Sunday, October 14, 2007

ACTEM and MainEducation Technology Conference

by George Crawford

This was my 14th consecutive year of going to the MainEducational technology Conference at the Augusta Civic Center. It has become a yearly trip that I make every fall and have looked forward to it every year.

The first thing you realize that when you get there is that you can feel technology in the air, at least for me anyway. Living in rural Washington County, you sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the choices in the vendor areas. From companies such as Apple, Lenevo, and others for computers to all of the software vendors, there are many varieties of things to look at, try out, and see. The door prizes are nice too.

The changes since 1993 are many. I can remember going to ACTEM and buying my first new Mac for home. A Macintosh LC III with a grand total of 4 MBs of RAM, an 80 MB hard drive, and a 14” color monitor. The StyleWriter II printer seemed a step up from my old dot matrix with my Laser 128 (a clone of the Apple II). The new iMacs and Macbook Pros are like warp drive as compared to the old days.

The sessions have changed yet are still similar. Some have to do with the latest and greatest in Technology. Some are software updates from Apple, Adobe, and also Microsoft. Some are the new technologies at a given time. I remember in 1997 or 1998 when Apple let people check out Newton Emates for a day to try out and take notes on.

This was the first year that I came to the Thursday sessions. I went to Technology and the Law which was great from Drummond and Woodsum. Many question were raised such as the role of schools in blogs and wikis that are on school servers that students participate in.

Friday’s sessions were also good. I learned about NWEA and schools that use it. I also attended sessions on BESS filtering through MSLN, the Future of Technology and the Horizon Report, and I learned how much more complicated Final Cut Pro is more than iMovie.

Also seeing people from ACTEM from around the state that you only see at conferences is great. You know many of them by name from the ACTEM list serve but don’t recognize them by face.

It was a great conference and would recommend that people go it. Now this year I would like to finally attend an ACTEM meeting. We will see! Thanks to all at ACTEM for organizing another great conference and for a great two days!!!

Things to Think About:

How has technology changed my life?

How had technology changed over my lifetime for the good and bad?

What is ACTEM and the MainEducational Technology Conference?

What role will technology play in the future of my students and my children?

What is are some of the legal aspects of the use of technology in schools and the law?

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