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MTA Annual Meeting Day 1

Dangerously Irrelevant: Ruminations on Technology, Leadership and the Future of Our Schools was the title of Friday’s Keynote Address by Scott McLeod, director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE) at Iowa State.

Advances in technology and changes in the economy are putting pressure on industries and organizations that are based on information, such as the newspaper business, McLeod said. Routine mental work is disappearing (computers can do these tasks) and we are witnessing a rise in the creative class.

Education is not immune from these pressures.

“We can’t be like the landline phone companies who pooh-poohed cell phones,” said McLeod. In an environment of exponential change, “we can't change fast enough.”

McLeod set out two tasks for educators:

  • Move instruction up the cognitive ladder, away from the routine.
  • Infuse digital tools into teaching and learning.

McLeod will post the slides from his presentation on his blog, http://dangerouslyirrelevant.org/mta. Delegates quickly approved several proposed changes to resolutions, but engaged in a lively floor debate on language about charter schools. Ultimately, the delegates voted to retain the language in the association’s current resolution.

Delegates also discussed Race to the Top in an afternoon issues forum led by Acting Exec. Dir. Ann Clarke and Center for Education Policy and Practice Director Kathleen Skinner. Consideration of several proposed changes to bylaws was postponed to Saturday.