Michigan Educators Talk Technology, Globalization in East Lansing

November 21, 2011

More than 200 teachers, school leaders and policymakers from across Michigan came together today in East Lansing to discuss how education is changing as a result of technological advancement.

The 5th Internationalizing Michigan Education Conference, presented by the MSU Office of K-12 Outreach, features internationally recognized educational technology expert Alan November, who led a discussion about using virtual tools to deliver instruction and boost student learning.  November, who is often credited with putting the first student project on the Internet in 1984, showcased the latest in online learning practices.

“In a global economy, it’s necessary to expand students’ reach and mastery,” November said.  “It’s all about having the right information at the right time.”

November displayed effective models of student and teacher work that demonstrated cutting-edge applications of YouTube, Twitter, and other online tools. He also showcased new software resources that can profoundly influence what happens in the K-12 classroom, and highlighted new models of learning that offer students immediate feedback on their work.

“We need to look at the entire ecology of learning, ask really tough questions, and ensure our work is really preparing students for a global economy,” November said.

Conference participants were enthusiastic about what they heard.

“As part of my work, I travel all over the nation attending events like these, but this is hands-down one of the best I’ve ever seen,” said Darlene Linski, general manager of the Hanley-Harper Group, an educational service provider from southeast Michigan.  “It’s not about just having the right tools in the classroom, but about whether we’re using them in ways that allow us to form rich connections with our students.”

An official from the Michigan Department of Education concurred.  “This is amazing material,” said Mary Hodges Head, a departmental analyst.  “We are very hopeful that we’ll be able to take this information back and start building an environment in which we can model effective implementation for schools statewide.”

The event is part of a series conducted by MSU’s Office of K-12 Outreach.  Additional conference information is available at www.imeconference.org.