Wednesday, October 3, 2007

To be or not to be....relevant

For those of you who may not know, I am an avid presenter. I absolutely love getting up in front of other educators and showing them another method to reach their students. This year, however, I have missed several major proposal deadlines - some because I am a procrastinator, and some because I'm not terribly sure what to say.

Many people who attend my presentations tell me that they really needed something a bit more basic. I think that we who are in these EdTech rings tend to think that we need to speak on the "new" stuff because the "old" stuff - like podcasting, blogging, etc - is known already.

I'm speaking at a conference in my own district this year, and I plan to present on three topics - podcasting (duh), blogging 101 and how to do PD on your own time with an aggregator. None of this is earth-shattering - all of these are "old" technologies, and yet I know that I will have people who have never heard of these things.

So my question is - how can we really be relevant? I didn't submit to present at NECC this year (though I really, REALLY wanted to) because I honestly don't know how I could present something relevant. To some, Blogging 101 might be about the perfect pace. To others, that is completely old hat.

David Warlick asked yesterday what questions should be asked of school board members. I would ask - how can teachers be relevant to students without the use of modern technologies? In their lives, students will be more apt to use something like the iPod Touch than a desktop computer, and yet how many schools do you know with an iPod Touch for every student? How can professional development be relevant to teachers' needs without addressing technology and meeting the teachers where they are? How can we prepare students for a future that we can't even imagine if we aren't being (you guessed it) relevant?

In this era of budget cuts and deficits, is it even possible to be relevant?

Technorati Tags:
Education, Random, sbe_comments

1 comment:

Cathy Nelson said...

I have the same thoughts and questions. Our next presentations should be to the board--the one that has my district blocking EVERYTHING