Posted on 01/19/2010 at 10:59 AM by Global Reach

I just got back from an educational technology conference in Orlando, Florida. This conference was a great opportunity to learn and grow in the area of educational technology. I attended many different sessions and keynote speakers, but the best one was a presentation by a 13-year-old. Her name was Adora Svitak. She has published three books, been on NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, and Oprah. Remember I said she was only 13 years old.

Adora captured the audience with her poise, humor, and overall presentation. She was speaking to teachers and others in education about how to be innovative teachers. She said one thing that really stuck out to me. She said, "When you give a speech, you're teachers tell you that you are supposed to know your audience. Why aren't they the ones doing this in education?" I thought, wow, so true! If we really knew our audience (the kids) and studied up on what they liked, how they wanted to learn, etc., then we would have all the right answers. Instead, we teach the same way while sometimes adding some technology.

Adora presented on an interactive whiteboard and got the whole audience involved by polling us using "clickers." She said, "Just because you have four walls doesn't mean you have to be held in—you need to go out and beyond those walls (through the use of technology)." She thought the use of Web 2.0 tools and blogs were great ways to get students, parents, and teachers all involved with learning. She said that kids actually like a little peer pressure when they know they have to write something on a blog because they have to proof it to make sure they aren't going to look silly when they post it.

I could go on and on about all of the things this 13-year-old taught me in the course of an hour and 15 minutes, but I will let you look her up in hopes of her being able to inspire you too!

Her website is http://www.adorasvitak.com

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