ISTE 10 Reflections: Leadership Bootcamp

Saturday was Day 1 of the ISTE conference for me and I attended the Leadership Bootcamp session. I have to admit that due to the altitude, I was a bit foggy for the whole thing.  As a result, I am not sure that I was able to engage the way that I would have liked to. That being said, the sign of a "good" learning experience for me is when I can walk way with some questions. 

1. How do we make technology use sustainable?
Before everyone jumps all over me for this - I am NOT talking about the tools and tool use for the tools sake.  I am talking about teachers becoming true learners and using technology as it evolves.  All too often, I see teachers put on the breaks when it comes to using technology even when it would make their life easier and have their kids more engaged.  Why? How do we combat the resistance? What kind of leadership does that take?

I am also interested in how we can use technology to sustain our learning.  In this case, there is a Ning available to continue the conversations and the organizers plan some follow-up sessions much like the pre-pre-conference session.  Chris Lehman advocated for holding Educon- like sessions locally during the same week and connecting.  Having tried to get an unconference going in our region - I know that this is easier said than done.  So - what can I do to continue/sustain my learning?

2. When are we really going to start teaching kids to be critical consumers of media?
Time and time again this came up as we discussed kids using content.  And when asked who is supposed to teach this - lots of different answers came out.  Shouldn't we all be teaching this? Not as a stand alone subject or unit, but integrated into every lesson we teach and every media we use.  Why isn't that happening?

3. How do we start moving past connecting to creating Communities of Practice?
During his really great talk, Scott Elias talked about the "strength of weak ties" and the power that connecting with others via Twitter and other social networks brings to our profession.  But so far, these are still only in the conversation stage.  We haven't really gotten to showing a change or improvement in our practice as a result of these conversations.  Sure - I could do this individually but I don't often share that with my network.  We don't house those ideas someplace and truly build off of them.  As teachers, we still very much have walls around our classrooms.  How do we start to break those walls down?  Once we start - how do we keep breaking them down?

4. Why are our policies getting in the way of our progress?
Dr. Scott McLeod shared this question at the start of his session and gave us some really great things to think about.  The biggest for me was thinking out Acceptable Use Policies (AUP) and what message it sends to our students, parents and community.  It made me really think about the policies that our district has in place, and how people just feel comfortable to state that "it is policy" in response to something.  How can we have thoughtful and meaningful conversations about policy that are productive and have learners in mind? How can we start with an assumption of trust?

These are rough and I have just started thinking about them but I needed to get them out of my head and onto the blog before the other learning this week fills my brain.  If you would like to see the backchannel from the conference and use Twitter, search #lbc10.  If you would like to see my unedited notes, look here.  If you would like to help me wrestle with these questions, please comment below!

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