Web 2.0-Powered Conferences
This fall I covered several teacher conferences that demonstrated the power of Web 2.0 technologies-including blogs, podcasts and wikis-to bring shared expertise to the K-12 community far beyond in-person presentations. The first was the one-day CECA 2006 conference (www.ceca-ct.org) "Communicating in a Global Society," hosted by the Connecticut Educators Computer Association, where each paid participant received a free iPod Nano purchased through liberal discounts from Apple. Attendees had been urged to bring laptops to learn how to sync their new devices in packed "how-to" sessions, and Apple also offered an iPod help room staffed with secondary school students who got everything up and running. The keynote address by David Warlick and the breakout sessions were audio or video recorded and put online, so anyone can now access podcasts to relive the sessions, hear presentations that were filled, or participate in the conference for the first time. And CECA participants can download the sessions to their iPods.
A second groundbreaking event was the K12 Online Conference 2006
(www.k12onlineconference.org) "Unleashing the Potential," a two-week program that was completely online. The conference targeted teachers, administrators and educators around the world who want to learn more about using Web 2.0 tools for educational applications, and in less than a month more than 33,000 online visitors heard the presentations. But as one of the coordinators pointed out, the presentations were only the beginning, and thanks to 2.0 technologies, the continuing online conversations among the participants are carrying the conference to new levels.
DA Professional Development
District Adminisatration (www.districtadministration.com) also uses Web 2.0 tools to offer free hour-long interactive online professional development opportunities in the DA Leadership Webinar Series. New topics are scheduled throughout the year, but previous Webinars can be accessed on-demand on the Web site, including "Data-Driven Decision-Making," "Today's E-Rate," and "Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)." All you need is a Web browser.
Similarly, Web 2.0 technologies are featured in DA's annual EduComm conference (www.educommconference.com) June 19-21, 2007, in Anaheim, California. Now in its fourth year, EduComm is the fastest growing education conference in the United States-up 60 percent in one year-and is the major national technology management event focused on the integration of audio-visual and information technology for school districts. To get registration information, propose a presentation yourself, or see last year's archived sessions, be sure and visit the site.
Inside the Covers
The cover story in this month's issue of District Adminisatration is the 6th annual salary survey on administrator compensation, with trends and expert analysis, compiled by new contributing editor J.D. Solomon. Other features include how post-Katrina New Orleans is reinventing its troubled school district from the bottom up by Ron Schachter, advice on school board relations by the National School Board Association's Anne Bryant, an interview on homework myths with Alfie Kohn, and recommendations from a national conference on school violence hosted by President Bush. Last and also least is a satire I wrote on the colorful characters we all encounter at conventions, titled "A Conventional Guide to Birds of a Feather." All the articles can be read and commented on online, so if you feel my attempts at humor are out of place in a management magazine, you can go to our Web site and say so. See you next year!
Odvard Egil Dyrli