I posted last week about the presentation I had to prepare for 150 high school teachers. I had wanted to UStream the hour-long talk, but I was unable to get access to the Internet until about thirty seconds before I began speaking. I did capture the audio using my iPod Classic and a voice recorder and I synced it with the slide show I had created. So, in the end I’ve decided to upload the entire presentation as an enhanced podcast to my Center’s page in iTunes U (make sure to click on the red circle that represents the Center for Mathematics, Science and Computer Education) where I had previously posted a series of vcasts on iPods in Ed. I recently took the vcasts down as I wasn’t happy with them, so this will be the first of many PD sessions I plan to record and share there instead. It’s 55 minutes and I wish I had footage of the teachers themselves, but it’s there if you’d like to listen to what I talked with them about and how they reacted.
Talk about reaction…
I sent Tweets out from my Blackberry throughout the morning and was very happy to have the support of my PLN. But it wasn’t until I got home and had a chance to reread the conversation that I noticed the important detail that Connie Sitterley had fed me.
To think that the idea of making lessons accessible to more students through the use of their own electronic gadgets could possibly be eliminated in an entire state? I immediately went and checked out House Bill #363. I read through Dan Callahan’s post on the topic, Damian Bariexca’s sample letter and when I read Chris Lehmann’s post I realized that this Bill, if passed, is going to impact all public schools in Pennsylvania. Even the Science Leadership Academy.
So was the high school that I spoke at last Friday morning so far from the norm? Many of my Twitter friends didn’t seem to think so. @Mswojo Tweeted that the signs at her school are laminated and hung up in each room. We communicate on firstname.lastname@example.org about how we can use hardware, software and anything available to us to improve teaching and learning. What can these technology tools do to accommodate students that need help learning the objectives of the lesson and then how can we transfer that to the rest of our class so that the accommodations might help other students as well? I wish I had made those statements to the school administrator who commented that I should not have encouraged the teachers to use cell phones and ipods with their students since their was a ban in school. (Hmm.)
I want to help teachers make accommodations for their students.
I want to help teachers realize the resources available to them.
I want to help teachers reach a comfort with having and using technology in their classrooms.
I want to help teachers use the technology that is available to them and to their students.
If you haven’t already, please sign the petition against House Bill #363. At the time I wrote this, Sunday evening, February 16, there were only 263 signatures. We need a louder voice. For Pennsylvania schools will take a giant step backwards, in my opinion, if tools we consider every day supports, aren’t allowed in the classroom. If this happens in Pennsylvania, who knows which state will be next.