Sunday, June 28, 2015


International Society for Technology in Education 2015 Conference and Expo.

Against my better judgment, I decided to attend a conference in Philadelphia – something to do with technology in education. I’m an educator and I use technology so it seemed reasonable but I didn’t like how it was going to require me to leave the house and interact with people. Then my school said that they would pay and I said “where do I virtually sign?”

I go in to this with an open mind and curmudgeon’s heart. I believe that there are a variety of “technologies” which have their place in the classroom (including chalk, record players, computers and bananas) but that the electronic variety has value if it becomes an organic extension of the education and content. The cart should not lead the my-kingdom-for-a-horse. Too often, I see people who say “let’s invest in the electronics and we’ll find a way to build the education around them” or who assume that “newer is important and the wave of the future. Since students use new technology in the world, we have to shift our classroom paradigm to accommodate and coopt the technology so that we stay relevant. New technology must be good so new methods must follow.” Harumph, I say.

So I printed up directions (just because “Waze” exists doesn’t mean that I want to use it) and gassed up the car for the drive to the city of brotherly tolerance. On the way, the maintenance light went on on my dash so I might not ever come home, but the free wifi in the hotel seems sufficient.

I have set up a schedule of events and talks to go to. I tried to pick ones that either addressed my position as an English teacher, or which seemed to respect my particular cynical attitude towards computers in the classroom. The key note is scheduled for 5:45 and then there are some things to attend in the evening. I will try to take notes during presentations (I even brought pen and paper so take that future humans!) and reflect a bit, then write up my thoughts and post them. I wouldn’t call this “live blogging” mostly because I think that that is a stupid phrase. Whenever I blog I am alive (at least thus far) so there will be little difference in my existence status for these posts. I will not be giving a play by play unless the presentations truly call for an immediate rebuttal. Otherwise, I will absorb and fire off a grape shot post after it all calms down. And if the car doesn’t start for my return trip I’m sure I’ll have something more to say then.

So if you are an educator and can’t be at ISTE 2015, or you are here and want to see if your response falls in line with mine (which will be, of course, the right and normative response), or if you are just a fan of everything I have to say, then stay tuned and I will post brilliance whenever the muse descends.

And for those of you reading this while still on the way here, the traffic stinks, there is construction and poor signage, but the lobby is pretty. Drop by and say “hi” then leave me alone. I miss my house.

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