By Sara Martin
The third Digital Learning Environment Event was held in beautiful San Diego, California on March 11, 2010. The day started off with a keynote by Tom Greaves the Chairman of The Greaves Group.
Tom Greaves has a long history in pioneering technology. His interest in technology started at the young age of 7 when he built his own prize-winning mechanical computer. He worked for years for IBM where he developed and marketed many innovative products. Tom is a well-known speaker and panelist at national and state educational conferences and speaks often on the future of technology in education. He has written many articles related to the future of technology trends and strategic planning.
Tom describes 3 major challenges facing education today. The first challenge he calls, “Education Hits the Perfect Storm”. The storm is the result of several things, including:
• The world is changing rapidly.
• The amount of information available is doubling every 18 months.
• Technology is rapidly evolving.
• The dilemma is the world around us is changing, jobs are changing, and yet schools, where change is slow to happen, lags behind, change.
The second challenge, according to Tom is, “Pressure for Results are Intensifying”.
• Regulations are not going away and are likely to get stricter rather than easier.
• NCLB may be revised but it is not going away.
Third, “Finances Have Hit the Cliff”.
• During the years from 1965 to 2000, education funding rose at twice the rate of inflation.
• We have seen no increase since 2000.
• We have to figure out how to do more with less.
Is there a way out? Check out the National Education Technology Plan 2010 at The purpose of the plan is to, “To help states and districts prepare today’s students for the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow, a set of seven action steps and accompanying recommendations have been developed:
1. Strengthen Leadership
2. Consider Innovative Budgeting
3. Improve Teacher Training
4. Support E-Learning and Virtual Schools
5. Encourage Broadband Access
6. Move Toward Digital Content
7. Integrate Data Systems
Tom issued a final conundrum: Why aren’t 1:1 programs working better? His answer-improper implementation. It isn’t about the technology, it is about the implementation. To assist those who are planning a 1:1 implementation, Tom recommended Project Red, which was also referenced at the last DLE in Las Vegas by keynote Leslie Wilson. Project Red’s mission includes, “We believe that technology can help us re-engineer our educational system. Through the efforts of Project RED and our partners we believe that technology will transform learning, just as it has transformed homes and offices in almost every other segment of our society.” This organization offers support to schools as they navigate through the planning and implementation of 1:1 programs.
Tom left us with this final thought, “What we need to remember is that 1:1 beats 1:2 or greater every time but proper implementation trumps student computer ratios any time.”
Following Tom’s keynote the participants broke into groups a cycled through 4 classrooms where one group was treated to presentations in several disciplines that highlighted how technology can be integrated into the curriculum in powerful ways that propel students toward learning 21st century skills with Instructional 2 and 3 techniques and another group of IT decision makers looked at solutions and ideas for cloud computing, wired and wireless networking, as well as network security.
Please join us at one of the FREE remaining DLE events coming to a city near you:
Atlanta – March 19, 2010
Boston – April 8, 2010
Washington DC – April 14, 2010
Indianapolis – April 20, 2010
Denver – April 29, 2010
Minneapolis – May 5, 2010
Raleigh-Durham – May 11, 2010
Find out more and to register for the events, visit: http://www.guide2digitallearning.com