TechEd 2008 – Ontario Convention Center
Keynote Presentation – Tom Vander Ark, President XPRIZE Foundation
To Be of Use by Marge Piercy
The poem compares good workers to seals, who plunge into unknown waters with no fear in order to discover new territories.
He began by using Computer games as the model for good software applications. Games give continuous assessment and include adaptive content dependent upon the performance of the player.
He suggested that Staff Development is needed to train faculty on how to use technology in order to provide content, assessment and solutions to problems. He stressed that companies as well as educational institutions too often provide products without the necessary research and development to insure good quality. We embark on new programs expecting results without adequate time or financial investment in establishing a strong foundation on which to base our offerings.
Mr. Ark encouraged the sharing of information. He cited Google and Yahoo as successful models for opening their information to the world. He believes that by sharing information, we can build on each other’s knowledge and progress more quickly.
Successful entrepreneurs can share a vision, build coherence and produce solutions. Incentives and adaptive content will result in problem solving in many arenas.
Mr. Ark spoke to us as educators and encouraged us to come up with an education plan that would be able to teach a two year program in six to ten weeks.
He ended his speech with another poem. This one written by Louis MacNiece entitled Mutations. The message here is that when we experiment and try new ways of tackling problems, we come up with creative solutions.
His speech was followed by a Q&A session in which three conference participants requested help with language issues. One requested a Blue Tooth format for translating other languages into English. Another requested that assessment tests be written in an adaptive mode depending upon the test taker’s learning style. A third speaker represented a company called Open English, which is developing an assessment tool for second language learners with built in adaptations dependent on given answers.
XPRIZE encourages entrepreneurs to submit breakthrough innovations that will benefit humanity. Every year, the Foundation announces a theme. Example: 1996 – a private race to space, 2008 - a fuel efficient car.
Working Together…When Apart
Dr. Robert Leneway,
Educational Technology Program Coordinator, Western Michigan University
Dr. Leneway’s presentation was about the potential for virtual projects and teams.
He recommended the book Wikinomics – Collaboration is Changing Everything by Tapscott and Williams. He also recommended Adobe Connect as a screen for a live classroom.
Microsoft is offering a video blog once a week asking how MS can better serve developers.
Dr. Leneway likes to combine virtual communication with face to face. He uses a website, a blog. He schedules monthly meetings through Adobe connect and he firmly believes in social networking, which he achieves by attending one group meeting per year. He prefers voiceover IP to a telephone conference call.
He gave credit to Linda Gratton’s Wall Street Journal article dated June 17, 2007 for the following suggestions:
Promote communication by assigning interesting projects
- Invite volunteers to participate
Invite people to work together who know each other
Learn about each other
Assign one person to make contacts and connections outside the group
Separate tasks so that they are not dependent on one another
Ask a compelling question
Dr. Leneway’s suggestion for Staff Development – offer a workshop once and then have it available on-line for one month. Credit given if attended in person, or if registered and completed within the month.
- Bubbl.us - concept mapping
- Googledoc tools
- Adobe Buzzword
- Office Live, Workspace Live
- Live SkySpace (200-300 megs of free storage space)
- Time to meet.com (find the best time for a group to meet)
- Adobe Acrobat
- Drupal – content management
- IHMC cmap tools
- Ning (create your own social network)
NetOp School (Teach every student and keep them on task with the complete software solution for the networked classroom)
ViaTRON System Inc. (The Paperless Office Specialists)
FUJITSU (Scanner Product Guide)
Luidia eBeameducate (Interact With Your World)
Pointer writes on white board
Hand-outs include printed notes
oce´ (Tips for In-Plants to Improve Their Environmental Compliance)
Open English (Personalization Technologies applied to Language Learning)
License needed – assessment with adaptive mode geared to test taker
Merlot (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching)
LEARNING OBJECTS (Inspire thinking online)
SCHOOL WEB LOCKERS (File storage for students)
CREATION ENGINE (Software discounts for schools, faculty & students)
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A CHAMPION?
SkillsUSA GUIDE (for the College & Postsecondary Program)
Preparation for the world of work
The Faculty Convocation on August 30th was a rousing success! The traditional morning meeting was followed by five field trips to the surrounding downtown Los Angeles area. The highlight of the morning session was an interview conducted by Dr. Denise Fairchild with David Rattray, President of the L.A. Chamber of Commerce. The afternoon mobile bus tours included 1) the Museums and Resources at Exposition Park, 2) Downtown Economic Development 3) the Music Center Complex, including the Cathedral, 4) Independent art galleries, and 5) Educational Challenges and Opportunities with neighboring high schools.
The pictures were taken during the morning activities. If you have any pictures taken during your individual bus tours please share them with us. I will be happy to add them to the Staff Development website.
Benjamin Torres –Tour 5
A brief summary of our convocation groups tour: Education.
We visited four high schools in the LATTC service area which generated deep conversations between our faculty and administrators and teachers from Santee HS, Jefferson HS, New Tech HS (on Jefferson campus, but is an independent school) and Manual Arts HS. LATTC faculty were very engaged and interested in both the educational conditions students are facing locally. The types of questions raised by faculty focused on student achievement, demographic trends and impact, innovation/teaching and technology in vocational areas, campus climate, small learning communities and the exploration of partnership opportunities between LATTC and local schools.
LATTC faculty were clear that we can all benefit from working with the local schools to identify the gaps/opportunities in teaching, vocational programs and student preparation coming to LATTC. Schools in the area are dealing with curriculum/teaching issues, over crowded schools, and limited resources which have moved them to a Small Learning Community (SLC) format – which groups students into groups of 500-700 organized around themes and career areas. These schools are becoming schools within schools and teachers are working in cohorts and emersion formats to organize curriculum in ways that contextualize the learning. While some of these schools appeared to be more advanced in their application of this format than others, we all felt that a model like that would have implications for how students come prepared and what they will expect from LATTC.
Most of our faculty felt the convocation tour was a good start but there needed to be a point person here at LATTC (perhaps from the Community and Economic Development Department) that could continue to provide a vehicle for these types of conversations and eventually programmatic efforts to happen. Our construction technology, fashion and design, welding and machine shop faculty (to name a few) immediately connected with many of the faculty at these campuses and conversations and connections began to happen about equipment usage, skills and teaching techniques and potential projects. Much of the discussion from our faculty led to a “what's next” question. Faculty exchanged numbers and business cards with High School faculty and administrators during our tour. I believe our faculty got the message – it is important for LATTC to have a strong and productive relationship with the local schools and community. LATTC is the potential bridge for many of these students to move from poverty to opportunities for educational, career and community development success. In order for us to be that bridge we have to make sure that we have someone committed to connecting the pieces and being the glue of the relationship building process. Faculty recommended we have a communication system like a blog to provide each other with updates on collaborative projects with the local schools.
Director of Community Planning @ LATTC
Education Tour Guide
The Automotive Technology in today's vehicles is becoming increasingly more complicated and requires us as instructors to stay up to date with the emerging technology. Each summer we attend Automotive Instructors Workshops provided by the Automotive Manufacturers and organizations such as the California Automotive Teachers Association (CAT) and the North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT) to keep us up to date with new technology. This year the NACAT 2007 conference was held on July 16 th through the 20 th at the Queen Mary. This was five days, 40 hours of intensive training which I will incorporate into my lesson plans and course outline for program improvement. I also attended another 40 hour week long training program at the Western Regional Honda Training Center with other automotive instructors. Honda has a unique IST Individual Skills Training Program that allows the technicians to complete their modules through their Online University and Lab and Classroom Modules in their state of the art Automotive Training Facility. I look forward to continuing my IST updated training during future summer sessions. This information is great to share with fellow instructors and students.