Panel was Karim Ani, Ashli Black, Chris Hunter, Dan Meyer, Kate Nowak, and Raymond Johnson (who had all spoken on topics of technology and the blogosphere).
The panel was appropriately indecisive about NCTM’s role in promoting technology, both in terms of classroom technology and the way teachers use technology to share information. It’s a tough question. There was consensus on the value of technology, and an acknowledgment that there is so much out there it’s extremely hard to figure out what is good and what is not. The panel brought up the idea of a kind of clearinghouse for unbiased information on technology – information that doesn’t come from the publishers and big tech companies – but also the challenges in that.
Dan issued a pretty serious challenge to NCTM at the beginning of his talk on making math more like things students like – that the internet allows conferences like NCTM to happen digitally, for a tiny fraction of the cost, for every teacher with an internet connection. This came up during the panel, including the aging and shrinking membership of NCTM and the challenges in transitioning to a digital world when too many of the early adopters are not involved or in many cases really aware of the existence of NCTM.
Finally, the tweeting throughout the panel was awesome — audience members were tweeting at #nctmnolalt (NCTM NOLA Leveraging Technology) and panelists were reading tweets and bringing up the questions being asked. One of my tweets got a shout out during the panel, and Karim replied to it while he was up there. Definitely an exciting, interactive way to get the audience involved in the panel.
And afterwards what seemed like the entire mathtwitterblogosphere hung out and chatted. It was awesome to meet Justin Lanier, Fawn Nguyen, Ashli Black and more in person (and hang out with them at Math Trivia night that evening).
All in all great panel, few conclusions, excellent conversations.