Here’s what I enjoy about spending the day in Louisville at the annual conference of the Kentucky Association of Career Technology Education. These teachers pick a grand location downtown, right on the Ohio River, and they pack a summer break’s worth of learning into barely two and a half days.
Among the session topics this year: “Beyond Social Networking: Key Tools to Establish Your Expertise with Parents, Students and Stakeholders”. That’s a mouthful and I did share and show the teachers ways that their peers use Twitter, Facebook, blogs, video and bookmarking to connect with students, moms and dads and other teachers. I attended at the invitation of Joe Morgan, who coordinates IT curriculum and distance learning for the Kentucky Office of Career and Technical Education. We met last fall at PodCamp Cincy and, in fact, Joe recruited a number of PodCamp presenters to speak at his group’s event this week.
Teachers and their schools are no different from the businesses in their communities. They all are looking for ways to better communicate with their “customers” — who happen to be kids or the kids’ parents. Most of the same tools and techniques apply. But a big part of what I talked about today centered not on how to set up Facebook or YouTube for the classroom. Rather, I encouraged the teachers to come up with what they want their students to learn and accomplish. Then, they can use social media and other web tools to support their class activities and goals instead of refitting the academics around what can be done online.
Teachers around the country are figuring out how to integrate websites and online tools into their lesson plans. They share a lot of their successes, and share with their colleagues to come up with the next smart solutions. I included many of their videos, tweets and updates in today’s presentation. And, as I promised the teachers, my presentation can be viewed or downloaded here. Happy to pass it along.
After seeing these terrific examples, tell us about the online ideas that you child’s teachers used to create new learning opportunities. What really got your kid’s attention? What pushed him or her farther than might have occurred without the teacher’s new online activities?
Thanks for listening.