Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Looking forward to the new year

I've been hearing folks talking on Twitter about starting back to school and how excited they are for the new year. Some are starting a new position. Others are excited because of the challenge of teaching a new grade level. And others are excited because this year they are finally able to use a wiki or a blog, or maybe they've got their own Moodle server. Simple things, yes? But, it has taken years of effort to get to that point so they are rightfully excited about it. Here's to them. I can't wait to hear about all the great things that they're now going to be doing.

We KNEW it would happen eventually, didn't we? It was never a question of if it would happen. Only when. Let's just hope that it happens before the next big technological advancement renders today's tools obsolete, putting us right back in the same situation - but just with different tools.

I, too, am looking forward to some wonderful new opportunities. First, there's the fact that my role as a Mentor in the Classrooms for the Future program will be morphing into something new this year. The global economy and the struggles with PA's budget have put an end to the CFF program as we had known it. But, the principals of the grant were solid and will be still be promoted. The only question is what it will look like. CFF was about using technology to engage students, and to get students involved in activities that are truly meaningful in today's world - AND tomorrow's. So, the push will continue there, and I'm very pleased and proud to be a part of it.

And, I'm excited about the opportunities I have to work with schools directly in my business at gatesideas.com. I've got what I believe to be a very good set of timely and important workshops that I offer, as well as being willing and able to be a third party, independent observer to determine whether or not the huge investments in technology are making a real difference. We like to think that it is, but an outsider can see things more clearly, sometimes.

So, this will be a fun year for me, too. I'm a lucky man.

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