Skip to content

Unwinding from the Big Trip

I’m back home in Mpls after my trip out to San Diego for two conferences. My couch has never felt so comfortable!

The second conference I attended was the iSummit conference held by the Coalition of Lighthouse Schools. This was the second time I have attended iSummit, and it was again a great conference. Part of what makes this conference great is being able to connect with a great group of people for the second year. I’m already looking forward to sharing our experiences with the group throughout the coming year.

Bernie Dodge, creator of the WebQuest, was our keynote speaker, delivering a speech entitled the iToo model. In his own words, he recently came up with the name, and we were some of the first to hear this presentation. He spoke briefly at the beginning about the WebQuests, and then moved on to the iToo model. iToo is an acronym for inputs, Thinking, outputs and outcomes, and it was a simple, powerful framework for designing lessons. Not specific to technology, but it provides great structure for projects that involve tech.

This idea swung back to the WebQuest after the keynote when I had a chance to speak with Bernie. As I reported last week, I had attended a session in which WebQuests were described as shallow task-lists for kids to check off. After hearing Bernie speak about the WebQuest, and thinking more about his model for creating them, I’d like to amend what I said before. Bernie made clear the distinction between what he called the Web Experience, going out to the web to find facts, and the WebQuest, which is a deeper thinking task, supported by all of the disparate inputs that are available on the Web and elsewhere. I stand corrected. I think that it is ever-important that we guard against simplistic and shallow tasks.

The second presenation he gave was entitled GeoTeleWikiPodBlogCasting for Understanding. This was, as you could guess, focussing on many of the new collaborative social web technologies. This presentation was great because these ideas were presented for their value to education, which is of course, why we were there. Unfortunately, (I fall in to this as well) too much time is usually spent on the technology, and not enough time on the reasons for doing it.

Well, I had a day of sleep today, and tomorrow I’m going to spend a little time at work taking care of some loose ends. This summer is going to pass very quickly, and I have a lot of ideas wrapped up in my head for the coming year!

[tags]iSummit, iSummit 2006, Bernie Dodge, WebQuest[/tags]