March 1, 2012

Welcome Message to All ETT2012 Attendees from Co-Director Justin Reich
ETT2012Tom, myself, and our colleagues at EdTechTeacher have worked hard over the last year to put together a fabulous program for our first ever Winter Conference on the theme of Leading Change in Changing Times. Our theme is not simply a slogan; we have designed our conference very deliberately to address three essential questions facing school and district leaders:
  • Why change? How do we build stakeholder support for new learning initiatives?
  • How do we foster change? What does technology-rich, 21st century learning look like in classrooms? What can leaders do to promote that kind of learning?
  • How do we assess change? How do we measure progress towards our 21st century learning goals?
We hope that over the course of the day, every participant will make progress towards addressing those three questions. We have two terrific keynote speakers, Chris Dede of Harvard University and Chris Lehmann of the Science Leadership Academy, who will help us frame those three big questions at the beginning at end of the day. We’ll then have three concurrent keynote sessions, each with three presentations. During every presentation slot, we’ll have a presentation addressing one of our three questions: Why? How? and Did We? If you are coming to the conference alone, you might think about which of those three questions has the most salience for your own school. Are you still working on building support for 21st century learning among teachers, students, parents, and school boards? Then consider spending the day at the Why? sessions. Sandra Cortesi from the Berkman Center is facilitating a panel of students talking about the future of learning. Patrick Larkin, principal of Burlington High School, is talking about laying the ground work for a 1-1 iPad initiative, and educator Suzy Brooks and EdTechTeacher’s Beth Holland will be discussing the power of using technology to focus on student learning in elementary classrooms. Do you have strong support for 21st century learning, but are working on developing initiatives to create change in your school or district? Stone Wiske–one of the developers of the Teaching For Understanding framework– and Katherine Gaudet will be showcasing key principals for learning design in classrooms. Richard Bryne of FreeTechForTeachers and Greg Kulowiec of EdTechTeacher will be showing how to empower students as digital publishers, and I’ll be talking about how schools and districts can forge strong connections between technology and learning goals in their technology visions. Do you have projects underway, and you are looking to measure their impact and success? Candice Bocala of the DataWise project will present one model for gathering data to help shape technology-rich instruction. Annamaria Schrimpf of Winchester PS will share her ideas on the transformational journey towards systemic engagement, and Ann Ashworth of NEASC will discuss how schools and districts can create local assessment systems to complement 21st century learning goals. If you are coming with a team of people, consider a divide-and-conquer approach. Have each person choose a question-theme for the day, and then attend sessions focused on that theme. At lunch, at the end of the day, or back at work, make the time to get together, pool new ideas, and share your learning. If you have three people, your team can capture the whole conference! Tom and I are planning on spending most of our time outside the breakout sessions, so please feel free to slip out to say hello! It will be tricky with over 150 attendees, but we are hoping to say hello to everyone, meet new colleagues, and catch up with old friends. Sincerely, Justin For more information and logistics for the event, please visit our Information for Attendees page.