The National Educational Computing Conference is the educational technology community's premiere event. Gary Stager has presented at NECC dozens of times since 1987 and has contributed to the success of the conference in any way ever asked of him.
For many years, Dr. Stager has expressed concern about the dominance of commercial influence on the program; the lack of thoughtful debate featured at NECC; and the tiny percentage of keynote speakers who represent the educational computing community. This year's two keynote speakers, while popular authors, have at best a tangential connection to the field we represent.
For many years, Stager has urged his friends and colleagues at ISTE to feature moderated discussions, ala The Charlie Rose Show or Meet the Press, during NECC. This year, ISTE has decided to host a keynote event, Dialogue and Debate, on June 30th. This is a welcome step towards expanding dialogue at NECC.
Dr. Stager has offered to participate in this panel. Colleagues have also suggested his participation to ISTE officials without an affirmative response.
Please read the sponsor message on this page and add your signature to this petition asking the NECC organizers and ISTE officials to invite Dr. Stager to participate in this year's keynote event. His participation will certainly enrich the debate.
I have offered to participate in NECC's Keynote Panel on June 30th, but have yet to receive a response from the co-chairs at ISTE. Therefore, I have decided to take an unorthodox route and employ the democratic powers of Web 2.0 to generate support for my participation.
This is not an attempt to garner the spotlight, but rather deeply rooted in a desire to expand the range, breadth and depth of issues debated within the educational technology community. NECC is our conference and should embrace a diversity of opinion.
Although I have serious concerns about the current "state-of-the-art," group-think and creeping commercialism of edtech, I remain optimistic after 27 years that computing holds the potential to revolutionize the learning process and reinvent schooling. Ultimately, this improves the lives of children we serve.
This is a particularly dark period in the history of public education and the edtech community can reverse these destructive trends, but only if we speak. It would be a great shame if this rare opportunity to pierce the echo-chamber was wasted.
I remain committed to engaging in a civil, thoughtful, candid and hopefully witty exchange of ideas if invited to participate in the NECC keynote panel.
Thank you for your support!
Gary S. Stager, Ph.D.
Dr. Stager's biography - http://stager.org/bio
Dr. Stager's publications - http://stager.org/articles
Dr. Stager's blog - http://stager.tv/blog