I got to do some blogvangelism today in front of about 800 folks at South Brunswick High School here in New Jersey as well as get to meet long-time ed tech speaker/consultant Jamie McKenzie and everyone’s favorite source on Internet safety Perry Aftab whose face and name I must have seen at least a dozen times on television and newspapers the past week. The three of us sat on a panel with about five other tech types from the district and two students to react to Jamie’s keynote presentation on implementing ed tech in schools. It was, as always, a great opportunity for me to learn from some very well respected people in the field. But the best part was learning from the kids.
At one point, the grown ups on the panel were lamenting the fact that it was getting increasingly difficult to shut down the information flow of e-mail and cell phones and everything else. I really wanted to know what the students thought about all of that, so I asked them if they felt equally overwhelmed. Not surprisingly, their experience was almost the exact opposite. Both of them said that the Internet was a crucial part of the way they communicated and stayed in touch, and that it had become an almost seamless part of their daily lives. It was amazing how different their experiences were.
I had about a hundred people at my afternoon Read/Write Web presentation, and had some great conversation about the potential of these tools. I always think it’s interesting how different people perceive these changes, and today was no exception. Some were overwhelemed. Some were scared. Some couldn’t wait to get started. I really hope those who stick a toe in the water touch base about their exploits.