The NECC06 conference has started! Here I am between sessions on Tuesday July 4. Just finished a 3+ hour meeting of the International Committee of ISTE. The meeting started as a joint session with the ISTE Membership Committee. We discussed what we are trying to achieve in terms of attracting and supporting international members and the possibility of creating an international membership category.
After hours of talk it became clear to the International Committee members that we need to break down and erode the 'them' and 'us' attitudes that exist. Essentially we are all international educators, in fact we came up with the term 'Educators without borders' as a catch cry and focus for putting the 'I' into ISTE. Our recommendation to the membership committee will be to consider categories of membership that include online and hard copy publications and offer them to all members. Also we are looking at building relationships with educators all over the world in terms of sharing and collaborating. We all agreed that ISTE has a lot to offer educators as an established and recognised association but that a two-way channel should be developed where ISTE can spread it's word and ISTE can also learn from others (countries, people, groups etc). And guess what...we plan to use technology and online communication tools to foster this! Thanks to Camilla Gagliolo for leading the International Committee once again this year.
A note about internationalism......once again this year I had to have my registration name badge changed. This year it had Bangladesh United Kingdom on it (yes, our mailing address for International School Dhaka is the UK, but I did email to try and clarify). Also, if you check the hard copy program in the registration bag at the Wednesday 8.30 time slot you will see my session, Podcast Bangladesh listed with Bangladesh followed by (India) in brackets as shown. Not sure what this means...yes we are next to India but an independent country. It would have been more accurate perhaps to have put (Pakistan) as Bangladesh was once called East Pakistan.......OK, enough history, but my point is let's broaden the international perspective here.
Those coming to Podcast Bangladesh tomorrow at 8.30 will see a map and scenes from the country as I did promise a cultural exchange as well as talking about eductional technology applications.
In 15 minutes I'm off to the International Attendees Reception.....hope to meet you there.
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