Thursday, July 22, 2010

Am I Delusional? Apple Summer Learning Institute Shines in the Closet


So I just got finished with the two days that comprised the Apple Summer Learning Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. It was not an invited conference, though I was invited as a "Teacher of the Future" from the National Association of Independent Schools. Anyone who knew about it could pay a fee and attend. There are around a hundred? Maybe? attendees. As a learning experience for the educators in attendance, it was great and the conference organizers and presenters all did a fantastic job. All that said, one would soooo expect the organizers and the attendees to be savvy about collaborative arenas and online platforms.

Not the case. I set up a twitter hashtag, but I don't see any way to get it to the participants and if no one's using it but me that's all you get with a search. Since the event is the "Boston Apple Summer Learning Institute" for teachers, the tag I made up is #basli,10 and there ya go. Searching around, I did find this one brief but thoughtful post from a principal who attended the separate session for his ilk two days prior to the one for teachers.

The conference organizers made no concerted effort to share any means of online collaboration. This is Apple, ya'll. They should know better.

The problem, of course, is that they do. And they're choosing not to support this arena of collaboration or allow us to continue the dialog outside of their staged event. Is that because Apple doesn't have a competitive (to twitter) microblogging platform? I don't know. I shudder to contemplate. I've learned a lot here. Sadly, I have little venue to share it.

When I say "us" above I mean the people at the conference of course, but also the people in my PLN who share my notions about how the current (agrarian, teacher-directed) models have failed our students and how serious rethinking is in order. You may not be one of them, but you got to this page, so you may have some interests that flow along this stream.

I met a bunch of change-committed teachers in my BASLI experience, and I'm grateful to NAIS for sending me, but seriously, now, are we here yet, or are we stuck in the last decade? There is no reason for a conference like this to isolate itself outside the robust discussion that gets carried on through social media every day of every week.

Apple, think about the Global Share. I think it will benefit your message and your profit line.

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