Home Making the case for Education Technologies Takeaways and Recommendations from the Gates Foundation’s ECET2 Conference

Takeaways and Recommendations from the Gates Foundation’s ECET2 Conference


Part 2 of a look at takeaways from this recent “Elevating and Celebrating … Teaching” Conference

On Sunday, we examined part 1 of Lalla Pierce's insights from the ECET2 conference in the article “Technology as a Powerful Enabler of Teacher Inquiry, Collaboration, and Professional Development“. Today we wrap this article up with further thoughts on specific ‘take aways' and recommended sites to continue the learning journey and collaboration. – KW

My recent attendance at ECET2: The Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching Conference, sponsored by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, left me with three takeaways that struck me enough to want to share them with others.

Opportunities for professional growth and development abound because of technology.

I’ve had a Twitter account for four years but only since I became purposeful about following other educators and participating in Twitter Chats have I begun to see the value. I’ve received more professional development via Twitter over the last month or so than I have at workshops in the past. With most states implementing The Common Core Standards, we have great opportunities to learn from and with one another because of a common curriculum, without being limited by our location.

Intentional teacher inquiry and collaboration is rewarding work that is possible now more than ever because of technology.

We have no excuses for not collaborating unless we live off the grid. Even if we teach in an environment where connecting and working with others is not fostered, there are plenty of teachers around the country ready and willing. With general tools like Google Hangouts, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as education specific tools such as The Center for Teaching Quality’s new “Collaboratory”, the ways and means to work with teachers who share your passions and wonderings are virtually limitless.

Feeling professional is not entirely up to how others treat and view our profession. We can choose to engage in activities which impact our professional self-image.

I challenge you to change what you do for a month and see if it changes how professional you feel. I truly believe this is a huge key to changing the general public’s view of teachers and education–first engage in a professional self-image shift fostered by more professional activities. Since the conference the only thing that’s really changed about my daily activity is the fact that I’m connecting with other proactive and positive teachers on a daily basis. Yet, I feel as if I received a promotion!

Recommended Sites for Engaging:

Twitter: Search hashtags and discover people and organizations to follow, participate in chats and find more people and organizations to follow. “Favorite” tweets to return to if you don’t have time to fully process the information at the moment.

Facebook: “Like” pages such as The National Council of Teacher of Mathematics, The Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project, International Reading Association, etc.

CTQ Collaboratory: The Center for Teaching Quality is a national non-profit organization whose goal is to “connect, ready, and mobilize teacher leaders to transform our schools.” They just opened the “Collaboratory” up to the public and it allows teachers (and others who believe in teacher leaders) to connect.

Teaching Channel: Whether you join this site or not, definitely spend time checking out the videos! Videos are searchable by grade level, subject, and topic.

Engage NY: The New York State Education Department put a lot of resources into the creation of this site specifically for Common Core implementation.

Achieve the Core: This is another free site dedicated to Common Core tools and resources, made possible by Student Achievement Partners.

Recommended Reference: Dana, N. F. & Yendol-Silva, D. (2009). The reflective educator’s guide to classroom practice (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
8 Great Tips for Education and Instructional Technology Innovation
The 10 Most Watched EmergingEdTech Videos of 2012

Announcing the New and Improved 2013 Edition of the Free Education Technology Resources eBook



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