Last Thursday I participated in EdTechBrainstorm at EdTechTalk.com. It was a lot of fun to participate in this Skype conference and add to the conversation. This is a neat format where they stream audio and have a chat room to include folks who are just listening. They also podcast their shows after they are finished. I encourage everyone to take part in their broadcasts.
I spoke extensively about what it means to work in an Independent School (check out NAIS for more info on Independent Schools). Being in a school that has high tuition and an endowment, we do have lots of resources, making it easier to purchase hardware/software. This might be different from a public school system that has to have their entire budget approved by a School Board each year. What I think it similar between public and private school is that it is difficult to change any culture, and unless we have strong leadership, big picture change is difficult. Whether you’re working with NCLB or parents who want their kids to get into very competitive colleges (or both), the pressure to keep doing what has been successful is difficult to change. Faculty development is about a having personal connection with and proving to faculty that the change will make what they have been doing for years better, sometimes a hard sell.
I also commented on the New Story conversation that David Warlick started a few weeks ago. Here are some links for folks who want to listen as opposed to hear my quick summary of the conversation: Warlick’s Original Post, Over the Pond and Through the Fiber response, Warlick’s Response, and Bob Sprakle’s Thoughts. This is an amazing conversation — enjoy.
I also want to plug the EdTech BarnRaising where the guys from EdTechTalk are developing a New Media Curriculum for Faculty. This is an amazing resource, and I want to encourage you to go there and post your ideas and thoughts.