One of the people I was most excited to meet and see speak at this year's TIES conference was Bernie Dodge. He presented two sessions at the conference, WebQuesting with GPS and Engagement: What Is It and Where Can I Get Some? Bernie Dodge was one of the advisers for the capstone I did for my MAed two years ago on Virtual World WebQuests but I had not met him in person yet, only via email and Skype.
I lament that I was only able to catch the end of his GPS session. However, most of the information from that session is on his website. Basically he posed a challenge to educators. Evidently there is an extreme shortage of WebQuests involving GPS technologies or geotools. He suggested eight different possible topics he would like to see developed:
- Small World
- Walking Tour
- DIY Lit Trips
- Critter Count
- X from the Air
- Travel Chronicles
- Site Selection
How do we attain this level of engagement with our students?
I was able to attend his session on Engagement in its entirety. The overall message of this session was an important one to hear at an education technology conference. Basically he reminds us to focus on the learning and not fall into the "Tijuana Syndrome" with technology where when we are in the tech environment things look good that might not look so good when we bring them home to our students. The following are some tweets from his session: