Monday, December 8, 2008

CLMS Technology Conference, December 2008

CLMS Technology Conference Report: George Sabato

This weekend I attended the CLMS.CLHS/CUE Technology Conference in Monterey. The experience and information was extensive and demonstrated how the transformation in technological uses in society are moving quickly into education in powerful ways. I will do my best to condense three days into a page or so. I will use links to bring you very close to the experience. Following those links will surely give you a greater depth of understanding of the latest trends in education. While this may take you a bit of your time, I believe you will find it more than worth your while.

The key theme that dominated the CLMS Technology Conference this year is “Learning to Network—Networking to Learn” addressing the transition of society and education into the world of Web 2.0. This is the change from use of the internet for email and web pages to the more creative, socially dynamic and interactive world of blogs, wikis, and social networking sites. It seems teachers at grade levels as low as fourth grade have moved into creating blogs and wikis as projects and assessments. Often schools are requiring all students to have gmail accounts which allow access to the Google applications like Google docs and Google wiki, giving students access to their word processing, presentations, blogs and wikis at school and home.

I would suggest you view the presentation by Steve Hargadon. He explains with clarity why web 2.0 is the future of education.

The emerging theme and direction is to use the word “technology” as a support for innovation, creativity, collaboration, relevance, problem solving, communication, and critical thinking. It is realized that what is important is how we use technology. A real concern is that large sums of money have been spent building technology systems in schools that support the old education paradigms. Schools need to adapt to technology in ways that build the skills needed for the 21st century.

Let me take you to some YouTube videos that will help you understand some of the such elements of Web 2.0 as blogs, wikis and social networking sites. Go to
for this short but enlightening video on blogs. Go to For a really clear and fascinating explanation on how wikis work watch this and you will see many applications for your own life. And take a look at how Google Docs could make collaboration easier. Here’s one on social networking.

Concerns about having students using “tools” out on the net can be met by “closing” the community with the controls of the specific applications. For example, has no ads on sites used by educators, no email accounts are required and you can set up who can see the wikis created. Only those approved and invited can see the work. This wiki application is CTAP (California Technology Assistance Project) approved. CTAP used the social networking system. Many parent clubs are using to create their networks. Examples:

CTAP4 has some great resources for administrators on Cybersafety including policies and procedures.

Keynote speaker, David Jakes, put a slide of a one room schoolhouse in Alaska, once isolated in the wilderness--now wireless with its students globally connected. His key point was that education’s key role today is to have our students value collaborative and collective intelligence. Students need to be able to connect, collaborate, create and contribute.

I saw many great projection systems, white boards, and document readers. These are certainly to be part of the future of education. While many whiteboards on show were thousands of dollars, at one workshop I learned you can make a whiteboard out of any surface using a Wii remote. The materials cost about $40.00 to make this happen. See how to make a “Low-Cost Multi-touch Whiteboard using the Wiimote” at I also saw that you can create a sound system for the classroom by simply getting a garage sale stereo and add to them $19.95 wireless mikes that can be purchased at Target. I hope you can see this youtube video. I learned that there are many videos valuable to teachers on youtube. If youtube is blocked, teachers can download the features at home and email them to their school computer for viewing in the classroom.

The N Computing network system of having six stations (monitorys and keyboards) share one PC appears to be a very economical way of having many stations in one classroom.

I found many new web sites which have great value to teachers and students. I will be adding many to my web site. At
you can add voice to images.
allows you to prepare videos for uploading or downloading to YouTube.
has videos of children from all over the world sharing “their world” to the world by online video. gives you a directory of all the Web 2.0 sites. is a site that showcases students to colleges. Students are now more than test scores. With
in just minutes, you can broadcast and chat online with a global audience. lets you brainstorm collaboratively online creating colorful mind maps. Web 2.0 for the Classroom Teacher at is a great collection of Web 2.0 sites and applications.

It was an honor to present at the conference. You can see my presentation at

George Sabato

P.S. Be sure to leave a comment by clicking on "comment" below by the pencil. It will give you a box in which you can send me a comment. Thank you.