Author Archives: Stephen Rahn

Bring Your Own Technology (Students, that is)

As shocking as it may be for some to believe, there are districts which have begun, or are about to begin, allowing students to bring their own technology to school. Not only that, but the districts are going to allow the student devices to connect to the school network so they can access the Internet while they are at school. Yes, students will be allowed to have their own cell phones, laptops, iPads, iPod touches, etc. in the classroom!

Okay, take a deep breath.

Now that you’ve taken a moment to digest that, what do you think of this development? Forsyth County schools are already allowing students to bring their own technology, and Douglas County is going to allow it at their new high school which opens in August. Needless to say, this is a MAJOR shift in philosophy. Some districts would tell you that they would never consider such a thing, but dozens of school districts attended a Bring Your Own Technology Summit at Kennesaw State University a few weeks ago. You can watch some of the recorded presentations here.

So I guess I’m saying that we should all get ready for this. Like it or not, it’s probably coming to a district near you!

Image attribution: @timclark45

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TeachMeet Georgia

The Educational Technology Center at Kennesaw State University is very pleased to be participating with an enthusiastic group of teacher volunteers to host TeachMeet Georgia at the KSU Center on January 21-22, 2011 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day.

Just in case you are not familiar with TeachMeet events, they are free professional learning opportunities organized by educators for educators. Teachers will share and learn about ideas and resources that will engage students as citizens in a technologically rich society. We are very pleased the have Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal on Twitter) as our opening keynote speaker. Eric and his school were featured in a video on Scholastic Administrator’s Tech Talk last spring (see: http://www.educatorsroyaltreatment.com/2010/04/30/sheninger/)

TeachMeet originated in England a little over a year ago with a group of teachers coming together to share about effective classroom practices. These types of “unconference” events are springing up around world, both in the TeachMeet format and the less structured Edcamp events. We are very excited to offer the first TeachMeet event in Georgia and would appreciate your help in spreading the word to schools within your service area.

TeachMeet will offer a variety of quick, fifteen minute sharing sessions related to use of technology-oriented tools. Some presenters (teachers and students) will be live at KSU, others will connect via Skype. All will be webcast! You don’t have to be at KSU to participate!

There will also be panel discussions, round table discussions, and a computer lab setting to explore resources shared during the event. All sessions will be live streamed and recordings archived for later access.

For those at KSU, lunch will be provided and many fantastic door prizes have been donated by various vendors, including Edutopia, TechSmith, Solution Tree, Mindsteps, Herff Jones, Glogster EDU, Apple, and Ed Voyles Automotive Group. The generosity of these sponsors has made it possible to provide this event free to educators.

Participation AT KSU is limited to 200, but anyone can tune into the live stream. Presenters can be at KSU or connect via Skype.

You can find both the participant and presenter registration forms and additional information about TeachMeetGA at http://teachmeetga.pbworks.com.  Remember, it’s FREE!