Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fun today: Tri-State Education Technology Conference.

updated 10/12/10

I’m blogging live from the first annual Tri-State Education Technology Conference, being held at New Milford High School. What a cool event. Considering this conference was conceived just a few months ago, it is amazing to see 400 educators here, attending approx. 40 different sessions on technology and education. There’s quite a lot of focus on social media technologies in the classroom – for example Twitter, Facebook, blogs, YouTube, wikis, and mobile tech (cell phones, etc.). Also a lot of focus on all the amazing (and FREE) professional development that’s available today.

Speaking of social media, the keynote session by Lisa Nielsen, Professional Development Manager for New York City Public Schools, opened with a video commentary on Ridgewood's own BF Principal Tony Orsini’s interview last spring on Good Morning America. Awkward! Haha not really, I mean, I have seen Ms. Nielsen’s video response before and I’ve corresponded with her over Twitter, so it was nice to meet her face to face. I just wasn’t expecting to sit today with 400 people who probably think differently than Mr. Orsini...it makes sense, I was just caught off guard. No worries.

As you know, since I started blogging about it when Mr. Orsini’s message first hit the media, I totally support and appreciate the intent of Mr. Orsini's message. He was focusing first and foremost on the safety and well-being of the children in his school. I do believe, however, that on another level, his thoughts and comments represent a good starting point for some much-needed dialogue in Ridgewood, among parents and educators.

Lunch break is over, I’m going to get back to the conference now. In the meantime, why don’t you watch Ms. Nielsen's video response to Mr. Orsini, and share your comments if you like. You can see Ms Nielsen's video by clicking here.

Find out more about the Tri-State Education Technology Conference, click here.

This is part of the Tri-State Education Technology Conference (TSETC) Blogger Café Contest sponsored by edSocialMedia. TSETC is brought to you by Schoology.


Anonymous said...

I thought it interesting that the video juxtaposed 2 principals, it did not emphasize the important difference. The MIDDLE SCHOOL principal is against his students using Facebook at those ages. The HIGH SCHOOL principal talks about teaching appropriate behavior for his students. Different approaches for different age children. Sixth graders and Ninth graders are different and should be treated and taught diffferently.
Also please note Facebooks policy: "If you are under age 13, please do not attempt to register for Facebook" Facebook policy lines up pretty close with the distinction between middle and high school.

Anonymous said...

Good point re: Facebook's age restrictions and middle school. I think most of the opposition to Mr. Orsini's comments, however, were more focused on the overall tone that seemed to dismiss social media technology, and the internet or technology overall, as having little or no benefit for education in general. I agree with Ms. Nielsen's point that we need to teach our children how to navigate and behave in the online world, rather than try to block them from it. It's not the technology that's the danger...it's how we humans use the technology. I don't remember if this particular example is used in the video, but when an author writes a book that is inflammatory or "dangerous," we don't say that ALL books should be banned. We teach children to read appropriate age-level books and we teach them how to be good citizens. Then as they come across certain material in books, we expect them to use their critical skills to evaluate what they're reading, embrace what fits their values, and be critical of (or simply avoid) what violates their values. We also teach them to treat each other with respect -- whether face to face, on the telephone, in writing and -- it should be -- online.

Anonymous said...

Exactly....."age appropriate" whether books, technology, or anything else. Middle school is not age appropriate for general Facebook usage. I think too much attention has been given to his tone rather rather him actual statements. He is very serious about this issue, and very right.

Anonymous said...

It bothers me that our schools are not teaching our children how to navigate the online world and -- as recent events have underscored -- how to treat each other online. Bullying and cyberbullying are not tech issues. The computer or the Facebook or the social media sites are not the problem -- they are just the tools being used. We should be making it clear to kids what our expectations are as a society. Bullying and exposing others' secrets or private details is not acceptable -- whether it's done via internet, telephone, hand-written note or conversation on the street. Our schools need to teach this and they can only do it by giving kids access and showing them how.