Oh this will be fun! I hope they serve a meal that doesn't require the clunking of silverware because I won't want to miss a word.

My earliest experience with the 'fests was with Bill Romond when we were team teaching Human Impact on the Champlain Basin at Colchester High.  That may have been 1980?  He'll know...Ever since then I remain convinced that the only reason to use technology is to help students push their thinking farther than we could do without it.  My tech team at ANESU knows that before asking what kind of software or web site a teacher wants to use, we NEED to know what the essential questions are.  Our district has a focus this year on using multimedia in all grades 2-9; however, I gave a talk on the opening day of school about avoiding PowerPointlessness (I know,I hate that phrase, but it worked well to make my "point.")  If the students aren't using multmedia to answer good questions there is no point to using the software!

As far as the future goes, I'm working in a wonderful class called Futures Academy at Mt. Abe where I wrestle with the question daily (or at least when I can come up for air.)  We believe students need to work as team members using technology to solve problems.  Our kids are expected to contribute to threaded discussions to help classmates solve problems in their internshops, for example.  They create standards-based electronic portfolios to document their work, then present portfolios in roundtable where students help push new ideas around.  We have them post essays and get critical feedback on-line from classmates before submitting an improved draft.  They use email to contact mentors, whether they live in Bristol or Alaska.  To do all this we have a class set of laptops, but even with a 2:1 ratio, that isn't enough.  I picture a world in which each high school student has some sort of portable technology for communication, problem solving, presentations, and personal accountability.  They will spend less and less time in traditionally structured buildings and classes.  Also, we will continue to learn from universal design theories and products and have  a much broader array of tools to help all students learn.

That's an off-the-top- of- the- head response, but it will be great to read what others are thinking and maybe I'll get jogged into adding more...

Lauren Kelley Parren
Educational Technology Coordinator ANESU
Portfolio Coordinator, Mt.Abraham Union High School
Bristol, Vermont 05443
fax 802-453-4359

>>> [log in to unmask] 10/25/05 11:30AM >>>
Good Morning:

Next week will be the 20th VermontFest activity. Jim Lengel a name from 
the past (several times a keynoter at the Fest), in the present and in 
the future (see 
will provide the keynote address on Thursday (Nov 3rd) morning. 
Vita-Leran has asked me, at lunch on Friday, to do a short retrospect  
on where we have come with IT in schools in the past 20 years and what 
we need to do for the next 20 years. An interesting short task!!

I would like some assistance in the task.  Some data from the readers 
of these two lists would be very helpful. The following questions are 
meant a as starting points.

What experiences from past AppleFest-VTFest events have changed your 

For folks that haven't gone to a Fest event -- How has your teaching 
changed as a result of using IT tools?

How should we be using IT tools in the future to improve the learning 
for all students?

In terms of IT tools and teaching and learning what does the future - 
tomorrow, a year from now, five years, 20 years! look like?

Add your own question and thoughts.

Thanks for your help with this task.


Frank J. Watson
175 Poker Hill Rd
Underhill, VT 05489

"I'll see it when I believe it"