I left with a bag of tricks and a few signposts.
The larger signs pointed to
- Constructive obstacles
- The driving need to create assignments that reflect dissonance.
I found Malcolm Gladwell's keynote address particularly intriguing as his new book Outliers seems to advocate for the renewal of the Protestant work ethic with a new twist - respect the difficulty as a major component of a compensation theory to success. I couldn't figure out how this tied into a conference on technology and education until he hit that key component: FEEDBACK. Here was the key component; a WEB 2.0 component, and the discussion returns to the real merit of brick and mortar schools - a place of face to face dialogue. This is the element that bothers me with the flash and bells of technology use in the classroom. Too often it overlays and erases the need to actually talk to people, watch their faces, know their interests, argue and resolve differences, and pay attention to that vital right brain element of which Daniel Pink so convincingly speaks.
Here is the true challenge of technology and education: how do we combine these elements effectively?