CUE Conference - Wrap Published 2007-03-05 under

The 2007 CUE Conference has ended and I have had a day to reflect (and relax). The thought that has dominated my mind about the conference was the one that came to me while walking to get coffee one morning. Are conference goers more interested in discussions on ideas or sessions showing tips and tricks? I like to engage in conversations about general ideas and hear what others have to say. Though, from the questions at my sessions and from attendance at specific sessions, it appears to me that most folks are more interested in getting something that they can take home with them and use on Monday. I certainly understand this desire, but question the real value of the conference as most of these tips are accessible from a quick Google search.

Having said all this, I did enjoy my time at the conference and especially enjoyed Gary Stager's presentation titled "If Blogging is the Answer, What was the Question?" The title got me into the room, but the discussion kept me there. By far, this was the most interesting session as it questioned the role of technology, blogging, and online research within the educational framework. In general, he recognized that teachers and students are using technology to access information but feels that the technology should be used to put the learner in control of learning ala a construtionist approach to education. Learning is not the same as access to information.

Perhaps my favorite example that Gary Stager mentioned was his "Who Should I Vote For?" project. He saw an Iraqi election poster and wondered who it was that the poster was promoting. Students are detectives using the web to identify symbols, names, or phrases that might give a clue into the meaning of the poster as well as insight into the cultural norms that might make this poster effective. I am a sucker for a good mystery.

Mark Wagner's presentation on Video Games in Education was also interesting and he gave a great deal of resources if you are interested in pursing the topic.