on 6/29.

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