Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Worst It'll Ever Be

Do you remember the "Good Ol' Days?"  I remember.  I vividly recall moving into an apartment with my wife, Amy.  We had a cozy two bedroom apartment with one of the rooms dedicated to being our home office.  In the office was a Compaq computer that had dial-up Internet.  On one Saturday afternoon I decided to participate in an online Football draft.  The draft began at 2pm and I was expecting a two-hour draft.  The geek in me has always loved participating in Fantasy Sports! Just minutes before the draft was set to begin the phone rang.  It was an important call for my wife. For several minutes I paced back and forth...I couldn't get on the Internet because she was on the phone! Do you remember those days?  The days when dial-up monopolized the phone lines for hours on end.  
Those were the Good Ol' Days...right?

Last week I connected with several PLN members at MACUL in Detroit, Michigan.  This is always one of my favorite conferences.  One quote during a bit of downtime stood out:

"This is the worst technology will be in our students lifetime."

Think about that.  It's 2015 and I choose to believe technology and innovation will only improve.  I truly don't see us going backwards.

I predict -

  • In the future wifi will be everywhere.
  • Someday we won't have to pay for data.
  • We will look back and be astonished that some schools blocked YouTube.
  • Digital Citizenship will be a phrase rarely mentioned...we will simply say, Citizenship.
  • Technology will be used as more than a tool. Technology will transform learning.
  • It will be educational malpractice for teachers to not be willing to learn and try new things.
  • Many educators will blog and model writing to their students and community.
I think back to my days in the 5th grade classroom.  For years all we had were two desktop computers.  One was for the teacher and one was for all the students to share.  Funny thing was, the kids loved getting even as few as 10 minutes on the computer.  Then we got a Smart Board...the youthful exuberance was visible on their faces.  Simply put, technology has the potential to excite, engage and transform learning.  But looking back to 2001...I'm confident that was the worst technology was in their lifetime.  It has only moved forward.  Not convinced that technology can change the World?  Just check this out and tell me technology can't change lives.

This post was inspired by my trip to MACUL.  If you have never had the opportunity to attend MACUL I encourage you to put it on your list.

These are my three takeaways:

First, I always enjoy becoming an active learner!  This year was no different.  I went to a session on Augmented Reality with @WeverWorld after her session I spoke with @GustafsonBrad about the next steps.  I can't wait to create business cards and opening up the new possibilities of learning.

Second, I networked with many educational people.  It's very powerful to connect and learn on Twitter...but then you go to a major conference and you have the opportunity to connect face to face. These connections truly expand a person's network.

Finally, the positive energy was contagious!  Nationwide the chatter has been focused on Standardized Testing, funding and endless debates about CCSS.  From the opening keynote delivered by @gcouros I felt empowered and fired up to - Be The Change!

I'm excited about the future and I'm excited to see what our kids will do with the World at their fingertips.


Monday, March 23rd:  Poster Contest Due Date
Monday, March 23rd:  Technology Meeting 3pm-4pm
Monday, March 23rd:  String Team 3:45pm
Monday, March 23rd:  Girl/Boy Quest 4pm
Tuesday, March 24th:  Admin Meeting 9am
Tuesday, March 24th:  Spring Musical 7pm
Wednesday, March 25th:  K-2 Assembly 8:45am
Wednesday, March 25th:  String Team 3:45pm
Wednesday, March 25th:  4pm MiCI room meeting at Bean
Thursday, March 26th:  Family Reading Night at Warner
Thursday, March 26th:  9:40am Football players reading with KDG classrooms
Thursday, March 26th:  1:15pm Crisis Management meeting
Thursday, March 26th:  Girl/Boy Quest 4pm
Friday, March 27th:  Admin Meeting 9:30am
Friday, March 27th:  Reading Month Assembly in the PM

Articles Worth Reading:

Work is love made visible @Jennifer_Hogan

Y2K @jon_wennstrom

Everybody has a Story @danpbutler

Drawing the line between success and mastery @kristenswanson

Remind introduces chat feature @AngelaMaiers

Collaborating with Colleagues who don't support your creativity @AngelaWatson

Innovation has no age barrier @gcouros

Teaching vs Rocket Science @Jeff_Zoul

8 Things Emotionally Stable People Don't Do @marcandangel

Videos Worth Watching:

Tell me 3D printers are just toys... (3 min)

No Fear in Love (5 min)

WOW! One person can make a difference! (5 min) @TheEllenShow

Ariana Grande with @jimmyfallon  (2 min)


  1. Wow, good 'ol days indeed! A Commodore '64 on dial up that let me move a turtle on green and black screen, up and down one space. Our first TV at age 6, first color- remote TV at age 10, and first American cable station at age 13 (I grew up in South Africa). It scares me to think of the immense technological change my grandfather experienced from Morse code in WWII to Fax machines (Before he passed). I'm not sure what else we could possibly see in the next 20 years - that scares me and invigorates me at the same time. As long as relationships are the core value we embed in our educational institutions, they will all be the "good 'ol days!".

  2. Great post Ben! I actually remember when were first getting used to using email in school and all the principals had Palm Pilots! :) Ah, the good ol' days! Thanks for putting things into perspective that the students will be moving on with technology far in advance of what we can even think of. The future looks bright!!:)