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Student-ISTE Meeting Transcript and Tips for Future Planning


Submitted by Meredith Snookums on April 24, 2007 – 8:12am. SIte News

The following transcript was recorded on March 6, 2007 at the ISTE HQ Skypark during a meeting between ~70 University of Delaware educational technology students and Leslie Conery (SL: Meghan McLeod), Deputy CEO of ISTE ( The speaker was introduced by Jennifer Ragan-Fore (SL: Kittygloom Cassady), General Membership Program Director at ISTE. The educational technology instructor was Meredith Wesolowski (SL: Meredith Snookums).

Kittygloom Cassady: Welcome, everyone!

Kittygloom Cassady: Thank you for coming to today’s presentation.

Kittygloom Cassady: I’m Kittygloom Cassady.

Kittygloom Cassady: In real-life, I’m Jennifer Ragan-Fore, ISTE’s general membership program director.

Kittygloom Cassady: We were very pleased to be invited to talk with you today.

Kittygloom Cassady: I’d like to say thank you to Meredith for inviting us

Kittygloom Cassady: In a moment, I’ll be introducing our speaker, but before I do, I want to give you some info about today’s presentation and some of the tools we’ll be using

Kittygloom Cassady: Our speaker will be making a presentation using our PowerPoint system here, but will stop for questions periodically.

Kittygloom Cassady: If you have trouble reading the type on your screen, you can enter “mouselook,” which zooms in on whatever is in front of you.

Kittygloom Cassady: Simply go to “View” and then “Mouselook.”

Kittygloom Cassady: Press escape to exit mouselook.

Kittygloom Cassady: Our speaker’s comments will appear directly above your chat box along the bottom left of the screen. Keep an eye on that space throughout the presentation.

Kittygloom Cassady: Finally, the chairs you are sitting on right now are special “hand raise” chairs.

Kittygloom Cassady: So if you hit page up, it will animate your avatar to raise your hand.

Kittygloom Cassady: And if you hit page down, your hand will go down.

Kittygloom Cassady: Raising our hands will make it a little easier for us to control the conversation flow, and will make our transcript a little easier to follow afterwards.

Kittygloom Cassady: Any questions?

Kittygloom Cassady: Raise your hand! 🙂

Student 1: no

Kittygloom Cassady: Everyone want to try raising your hands?

Kittygloom Cassady: There’s a seat up front if you don’t have one

Kittygloom Cassady: If you’d like to make a comment or have a question as we go on, just raise your hand and we can pause to discuss.

Kittygloom Cassady: Ok.

Kittygloom Cassady: Without further adieu, I am pleased to introduce Meghan McLeod, who is ISTE’s deputy CEO, Leslie Conery, in real life.

Kittygloom Cassady: Leslie is one of the major guiding forces behind ISTE, particularly ISTE’s annual conference, the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), and ISTE’s overall operations in the Eugene Office.

Kittygloom Cassady: Leslie was also an elementary school teacher in real life.

Kittygloom Cassady: Join me in welcoming Meghan to the podium.

Student 2: ::clap, clap::

Student 1: clap

Meghan McLeod: Thank you Kittygloom

Meghan McLeod: I’m pleased to be able to “speak” with you today here in Second Life (SL).

Meghan McLeod: I understand that many of you are new to this environment. That’s great.

Meghan McLeod: So am I. – This is the first time I have given a talk in this format

Meghan McLeod: and I am excited about the opportunity to try something new.

Meghan McLeod: In a rapidly changing world with new technologies being announced every day –

Meghan McLeod: teachers need to be able to put ourselves “out there” and try new things.

Meghan McLeod: Sometimes (often?) it doesn’t work perfectly the first time. We learn as we go.

Meghan McLeod: And, in the process, model for our students what it means to be a life-long learner.

Meghan McLeod: We also model intellectual curiosity. This is worth fostering in students of all ages.

Meghan McLeod: Before we get started with the presentation,

Meghan McLeod: I would like to get to know a little more about you.

Meghan McLeod: How many of you use the internet on a daily basis?

Student 3: I do!

Student 1: me

Student 4: I do

Meghan McLeod: Please raise you hand

Meghan McLeod: Wow – That’s all of you!

Meghan McLeod: I know you are in groups behind each avatar.

Meghan McLeod: If half, or more, of your group use the internet on a daily basis – raise your hand.

Meghan McLeod: Ok, now raise your hand if everyone in your group uses the internet almost every day.

Meghan McLeod: I’d like to hear from you what types of things you use the web for.

Student 3: email

Student 5: email

Student 6: instant message

Student 3: facebook

Student 7: research

Student 8: facebook

Student 7: IM

Student 9: email

Student 2: research, myspace

Student 10: email, research, IM

Student 7: weather reports

Student 9: IM

Student 11: email

Student 3: communication with teachers

Student 12: Instant message, email, weather

Student 12: directions

Student 3: finances

Student 13: information and research

Student 14: aim

Student 3: shopping

Student 11: i-search papers

Student 7: sharing pictures

Student 15: celebrity gossip

Meghan McLeod: lol

Student 16: Research, email, book buying

Student 8: shopping

Meghan McLeod: Great – that’s an excellent list of real world uses of the internet

Meghan McLeod: Is anyone willing to share?

Meghan McLeod: Do you think students in high school do these same things?

Student 3: of course

Student 9: yes

Student 11: yes

Meghan McLeod: It sounds as if most of you do – any who don’t?

Meghan McLeod: Raise your hand if your group thinks “Yes”

Meghan McLeod: Do you think children in upper elementary school do some of these things?

Student 9: yes

Student 17: yes

Student 15: yes

Meghan McLeod: You answered about high schools – what about elementary school kids?

Student 14: yes

Student 4: yes

Student 18: heck yes

Student 7: they play a lot of flash games

Meghan McLeod: Looks like lots of “yes” hands

Meghan McLeod: If so, raise your hand.

Meghan McLeod: Does anyone want to make a comment about children’s access to the internet?

Student 17: should be monitored

Meghan McLeod: Go ahead and speak if you’d like to make an observation about kids use

Meghan McLeod: Thanks Beatrix

Student 11: blocking certain sites

Student 19: we need to teach them how to validate the information they see

Student 7: The kids in the class I work in right now like to look up pictures of celebrities on the school computers, not sure that should be allowed

Student 20: the kids I teach like to go on the internet during class and look up sports info

Student 8: what types of websites are appropriate

Student 3: Yahooligans

Student 2: it’s important to make sure that children know that all sources of information on the internet are not necessary true

Student 14: discovery kids

Student 18: the ones we learn about in ed tech IV

Student 7:

Student 1: PBS kids

Meghan McLeod: Those are all great observations and when we talk about the NETS

Meghan McLeod: standards in a while – we’ll address some of those concerns

Meghan McLeod: Thanks for being willing to speak up in this large group

Meghan McLeod: and share some of your thoughts

Meghan McLeod: Ok, let’s move on to the formal part of my presentation.

Meghan McLeod: I have four major points I’d like to make today

Meghan McLeod: and then we’ll have plenty of time for questions.

Meghan McLeod: I’ll wait a few minutes for the PowerPoint to rez – so you can see

Meghan McLeod: Point 1 – Ready or not – We live in a digital world with digital kids.

Meghan McLeod: Point 2 – Learning environments must reflect this

Meghan McLeod: Point 3 – Much can be done with limited technology if you have a clear

Meghan McLeod: understanding of your teaching goals and desired learning outcomes.

Meghan McLeod: Point 4 – There are many places for help and support while you are still in

Meghan McLeod: school and once you become a classroom teacher.

Meghan McLeod: Related to Point 1 – I’d like to start my presentation today by having you think about

Meghan McLeod: what we know about the students you will be teaching.

Meghan McLeod: If you are able to see okay – will you please raise your hand

Meghan McLeod: I can’t tell if the screen is blurry for you

Meghan McLeod: Ok – thanks!

Meghan McLeod: This slide comes from research reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2001.

Meghan McLeod: All the trend data we have says that these numbers will have changed by now

Meghan McLeod: and the percentages will be higher in each case.

Meghan McLeod: Notice that it is not just the middle and high school students who are using computers and the internet.

Meghan McLeod: In 2001 80.5 percent of all kindergarten through second graders was using computers.

Meghan McLeod: At the same time, half of the 8-10 year olds were using the web.

Meghan McLeod: And, as I said, every report I’ve seen since that time shows the numbers increasing.

Meghan McLeod: This data represents all demographics. Urban, suburban, and rural kids were all counted in the study.

Meghan McLeod: Children of wealthy parents and those who parents struggle to survive.

Meghan McLeod: Native English speakers and children in whose home English is the second language.

Meghan McLeod: These are the averages across all demographics.

Meghan McLeod: On this next slide you see a break down of the information from the previous chart.

Meghan McLeod: Notice that by the time kids are in 3-6th grade (8-12 yrs old)

Meghan McLeod: they are already using computers and the internet inside and outside of school.

Meghan McLeod: When you are thinking about whether or not it is important to know how

Meghan McLeod: to use technology as a teaching and learning tool for your students,

Meghan McLeod: you need to keep in mind the world for which you are preparing them and what they expect when they come to school.

Meghan McLeod: They bring different experiences than students not long before them.

Meghan McLeod: They are used to “Googling” the best place to find the new shoes they want,

Meghan McLeod: their local movie schedule, maps to friends’ houses, or sports scores.

Meghan McLeod: These kids are coming to school with different experiences and expectations than the students I taught

Meghan McLeod: in fourth grade not all that long ago. My students loved using the limited technology

Meghan McLeod: we had available. However, they didn’t expect it and neither did their parents.

Meghan McLeod: Times have changed and what it means to be a prepared teacher had changed.

Meghan McLeod: I’ll give you a minute to read this slide before I tell you about where this information came from.

Meghan McLeod: This slide has summary statements from children who participated in NetDay SpeakUp Day.

Meghan McLeod: Speak Up Day is a project that coordinates teachers across the U.S.

Meghan McLeod: talking to their students about technology — all on the same day.

Meghan McLeod: The teachers ask a pre-established set of questions and send in their student’s responses.

Meghan McLeod: It’s a combination of a massive survey of student opinions

Meghan McLeod: and a day that promotes teachers having the conversation with their classes.

Meghan McLeod: Based on the NetDay SpeakUp Day in 2003 data, we know kids expect

Meghan McLeod: their schools to supply access to technology and their teachers to be prepared to use it.

Meghan McLeod: These are the kids who will be entering your elementary school classrooms.

Meghan McLeod: Elementary school children typically come to school wanting to learn. They are full of enthusiasm, a desire to please, and inquiring minds. It’s also the age where they form many of their habits of learning. It’s important to them, and for them, that we a

Meghan McLeod: Point 2 – if you are going to actively engage your students, inspire them to learn, and give

Meghan McLeod: them the skills, knowledge, and habits of mind they need,

Meghan McLeod: then you must know how to use technology to enrich your classroom instruction,

Meghan McLeod: connect students to the world outside the classroom, and focus on those skills so important in the 21st Century.

Meghan McLeod: I’m talking about skills like creativity, innovation, communication, collaboration,

Meghan McLeod: critical thinking, problem-solving decision-making, intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, digital citizenship,

Meghan McLeod: …You get the idea.

Meghan McLeod: These next two slides are old – over 10 years. But the message is still true.

Meghan McLeod: The world is different and teaching must be different than it was when you were in elementary school.

Meghan McLeod: I’ll give you a few minutes to read this next slide.

Meghan McLeod: It’s about the changes in pedagogy, what we know about learning styles,

Meghan McLeod: and the shift of focus necessary in classroom learning environments.

Meghan McLeod: Point 3 – We need qualified, technology proficient teachers.

Meghan McLeod: I’ll wait a moment for you to read this next slide.

Meghan McLeod: Teachers need to be proficient at how to teach. That’s first and foremost.

Meghan McLeod: However, if they only know how to teach in a non-digital environment,

Meghan McLeod: then they aren’t providing their students with the full suite of tools and skills

Meghan McLeod: necessary to thrive in today’s world. We need to change these trends.

Meghan McLeod: We’re getting there, but still have a long way to go

Meghan McLeod: before classroom educators at all levels understand

Meghan McLeod: how they can best use technology to meet their teaching objectives.

Meghan McLeod: Classes like this one are important for starting you thinking

Meghan McLeod: about how to improve reading and math literacy using technology

Meghan McLeod: to engage, inspire, motivate and sometimes tutor students.

Meghan McLeod: Hopefully your methods courses in science and social studies

Meghan McLeod: also modeled how to bring those subjects alive for kids.

Meghan McLeod: There are wonderful science probes, software, and collaborative

Meghan McLeod: projects out there. Social studies leaves “memorizing the state

Meghan McLeod: capitals” in the dust with the opportunities for project-based

Meghan McLeod: learning, developing research skills, and new understandings

Meghan McLeod: of “community.” An inexpensive video camera and a single shared

Meghan McLeod: computer can make “Our Community” come alive for kids.

Meghan McLeod: The important thing is to begin with the end in mind.

Meghan McLeod: Point 4 – There are many people and places to go to for support, including ISTE!

Meghan McLeod: I’ll give you a moment to read these next two slides of ideas.

Meghan McLeod: Even if you end up in a school with limited access you can

Meghan McLeod: start with what you want the end result of your teaching to be.

Meghan McLeod: Use standards to help you focus.

Meghan McLeod: Take advantage of all the web had to offer to you and to your students.

Meghan McLeod: (Don’t forget to teach digital citizenship and safety!)

Meghan McLeod: Learn from your peers (at least those you want to be most like)

Meghan McLeod: Consider joining ISTE so that you are part of a community of practice.

Meghan McLeod: You will get a monthly journal with classroom tested ideas,

Meghan McLeod: have access to webinars and other professional development,

Meghan McLeod: and be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Meghan McLeod: Oh, wait – you can already do that in SL – never mind…

Meghan McLeod: And, once you have your big idea or learning goal in mind,

Meghan McLeod: check out the collaborative projects on the web to see if any of them spark ideas or provide engaging learning opportunities that match.

Meghan McLeod: Let’s stop for a moment. I’d like to know if you have any questions at this point.

Meghan McLeod: If so – just raise your hand.

Meghan McLeod: If you don’t have questions about what I’ve said so far – please raise your hand

Meghan McLeod: Great – It looks like you’re good to go!

Meghan McLeod: Before I move on to a few projects of what people are doing

Meghan McLeod: around the world, I wanted to say something about the draft

Meghan McLeod: set of the revised NETS for Students. These are still in draft.

Meghan McLeod: Our plan is to release the new standards at NECC (National Educational Computing Conference) in June. Soon after we will have a short book, 20 pages, with the refreshed standards as well as profiles for what they look like in specific grade ranges.

Meghan McLeod: In other words, what should a student know and be able to do using technology

Meghan McLeod: by the time they leave second grade? Fifth grade? Eight grade? High school?

Meghan McLeod: We’ve moved away from a focus on using the tools to a focus on student learning

Meghan McLeod: and how technology tools support this learning. I send a copy of the draft standards

Meghan McLeod: to your professor, Ms. Snookums (LOL), so you can have a sneak peak into what will

Meghan McLeod: become the new National Educational Technology Standards.

Meghan McLeod: Now for some examples.

Meghan McLeod: I love this first story because it’s a relatively simple use of technology

Meghan McLeod: to make a life-changing difference for kids with special needs.

Meghan McLeod: Podcasting is not expensive if you have

Meghan McLeod: a place to host the files. These kids in the UK create

Meghan McLeod: news broadcasts by writing the stories

Meghan McLeod: and practicing them over and over – listening

Meghan McLeod: to themselves – until they have a broadcast

Meghan McLeod: that communicates clearly to others. These

Meghan McLeod: are kids with speech difficulties and the teachers

Meghan McLeod: say they have noticed incredible engagement by the kids

Meghan McLeod: and improvement in their thinking skills and oral

Meghan McLeod: communication. Why not have your 3rd graders podcast

Meghan McLeod: the school news once a week? What a great way to

Meghan McLeod: communicate with parents and peers while

Meghan McLeod: developing writing, analytical thinking, and communication skills.

Meghan McLeod: I heard that some of you don’t expect to start in

Meghan McLeod: schools that have rich resources. Don’t think that means

Meghan McLeod: you shouldn’t be making the most of technology. On an average,

Meghan McLeod: those schools receive more money for technology than schools

Meghan McLeod: with a wealthier parent-base. The new digital divide

Meghan McLeod: is less about having access to hardware and software,

Meghan McLeod: although that is still part of it,

Meghan McLeod: and more about access to teachers who know how to use it.

Meghan McLeod: Costa Rica is not a wealthy country but they realized

Meghan McLeod: the importance of changing their teaching and learning

Meghan McLeod: paradigms and it is paying off for their children.

Meghan McLeod: Global Kids is an online collaborative whose mission is

Meghan McLeod: to prepare urban youth to become global citizens and community leaders.

Meghan McLeod: ePals does classroom-to-classroom project sharing.

Meghan McLeod: They claim to be in 191 countries – not a bad representation!

Meghan McLeod: Rock our World does large scale collaborative projects around a specific theme.

Meghan McLeod: Global School Net is another great group doing collaborative projects around

Meghan McLeod: many curricular themes.

Meghan McLeod: iLEARN focuses more on issues of global understanding and tolerance.

Meghan McLeod: These are just a very few examples of collaborative projects. There are

Meghan McLeod: web sites full of teacher resources, help tools, web quests, and other

Meghan McLeod: helpful information for you and for your students.

Meghan McLeod: The point here is to say that just because you don’t have access to a computer

Meghan McLeod: for every student – it’ doesn’t mean you can’t do meaningful things with your students

Meghan McLeod: There are many projects out there that are free and they are looking for schools to participate

Meghan McLeod: I also hope you’ll consider joining ISTE either as a student or once you

Meghan McLeod: get into the classroom. ISTE members are a community of people who understand

Meghan McLeod: that using technology as a learning tool isn’t always easy and that we need to

Meghan McLeod: support one another, share best practices, tell our stories, and learn together

Meghan McLeod: in order to transform education.

Meghan McLeod: Some final thoughts….

Meghan McLeod: and….

Meghan McLeod: Thank you! This has been fun for me and I hope not too much reading for you! I look forward to any feedback you might have for us about how well this worked.

Meghan McLeod: Let’s move on to questions. Do any of you have questions about

Meghan McLeod: What I’ve said, about ISTE, about the refreshed standards, or about the weather in Oregon?

Meghan McLeod: thanks!

Student 20: thank you! (applause)

Meghan McLeod: I like the claps better than the yawns – but both are good feedback

Student 3: thanks!

Student 21: thanks

Meghan McLeod: lol

Student 1: i have a short question

Student 11: Thank you!

Meghan McLeod: AthenaAnn

Student 13: Thanks!

Student 22: Thanks

Student 1: Do you have any fears about using this technology?

Meghan McLeod: I don’t have fears but I do have “concerns”

Student 1: what are they?

Meghan McLeod: At the beginning of the talk many of you talked about access

Meghan McLeod: and about blocking sites

Meghan McLeod: This is one of the a NETS standards – teaching kids to be good digital

Meghan McLeod: citizens. Teaching them appropriate use of the technology

Meghan McLeod: and what isn’t appropriate.

Meghan McLeod: Also – another one of the NETS addresses teaching students to think

Meghan McLeod: critically about their sources.

Meghan McLeod: Think about it

Meghan McLeod: Why is the computer different than other things kids used to read?

Student 11: it’s not censored

Meghan McLeod: Why do you think this is more of an issue now?

Meghan McLeod: Anyone?

Student 9: because you can get any amount of information at any time

Meghan McLeod: Yes – what else?

Student 9: on any subject

Student 11: it’s not censored

Student 20: there are creepy people on the internet with bad intentions!

Meghan McLeod: Yes! – and….

Student 7: because much of the information available can be edited by anyone

Meredith Snookums: sources are not always reliable

Student 8: to catch a predator makes me nervous

Meghan McLeod: You’re hitting all the key points. ANYONE can be an author

Meghan McLeod: That’s the most empowering concept of the technology for your students

Meghan McLeod: but it is also why you need to teach kids to think about their sources.

Meghan McLeod: Aideen – I think you had a question

Student 5: yes

Student 5: how does tech affect student interactions?

Meghan McLeod: Say more about your question –

Student 5: Especially if they spend too much time

Student 5: talking to people over the internet instead of face to face?

Meghan McLeod: Ah – it’s true that parents and teachers need to monitor computer use of young children

Meghan McLeod: That was true when TV started as well – and when kids starting using electronic games

Meghan McLeod: instead of playing outside

Meghan McLeod: But when you think of social interaction at school and at home

Meghan McLeod: technology is a fabulous way to motivate kids and to support project work

Meghan McLeod: and that’s project work that they might not have been as excited about in other contexts

Meghan McLeod: There are so many real-world collaborative projects kids can do

Meghan McLeod: video their neighborhood and write about who lives there

Meghan McLeod: studies of the history of your state

Meghan McLeod: all kinds of great project based learning.

Student 5: That’s a good point.

Meghan McLeod: You’d be surprised how a talented teacher can get kids involved in meaningful publishing

Meghan McLeod: and interaction using these tools.

Meghan McLeod: I could say more…..but won’t here. My fingers may not hold out!

Meghan McLeod: Other questions?

Student 23: thanks for everything

Meghan McLeod: It was fun to try this format with you. I’ve never presented when I couldn’t see the people

Student 11: thank you!

Meghan McLeod: I was talking but you all have been great. Thank you!!

Student 7: thank you!

Student 1: I think I speak for everyone when I say THANK YOU so much. We appreciate it!

Kittygloom Cassady: Thanks, Meghan, and thank you, everyone, for attending today!

Kittygloom Cassady: You have been a great audience.

Kittygloom Cassady: If you are interested, there will be an educators’ social on Thursday at 6 PM SLT here in ISTE’s SkyPark.

Student 12: thanks to you

Meredith Snookums: Thank you

Kittygloom Cassady: We would be happy to have you join us–it’s a fun way to meet other educators and students.

Kittygloom Cassady: Finally, I just would like to urge you to consider joining ISTE.

Kittygloom Cassady: We have special student memberships, and joining a professional association can be a really valuable experience at this point in your careers,

Kittygloom Cassady: both from a professional development standpoint, and from the standpoint of building your professional network.

Kittygloom Cassady: Send me an IM if you’re interested in learning more.

Kittygloom Cassady: Thanks again!