I can't go to the PBS Digital Innovator's Event because it is scheduled durning the last days of NYCDoE's school calendar. On Thursday I'm helping with the 5th grade "Moving On" ceremony, For the last ten years I've been making a slideshow using iMovie, (something I have integrated into my computer lab lessons) to let them know it won't just be them missing us, but us teachers / staff missing all of them as well. But I SO want to go to this conference and so many more, and the feeling I get is that the people this kind of conference is scheduled for are the admins, the private schools, the charters, the politicians, and of course the money, in PBS case the corporations that pay the bills. Sorry, a little on the cynical side, I know there are a Lot of good folks at PBS looking to give students / teachers / schools the resources needed to succeed, but just the other day I was looking at a PBS video in school that was funded by the Koch Brothers, whose major interest is not in supporting low income students throughout the country.
And this is not the first conference that I have not been able to go to because it conflicts with the important last days of school here in NYC, example though this year ISTE is after school lets out, YEAH, the Logo Summer Institute 2014, another part of my computer lab curriculum, comes right at the end when there is no way to take days off for PD, (no worry about money controlling this choice, but running an Institute in NYC that would be SO beneficial to NYC Public School teachers and you can't find a way to hold it when we could attend?) Just a small change in schedule, a little earlier, or later and finding a way to work with the DoE / school principals so that teachers could have this worked into their schedules and their budgets would seem so beneficial. It would also be nice if this kind of PD, (using Coding, Digital Resources, Integration of Hard, Soft, and Cloud Based Resources) was something the DoE / school admins wove into my schedule so that I could key-turn this throughout the school. Right now I have to squeeze in any of this on my own time / funds because there is no person at my school that has the job description of coordinating technology (My job title is Common Branch Teacher (CBT), though I have to thank the DIIT and their creation of a title for me of Tech SPOC just this year 2013, though it has not given me any time dedicated in my schedule to do all the tech coordination actives that need to be done at the school level) - teaching students, coaching teachers, supporting use of all tech resources, helping choose and organize tech resources for the whole school (Can you imagine running a business with around a thousand employees - the current population of the school students and staff - who all NEED to use technology to succeed, and you don't have a coordinator of that tech in the building.) But deep in my heart I am an optimist, would have to be wouldn't I to keep coming back as an educator who wants every student he encounters to have every opportunity to succeed, and as a Tech Coordinator I do imagine a day when teachers and students are the first people ones considered when scheduling a conference meant to "enhance your digital classroom."
Okay here's one of my fav cartoon's of all time that seems appropriate,
by ‘New Yorker’ cartoon editor Bob Mankoff:
In case the prints too small it says: