Saturday, June 21, 2008

New and Improved: Navigating NECC 2008

The 2008 National Educational Computing Conference is set to commence a week from tomorrow in San Antonio and I think it's time for my second annual NECC post! Last year, I passed on a few tips about navigating this gigantic conference. Let's revisit this advice and find about new enhancements for the complete NECC experience.

1. Pick a theme - It's virtually a guarantee that you will be overwhelmed by the amount of choices you'll have at NECC. Being overwhelmed is better than being underwhelmed in my opinion! Last year, I suggested picking a theme such as podcasting to investigate in depth. I'm still not sure quite what I will personally concentrate on this year, but I'm hoping to catch sessions related to professional development, global awareness, and project-based learning in primary grades.

2. Utilize the conference planner - The conference planner is an essential and practical tool for preparing for NECC. You absolutely need to spend some time thinking about how to allocate your time.

This year, I went through the entire program online at a fairly quick pace, and saved anything that I felt was particularly relevant to my interests. I also included my own sessions, so I could figure when I had time to visit the exhibit hall and other presentations. I've saved my planner into a calendar file (planner.ics) that can be imported into iCal and Google Calendar (perhaps other calendar programs support this file format as well). If you really want to get obsessive, you can also put your Google Calendars on your cell phone.

I also saved my selections in PDF format (printversionlucy.pdf)to share with others and to print out. I probably will go through this list on the plane to San Antonio and whittle it down a bit.

3. Bring Your Laptop (or other device) - This piece of advice still stands, but consider bringing a smaller device if you're a super techie. You can follow conference happenings using your regular cell phone on Twitter, a microblogging service. Here are directions for setting this up!

4. Bring a Recording Device - Last year, I recommended bringing a digital audio recorder of some sort (my recording device of choice is an iPod with a Griffin microphone attachment) in order to take audio notes. This year, consider kicking it up a notch and bring a Flip camera, an inexpensive video camera that is extremely simple to use. Flips are all the rage in the education world at the moment.

5. Come Prepared to Network - Again, this piece of advice still stands. However, here's my addendum: come prepared to network whether you are physically present or not. Here are a few things that you can participate in from near or afar:
6. Follow the bloggers and the Twitters! - Twitter has grown in popularity since NECC 2007 and it's a great way to develop your own personal ed tech cheerleading squad. Twittering is a microblogging service that allows one to post 140 characters, not words. This video from Commoncraft explains it better than I ever could! I use Twitter to query my personal learning network, to share resources, and to learn from people around the world.

I've been compiling a collection of RSS feeds (called an OPML file) from bloggers and Twitterers. You can download this file and import it into a newsreader to see user generated content all in one spot. Check out the Blog and Twit group in the NECC 2008 ning for the latest OPML file and for a screencast of how to do this.

So, that's my edited list of advice for 2008. For more suggestions, check out this discussion within the NECC 2008 ning in which veteran NECCers give advice to first time attendees. There's also a group devoted to newbies. For equipment concerns, this discussion thread is also beneficial.

You also should take a few moments to check out the second annual Edubloggercon event in which educators interested in Web 2.0 technologies will run a pre-conference unconference. Again, this is facilitated by our very own Steve Hargadon. Additionally, NECC Unplugged will take place during the conference in the Bloggers' Café. Steve has posted about the concept previously in the ITM, and my take is that it's participant-run, informal, and practical in nature.

Finally, if you're interested in the work of some of the ITM bloggers and Google Certified Teachers, here is where you might find us at NECC 2008:

The Infinite Thinking Machine bloggers


Steve Hargadon

EduBloggerCon and Classroom 2.0 Live
[Other Program Events: Meeting/Gathering]
Steve Hargadon, CoSN/EdTechLive
Saturday, 6/28/2008, 8:00am–5:00pm; HGCC 217 A
EduBloggerCon is a free international all-day "meetup" of educational bloggers and those using collaborative technologies. Everyone is welcome to attend. Visit www.edubloggercon.com/NECC+2008 for more information and to participate in planning the event.

Open Source Playground
[Poster: Playground]
Steve Hargadon, CoSN/EdTechLive
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 9:00am–4:00pm; HGCC Tower View Lobby
Explore stations that feature K12LTSP thin-clients and a wide range of free software including Linux, GIMP, OpenOffice, Mysql, Firefox, Moodle, and more.

An Introduction to Open Source Software and Open Technologies
[Session: Open Source Lab]
Steve Hargadon, CoSN/EdTechLive
Tuesday, 7/1/2008, 3:30pm–4:30pm; HGCC 217 A
Open source software, open data standards, Web 2.0, open content, and open device standards are all contributing to a revolution in computing.

Classroom 2.0?
[Session: Birds-of-a-Feather]
Steve Hargadon, CoSN/EdTechLive
Tuesday, 7/1/2008, 4:45pm–5:45pm; HGCC 217 A
A meeting of educators using Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies in the classroom or those who are interested in doing so.

Classroom 2.0: Exploring the Potential of Web 2.0
[Session: Panel]
Steve Hargadon, CoSN/EdTechLive with Vicki Davis, Lucy Gray, Karen Greenwood Henke, Rushton Hurley and Leigh Zeitz
Monday, 6/30/2008, 12:30pm–1:30pm; Grand Hyatt Lone Star Ballroom E
Join educators who are using the tools of Web 2.0 in the classroom for a lively panel discussion with interactive audience participation.

Free, Open Source, and Web 2.0 Software for the Classroom
[Session: Birds-of-a-Feather]
Steve Hargadon, CoSN/EdTechLive
Monday, 6/30/2008, 4:45pm–5:45pm; HGCC 217 A
Explore successful uses of free and open source software and Web 2.0 in the classroom.

Social Networking in Education
[Session: Panel]
Steve Hargadon, CoSN/EdTechLive with Steve Dembo, Darren Draper, James Klein, Michael McVey and Dennis O'Connor
Tuesday, 7/1/2008, 2:00pm–3:00pm; HGCC 217 A
Social networking, once tainted by MySpace, now has a new reputation in the classroom and for professional development. Why is it making such a difference?

Mark Wagner

Massively Multiplayer Schools: Do MMORPGs Have a Future in Education?
[Research Paper: Discussion]
Mark Wagner, Educational Technology and Life Corporation
Monday, 6/30/2008, 2:00pm–3:00pm; HGCC 101 A, Table: 2
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games are engaging and motivating. Can they also support context-embedded, inquiry-driven, and socially negotiated learning while encouraging reflection and metacognition?

Lucie deLaBruere

Del.icio.us Research: Redesign Assignments with Social Bookmarking
[Session: BYOL]
Lucie deLaBruere, St. Albans City School
Wednesday, 7/2/2008, 10:30am–11:30am; Grand Hyatt Lone Star Ballroom C
Redesign research assignments for students, increase critical thinking, and maximize your own productivity by managing online information using social bookmarking tools such as del.icio.us. Please pre-install del.icio.us

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Will Fundamentally Change Learning
[Session: Lecture]
Yvonne Marie Andres, Global SchoolNet Foundation with Lucie deLaBruere
Monday, 6/30/2008, 2:00pm–3:00pm; HGCC 206 A
The bestseller Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything sends educators a critical message. So let's take a look at the hottest collaborative tools, content, and implementation strategies.

Show Me the Tools! Collaborative Tools for Global Distributed Learning
[Workshop: Hands-on] Only 5 seat(s) available!
Yvonne Marie Andres, Global SchoolNet Foundation with Lucie deLaBruere
Wednesday, 7/2/2008, 8:30am–11:30am; HGCC 206 B
Innovative, fun, FREE collaborative tools, project-based learning resources, and strategies to support 21st century learning and increase the effectiveness of global distributed learning.

Wesley Fryer

Digital Storytelling Made Simple with VoiceThread
[Poster: Traditional]
Wesley Fryer, AT&T with Vicki Allen and Karen Montgomery
Tuesday, 7/1/2008, 10:00am–12:00pm; HGCC Tower View Lobby, Table: 12
VoiceThread is a free online digital storytelling environment that permits students and teachers to safely (with moderated feedback) share their voices on the global stage.

Digital Storytelling With Minimal Clicks: Improving Reading and Writing Skills
[Session: Lecture]
Wesley Fryer, AT&T with Vicki Allen and Karen Montgomery
Monday, 6/30/2008, 2:00pm–3:00pm; Grand Hyatt Lone Star Ballroom E
Digital storytelling projects are relevant for all learners. We'll explore several practical, free digital storytelling tools that require a minimal number of clicks to use.

The Magic of Digital: Collaborative Interaction in Teacher Professional Development
[Session: Lecture]
Wesley Fryer, AT&T with Darren Kuropatwa and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
Wednesday, 7/2/2008, 10:30am–11:30am; HGCC 207 A
The electricity often present when educators connect with each other using synchronous and/or asynchronous digital technologies is contagious for learning and transformative for professional practices.

Lucy Gray

Classroom 2.0: Exploring the Potential of Web 2.0
[Session: Panel]
Steve Hargadon, CoSN/EdTechLive with Vicki Davis, Lucy Gray, Karen Greenwood Henke, Rushton Hurley and Leigh Zeitz
Monday, 6/30/2008, 12:30pm–1:30pm; Grand Hyatt Lone Star Ballroom E
Join educators who are using the tools of Web 2.0 in the classroom for a lively panel discussion with interactive audience participation.

Podcasting & Podcatching for the Absolute Beginner
[Session: Spotlight]
Larry Anderson, National Center for Technology Planning with Steve Dembo, Lucy Gray, Ted Lai, Julene Reed, Dan Schmit and Tim Wilson
Monday, 6/30/2008, 11:00am–12:00pm; HGCC Lila Cockrell Theatre
Podcasting! Everybody seems to be doing it. If you've been afraid to jump into the podcasting water, join us and learn how!

Collaboration 2.0
Monday, June 30 2:45 PM - 3:45 PM Room 216 A/B of the Gonzales Convention Center
Tuesday, July 1 9:45 AM - Room 216 A/B of the Gonzales Convention Center
Wednesday, July 2 12:30 - Room 216 A/B of the Gonzales Convention Center

Google Certified Teachers

Cristin Frodella

Energize Your Classroom with Google Tools
[Session: Lecture]
Laska Koleva, Google with Cristin Frodella
Monday, 6/30/2008, 3:30pm–4:30pm; HGCC Lila Cockrell Theatre
A tour of examples of some of the most innovative uses of Google Tools in the classroom.


Kevin Jarrett


SLedupotential: Educational Potential of Second Life and Virtual Environments
[Workshop: Hands-on] Sold Out!
Scott Merrick, University School of Nashville/Vanderbilt CSO with Vera Handford, Kevin Jarrett, Jeremy Koester, Lisa Linn, Peggy Sheehy, Scott Swanson, Susan Toth-Cohen and Jane Wilde
Monday, 6/30/2008, 8:30am–11:30am; HGCC 006 D

Tom Diener

Google: It’s Elementary
[Session: BYOL]
Thomas Diener, Western Suffolk BOCES with Debra Kennedy
Wednesday, 7/2/2008, 10:30am–11:30am; Grand Hyatt Lone Star Ballroom A
Not just a search engine, Google offers powerful tools to facilitate learning. Explore Google resources and see how they can enrich the elementary classroom.

Ken Shelton

Technology Integration Station: Your Next Stop to Innovation
[Poster: Traditional]
Kenneth Shelton, Walter Reed Middle School
Wednesday, 7/2/2008, 12:00pm–2:00pm; HGCC Tower View Lobby, Table: 15
Do you use technology? Want to use technology? Are you out of ideas for differentiated instruction? If you answered "yes," then this is the session for you.

Beverly Plein

Think Big, Think Global, Think 21st-Century Skills
[Poster: Traditional]
Beverly Plein, Teaneck Board of Education with Joanna Ebert
Tuesday, 7/1/2008, 1:00pm–3:00pm; HGCC Tower View Lobby, Table: 24
Motivation and engagement are the keys to students taking ownership of their learning. Develop 21st-century skills to build on student thinking.

Oracle booth on Monday, June 30, 9:30-10:30am
talking about Think.com (a free online community for students and
teachers from around the world.

Nancy Sharoff

Visual Literacy and Web 2.0: Implications and Applications for Education
[Poster: Traditional]
Nancy Sharoff, Ellenville Central SD with Maria Avgerinou
Tuesday, 7/1/2008, 1:00pm–3:00pm; HGCC Tower View Lobby, Table: 25
Develop an understanding of visual literacy and learn which free Web 2.0 tools can support and enrich visual literacy in your classroom.

Creating a Personal Learning Network in Second Life
[Session: Lecture]
Fred Delventhal, Arlington Public Schools with Lori Abrahams, Charlene Chaussis, Beth Knittle, Elaine Plybon, Nancy Sharoff and Anne Truger
Monday, 6/30/2008, 8:30am–9:30am; HGCC 211
Create and expand your personal learning network using Second Life. Use SL as your portal to meet, collaborate, and communicate with educators around the world.

Carol Anne McGuire

Global Rock Stars: Fostering an International Community of Learners
[Poster: Global Gallery]
Camilla Gagliolo, Arlington Public Schools/ISTE with Heather Blake, Dorothy Burt, Gaby Eyzaguirre and Carol Anne McGuire
Sunday, 6/29/2008, 7:00pm–9:00pm; HGCC Tower View Lobby, Table: 22
"Rock Our World" celebrates building communities of learners through the integration of science, music, and collaborative technologies. Students across the continents will share creativity and learning experiences.

Rock Our World: Global Collaboration Buzzword or Educational Reality?
[Session: Lecture]
Carol Anne McGuire, Imperial Elementary School
Tuesday, 7/1/2008, 3:30pm–4:30pm; HGCC 103 A
Be prepared to "rock your world" as you apply practical global projects in your classroom today! Learn to expand the walls of your classroom!

Hollywood Goes to School: Digital Storytelling for 21st-Century Schools
[Workshop: Hands-on] Only 2 seat(s) available!
Larry Anderson, National Center for Technology Planning with Helen Barrett, Mark Benno, Jeanne Biddle, Carol Anne McGuire, Julene Reed and Marco Torres
Saturday, 6/28/2008, 8:30am–3:30pm; HGCC 006 C
Explore the magic of digital video to tell a powerful story. Bring your digital camcorder or use ours, but have loads of fun learning!

Robert Craven

21st-Century Literacy: iLife and Digital Storytelling in the Classroom
[Workshop: Hands-on] Only 3 seat(s) available!
Robert Craven, Orange County Department of Education with Kathy Shirley
Monday, 6/30/2008, 12:30pm–7:30pm; HGCC 006 C
This hands-on session will use the new iLife to provide participants the skills and knowledge to incorporate digital media and storytelling to support standards.

Oh, the Places You Will Go: Google and 3D-Connexion SpaceNavigator
[Workshop: Hands-on] Sold Out!
Robert Craven, Orange County Department of Education with Kathy Shirley
Tuesday, 7/1/2008, 8:30am–11:30am; HGCC 206 B
Google Earth and SketchUp allow learners to explore and create worlds, while 3D-Connexion SpaceNavigator allows you to to soar, zoom, tilt, and turn with ease.

Rushton Hurley

A Different Direction for Video in Teacher Preparation
[Session: Lecture]
Rushton Hurley, Next Vista For Learning
Tuesday, 7/1/2008, 12:30pm–1:30pm; HGCC 102 A
Video for a student audience can help preservice teachers hone their
presentations, enhance their employment possibilities, and develop
themselves within a professional community.
Who Can Make a Video in 10 Minutes? You!

[Session: BYOL]
Rushton Hurley, Next Vista For Learning
Wednesday, 7/2/2008, 10:30am–11:30am; Grand Hyatt Lone Star Ballroom D
You and your students can use free software to do powerful projects
with video—learn how, and receive resources and project ideas.
Requires Windows Movie Maker on PC or iMovie on Mac.
Very Cool Tricks for Using and Making Videos
[Session: BYOL]

Rushton Hurley, Next Vista For Learning
Monday, 6/30/2008, 8:30am–9:30am; Grand Hyatt Lone Star Ballroom D
You can use simple editing software, but wonder what's next. It's this
session! Make better videos and get students more engaged and focused.
Requires Movie Maker on PCs, iMovie and Garageband on Macs, Audacity,
and Irfan View.

Classroom 2.0: Exploring the Potential of Web 2.0
[Session: Panel]
Steve Hargadon, CoSN/EdTechLive with Vicki Davis, Lucy Gray, Karen
Greenwood Henke, Rushton Hurley and Leigh Zeitz
Monday, 6/30/2008, 12:30pm–1:30pm; Grand Hyatt Lone Star Ballroom E
Join educators who are using the tools of Web 2.0 in the classroom for
a lively panel discussion with interactive audience participation.

Lisa Linn

Second Life Playground
[Poster: Playground]
Lisa Linn, CUE, ISTE SL, ASCD, SLolar, C.A.V.E., Sledupotential with Scott Swanson
Tuesday, 7/1/2008, 9:00am–4:00pm; HGCC West Lobby
Explore stations for creating avatars, navigating in Second Life, using Second Life for professional development, using Second Life with students, and exploring ISTE's Virtual island.

SLedupotential: Educational Potential of Second Life and Virtual Environments
[Workshop: Hands-on] Sold Out!
Scott Merrick, University School of Nashville/Vanderbilt CSO with Vera Handford, Kevin Jarrett, Jeremy Koester, Lisa Linn, Peggy Sheehy, Scott Swanson, Susan Toth-Cohen and Jane Wilde
Monday, 6/30/2008, 8:30am–11:30am; HGCC 006 D
A group of ISTE educators scattered over the world are meeting frequently in a virtual environment called Second Life. Come see why, how, and "where..."







Saturday, June 14, 2008

Audience Matters

It’s that time of year again. The end of the year frenzy is in full swing -- - the field trips, the yearbook deadlines, the sports banquet, the concerts, the report cards! The computer lab is buzzing. The eight grade yearbook team is asking for help trying to convert Photoshop files to a PDF files so they can rush them over to the printers. Students and parents are learning how to convert their Photostory slideshow for the sport banquet tonight. A group of sixth graders are using Audacity to edit the recording of the end of the year concert. A classroom teacher calls to cancel her computer lab reservation because they have to finish another pencil and paper assessment. The spot is quickly filled when another teacher calls begging for any available computer time because they have two more writing portfolio pieces to squeeze in to meet the state requirement.

Some of the frenzy makes me smile; some makes me sad. I think about the stress our system puts on teachers and students this time of year. I wonder about the validity of test scores gained from students this time of year. I wonder what the teacher comments will look like on those last writing portfolio pieces? Will the students get to see them? Will they learn from them?

But then I smile again, thinking about the seventh grade student who eagerly shares with me the latest statistics from Google analytics of the viewers who have read his latest blog post. I think about how the ‘rap’ song '802' composed by two Vermont student about their state capitol caught the attention of thousands of You Tube viewers, The New York Times and other news sources. I think about the third graders who posted a description about their town on Wikipedia sparking a series of related articles. I think about the 4th graders exchanging their music scores electronically in the Vermont Midi Project’s online space getting feedback from real music composers. I think about the DVD of short movies produced by the fifth graders at Waitsfield Elementary School and the premiere held at their local movie theatre.

And suddenly I know exactly what my Google Teacher Academy video entry about Motivation and Learning will be about! Producing the video contributes to more ‘end of the year’ frenzy for me – the type that makes me smile. I start to brainstorm possible lyrics and images on a wiki. Throughout the day, my son in New York State, and I were collaborating on music and lyrics using the wiki, cell phones, and the ability to compose and share music electronically. Within the next day, his brother in Connecticut, was using different software in the production process, adding the voices of young children. Meanwhile, Mom was collaborating with hundreds of photographers she had never met from the Flickr community who post their images with Creative Commons licenses. By the end of the week, the words, images, music, and videos had been edited in 3 different states (hundreds if you include the Flickr community) and was ready to be published in a venue where the audience could be from many different countries.



This is the type of “transformative” application of technology 21st century classrooms are filled with and that Grappling’s spectrum speaks of. It makes me smile to think of all the teachers who have moved beyond focusing on a checklist of technology skills; it makes me smile to think of the teachers who have moved beyond the “do something; do anything” with technology model; it makes me smile to see examples of teachers who are redesigning learning in transformative ways that would not have been possible without today’s technology.

The fact that Google Teacher Academy designed an application process that goes beyond ‘written applications read by a panel’ and included a product with a real audience models using technology in transformative ways.

Thank you to Google for giving hundreds of educators an opportunity to step back from our end of the year routines and feel the excitement of reflecting, creating, producing for a real audience. Thank you to all the teachers whose experience, passion, insight and creativity matters to the audience that watch your one minute videos on motivation, learning, and innovation. I invite readers to share stories stories and links of examples where audience matters to you and your students.