Educational Technology: Current Trends and Future Directions

I am excited to be today’s keynote speaker at the LearnIT Conference at Northern Illinois University. I’ve enjoyed spending the past several days visiting innovative schools in the greater Chicago area. The classroom visits and conversations with the students, faculty, and administrators have been enjoyable and valuable. I’ve also enjoyed learning about the programs and initiatives in NIU’s College of Education. I appreciate the many individuals that have hosted me along the way. This trip has provided me with new ideas and inspiration. I’m sure today’s conference will be the icing on the cake.

Below are my slides and a few notes related to my keynote presentation. I’ll be reflecting on some of the current trends in education and technology, and sharing my recommendations for the directions in which the field should move going forward. I invite your thoughts and feedback.

The following serves as an outline of some of the topics that will be highlighted and demonstrated.

  • Standards, 21st Century Learning, and Higher-Order Thinking Skills
  • Classroom Examples
  • Web 2.0 Tools and Services
  • Benefits and Barriers
  • “Telecollaboration”
  • Audio and Video
  • Mash-Ups
  • Mobile Learning
  • Interactivity
  • State of Innovation
  • A Personal Experience
  • Conclusions and Discussion

Skype’s New Resource Specifically for Teachers

Skype in the Classroom is “a free directory that connects teachers and helps them use Skype to enrich students’ educational experience.” It allows you and your students to meet new people and connect with classes from around the world. Skype offers an immediate way to help students discover new cultures, languages and ideas, all without leaving the classroom. (Source)

“There are lots of teachers out there doing amazing things with Skype. But many of them say their biggest obstacle is finding other teachers and classes to connect with. [Skype is} developing a free online directory to make it easy for teachers to connect with other teachers and resources from around the world…Once you sign up with your Skype account and create a profile, you’ll be able to search for other teachers and classes by subject and region. You can also share inspiration and tips to help kids learn with Skype.” (Source)

Start by creating a profile, then explore the directory to find teachers and resources that match your interests. You can then share inspiring links, videos and tips with other teachers.? Feel free to connect with me, too.

Planning District-Wide Technology Professional Development

Brenda McCombs, Drew Polly, Clif Mims and ALBHS Science Department
2009 Midsouth Technology Conference

We’ll be sharing information about the Impacting Kannapolis Program today at the MidSouth Technology Conference (MSTC). This program is in its 2nd year of funding through the IMPACT Technology Grant sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. My involvement with this program consists of providing several weeks of professional development in instructional design and technology integration each summer.

This presentation will describe the approaches to designing and implementing district-wide professional development in a high-need, Title I school district. The workshop will share approaches to supporting teacher learning and teacher leaders, and also highlight technologies and projects that have been used in schools.

NOTE: Visit the collaborative wiki page for this presentation at Learning Telecollaboratively for additional information and resources. Photos from this presentation are available at Lifestreaming from My iPhone (my Posterous).

View more presentations from Clif Mims.

Conference Tag: #mstc09

Connecting the Classroom and Outside World (Feedback Requested)

Educators, what are some strategies for connecting the classroom with the outside world?

NOTE: I’d like to share responses in an upcoming workshop/presentation and on my blog and wiki. You can submit your ideas using the form below, share your text/audio/video reply in the Comments section of this post or respond via Twitter, Plurk or on your blog using the tag #thruwalls. You can also view the compiled database of suggested strategies on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively.

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Conversation tag: #thruwalls

Research and Collaborate with SimplyBox

SimplyBox is a free service that allows you to visually capture any part of a web page. As you collect items that you captured, you organize them in boxes. You can then share these items or boxes with friends, colleagues, … the world. The result is: efficient and visual collaboration around content. They call it “content networking.” (Source)



  • Collect only the parts from a web page that you want.
  • Write your notes/comments on the content you found.
  • Have a direct link back to the sites each of your items were collected from.

Student Collaboration

  • Collect into a box useful content from the web and add your comments to it.
  • Share the box with your students, even if they are not SimplyBox users.
  • The students can add their comments and content.

Connecting Beyond the Classroom

  • Create boxes with content related to the different topics you teach.
  • Exchange the boxes with other teachers (even if in different schools!.
  • Have them help you find more content and engage their classes in the discussion.

Breaking through the Walls of the Classroom (iCiL Keynote)

These are the slides for my keynote address for the iConnect iLearn Conference. Unfortunately some of the animations and formatting were lost when uploaded to my SlideBoom. The presentation wiki contains the database of teacher-generated strategies for breaking through the walls of the classroom and all the presentation resources. I hope to create a Vidcast or SlideCast of this presentation once things settle down.

Breaking through the Walls of the Classroom (KCS PD)

These are the slides for the introduction to today’s professional development workshop at the KCS Elementary Tech Camp. Unfortunately some of the animations and formatting were lost when uploaded to my SlideBoom. The presentation wiki contains the presentation resources.

It’s Good to Be Back, Again!

Kannapolis City SchoolsI’m excited to be working with Kannapolis City Schools again. I spent 4 weeks here last summer and I’m back for the 2nd time this summer. I’m helping provide professional development for part of their grant funded technology integration initiative called IMPACT. I’ve been asked to facilitate the following workshops:

Please share any resources, information, cases, scenarios, etc. that you think will help teachers learn more about these topics by clicking on the session titles above and adding your contribution to the Notes and Resources from My PLN section at the bottom of each wiki. Rest assured that I welcome your input in this endeavor.

Together we all learn more!