I had the honor of being chosen to present at the 2014 “Connect For Success” conference for Ohio educators, sponsored by Battelle for Kids. The event was held at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, which is attached to the Greater Columbus Convention Center. About a thousand educators from around the state gathered to discuss a variety of topics.
Probably the two worst things that can happen when I’m preparing to present my “Google Tools to Increase Access to the Curriculum” workshop are: 1) a spotty Internet connection for the presenter, and 2) Google service outages.
I got both.
Session over, right? Score one for the anti-tech crowd who says “But if the tech fails, you’re left with nothing” right? Wrong!
The rise of cloud computing has not made me forget my old mantra, “If it’s important, it’s worth having a backup.” I used the backup version of my presentation on my laptop, and video clips of the live demos that I had originally intended to do. Was it optimal? No. But it was serviceable, and allowed me to continue with my presentation.
It served as a very real reminder that the real impact of such presentations is not what happens inside the breakout room, but the changes in instructional practice and approach that occur “back home”.
Despite the ugly technology issues, the session went well. There was good discussion, and some great questions. There was a fresh look at the first step in education for students with unique challenges, thinking about fixing the curriculum before trying to fix the kid.
And that shift of mindset is better than anything the technology can do.