Tag Archive for pnaistechshare

PNAIS TechShare Conference

I just returned from three days at the PNAIS TechShare conference, located in the foothills of Mt. Hood. It was a great conference. Though very small (maybe 35 attendees), we attracted a critical mass of teachers, kept the conversation focused on teaching and learning, and enjoyed the retreat-like atmosphere of a resort hotel. Gaining face time with Northwest colleagues we usually only “see” through email was most valuable. I picked up a lot of useful sites and tools to support our global education initiatives and made several contacts at other schools who are doing very interesting work. Best of all, I shared the experience with two colleagues from my school, which should really help with implementation of these ideas this year. Go TechShare!

We did devote an hour’s time to discussion of open source software. Interestingly, the conversation was not much different from similar talks two years ago. A lot of tech staff are still struggling with how to take the first steps to exploring open source software in their schools, and the categories of desktop, server, and web open-source software are mixed without much discrimination. I don’t fully understand why open-source technologies are not treated like other new technologies. You find the time to learn it because it’s interesting, your users are curious, and it has the potential to really help your operations. If it’s strategically important to your school, then you find the time to study it. I hope that we may one day take this conversation to the next level within our community of northwest schools.

Wow, has the Apple revolution arrived to the state of Washington! A number of schools are now wrestling with Mac client-Windows network integration, as students have begun to show up on campus with MacBooks. A whole bunch of conference attendees sported iPhones (and complained about the spotty signal reception at the resort)!

We maintained our global ed theme throughout most of the conference. The best part for me was learning what interesting global trips other schools have undertaken (Seattle Academy, Overlake, Northwest Academy, Lakeside, among others). However, when I asked the teacher group how many had tried a virtual exchange, no hands went up! Maybe the right people weren’t in the room, but I was surprised at the lack of virtual exchanges. Thankfully, the group received my presentation about our Gaza City Skype chat very well, and perhaps one or two will give it a try this year.

After a lovely retreat and conference experience up in the woods, I return to help launch our new web site tomorrow! Hopefully, by the end of day, you will see a whole new look and functionality at www.catlin.edu.

Many quality ed-tech conferences this year

I am excited to recruit more teachers to attend terrific ed-tech conferences, especially those focused on learning and located nearby. I sent the following list to my colleagues today in an effort to build interest and make plans.

This year sees an unprecedented number of quality national conferences in educational technology both locally and further afield.


K12 Online Conference
October 13 – November 1
100% Online

This free, fully online conference marks its third year in October.
Speakers record presentations in advance and then participate in online
discussions on a predetermined schedule. All the presentations are
archived for posterity. Most of the leading international figures in
educational technologies have a hand in this one. Now all you need to
do is to carve out some time to watch and participate.

EduCon 2.1
January 23-25, 2009
Science Leadership Academy
Philadelphia, PA

SLA is a public school in Philadelphia with a progressive educational
mission and many thoughtful uses of technology. Their principal, Chris
Lehmann, has established a national reputation as an effective school
leader, education technology blogger, and school reform authority. The
school enjoys a partnership with the Benjamin Franklin Museum and
enrolls an ethnically and socioeconomically representative sample of
students from the city.

EduCon is the school’s groundbreaking "unconference," where teachers
and theorists facilitate participatory discussions rather than giving
conventional presentations. They also took the groundbreaking step of
broadcasting the entire conference via uStream last year, making it
possible to attend and participate "virtually."

Northwest Council of Computer Educators (NCCE)
February 17-20, 2009
Oregon Convention Center
Portland, Oregon

This leading regional conference usually takes place in Seattle, so we
are fortunate to have it in our own backyard this year. The conference
boasts dozens of sessions and features nationally-known presenters. If
you have an idea of what you are looking for, this conference is likely
to offer it — new technologies from all of the main vendors, and
teachers sharing their strategies.

PNAIS Spring Teachers Conference
April 20, 2009
Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s School
Salt Lake City, Utah

Imagine the fall teachers conference that many of us attend annually.
Now imagine the entire thing organized around the role of technology in
education. Keynoted by Ian Jukes, the day promises to focus on 21st
century learners.

Association of Computer Professionals in Education
May 6-8, 2009
The Resort at the Mountain
Welches, Oregon

This is the leading annual conference for computers in education in Oregon. Geared to technical professionals, this conference nonetheless contextualizes our work firmly in the context of teaching and learning. It offers an excellent opportunity to network with Oregon schools and build relationships with local vendors.

PNAIS TechShare
June 28-30, 2009
The Resort at the Mountain
Welches, Oregon

TechShare features practitioner sessions from our peer schools in Oregon and Washington, including Lakeside, Northwest, Evergreen, Overlake, Billings, Meridian, FAIS, OES, and Seattle Academy. The participatory format and small size encourages lots of informal conversation and networking with our colleagues at other institutions. Participants stay at the resort for three days and two nights, and the sessions encourage your participation and ideas. The conference is divided into two strands, "teacher" and "geek." This year’s theme is "Small World," an exploration of tools and techniques that put our students in touch with peers and resources globally.

Building Learning Communities (BLC)
July 27-31, 2009
Copley Plaza Hotel
Boston, Massachusetts

In 2008, Alan November succeeded in focusing this conference primarily on teaching and learning in a technologically-rich world. The best sessions were led by educators creating remarkably student-centered learning environments with technology. Student-led instruction, international collaborations, and social learning were all on display.