Dec 01 2010

Presenting at Conference for Science Teachers of Texas

He have just spent an interesting few days at the CAST conference in Houston Texas. Organised by the Science Teachers Association of Texas and attended by somewhere in the region of 8000 teachers. I think we were the only people out of State not to mention out of the Country. We introduced many of the technologies we have been using over the last 4 years and the delegates had some hands on experience using PSPs. It was interesting that some of the schools had PSPs but tended to use them in a very limited way, most usually to complete a practice activity in preparation for the standard tests which had been developed for the device.

Hopefully all went away with at least the thought that such devices could be used in a much more creative way to engage students and support learning.

I thought a highlight was skyping with a physics teacher back in the UK. Only two of the delegates were Skype users and non and used them in a learning context. Hopefully some will give it a try.

Throughout the whole 3 day conference there seemed to be a very strong influence on testing and getting the best results. Understandable and it is clear that students need to get good test scores in order to progress trough the education system, but is this approach going to meet the need for highly talented individuals capable of meeting the challenges of the 21st Century! This is perhaps the crux of the debate that is raging in educational circles.

We continue to develop our thoughts about how we gain traction in developing our new approaches and concepts in an educationally conservative environment.

Our only major disappointment was that of the 60 delegates that signed up for our presentation we only saw 14. Not good news when you have travelled 5000 miles, but at least those 14 received the best we have to offer and a good deal of individual attention.

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