Friday, June 27, 2008

There's SO Much (and you can have some!)

Tomorrow I leave for San Antonio for the National Educational in Computing Conference (NECC). If you aren't attending, you can still go... for free! Read on!

There will be tons of sessions to attend and people to meet as well as pleasant meetings with vendors with whom we do business in our district. We have a few people from our department attending and we tend to split up and meet with those vendors with whom we each work with specifically. For me that will be mostly Discovery Education who has a huge presence in our district with DE Streaming and MediaShare, as well as Houghton Mifflin Learning Technologies with Riverdeep Destination Math & Reading and Learning Village. I will also be meeting with HotChalk for a little bit to take a look at what they have to offer, mostly free, to teachers and students by way of online communication.

In addition to the business, I'm looking forward to the F2F meetings I'm sure to have with many of the online friends I've formed over the last year through online social network (Twitter and Plurk) and blogging. I have some Twitter pals who I'm excited to be meeting, who also happen to be Discovery Educators, so I know I'll be meeting them on Sunday at our big Discovery event. Other Twitterers and I have exchanged many tips, links, help, guidance, and challenges as well as mundane info; so much so that we really do feel a personal connection. I'm looking forward to meeting these people as well, although I'm not sure how we'll run into each other. We have all tried to get the word out to write our online names on our name badges. So, if you see @teachakidd on my namebadge, you'll know me from Twitter!

In addition to all of the above, NECC is going to be full, perhaps overflowing is a better word, with professional development opportunities. So many breakout sessions to choose from that it is frustrating to have to choose. Ah, but choose I must, so I thought I'd share my choices here because if you are not attending, there's still an opportunity for you to reap some benefits from my experiences. There, that's where it's free for you! When I return, I plan to recap what I learned in each session; the good, the bad and the ugly. In addition, as I blogged about in my last post, you can follow the necc2008 links by bookmarking this link. Many of the attendees who are also a part of the NECC Ning, will be posting their bookmarks to or diigo and tagging with necc2008. So, what does that mean to you? By clicking this link, you will be able to take advantage of all the great resource they felt were worthy of a bookmark. You can also follow my necc2008 bookmarks by clicking here.

Here's my plan for attending sessions. There are a few overlapping times (I may jump around) and a few empty spaces where I may make some last minute decisions or visit the vendor hall.

Keynote speaker:

James Surowiecki, Opening Keynote

Author, journalist, and historian James Surowiecki kicks off NECC with his perspective on The Wisdom of Crowds. In an age when collaborative tools and media are readily available, educators at all levels will benefit from hearing how skilled application of diversity, independence, decentralization, and aggregation can be leveraged in education settings to arrive at transformative solutions.


Podcasting & Podcatching for the Absolute Beginner
Larry Anderson, National Center for Technology Planning with Steve Dembo, Lucy Gray, Ted Lai, Julene Reed, Dan Schmit and Tim Wilson

Podcasting! Everybody seems to be doing it. If you've been afraid to jump into the podcasting water, join us and learn how!

Our Students • Our Worlds
David Warlick, The Landmark Project

The world is flattening, and not just economically. Learn about three converging conditions that are redefining education—and providing windows to the future.

Flat Classroom and Horizon Projects
Julie Lindsay, Qatar Academy with Victoria A. Davis

Meet, share ideas, discuss the impact, and plan for future collaborations with educators who have been or would like to be involved in these projects.

Podcasts in the Classroom: A Great Resource for Teachers
Craig Nansen, Minot Public Schools with Camilla Gagliolo

Explore new ways to locate and use educational podcasts to enhance teaching and learning by integrating them in the classroom. Exemplary podcasts will be demonstrated.


Keynote: Jim Carleton And Mali Bickley

Jim Carleton and Mali Bickley are Canadian educators leveraging the collaborative power of technology to help their students help others worldwide. Aided by the generous support of NBC's education division, Jim and Mali offer a multimedia-rich, onstage dialogue featuring their inspirational experiences and can-do insights on how they have transcended traditions in education to create dynamic, engaging learning environments. Jim and Mali will be interviewed by by prominent NBC journalist Lester Holt. Holt is the weekend anchor for NBC Nightly News, and is also co-anchor of the weekend edition of TODAY.

Using Scratch to Teach Programming at the Elementary Level
Christopher Michaud, Nebo Elementary

Hands-on experimentation with MIT's Scratch Programming platform. Participants will acquire the skills needed to use Scratch to teach programming to elementary students.

side note: I've dabbled in Scratch. Here's what I created. Now you can see why I need someone to show me how to use this awesome program. You have to click the green flag to start the animation.

Learn more about this project

Social Networking in Education
Steve Hargadon, CoSN/EdTechLive with Steve Dembo, Darren Draper, James Klein, Michael McVey and Dennis O'Connor

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?

Powerful Learning Practice: Creating Online Communities for Professional Development
Will Richardson, Connective Learning Group with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

The Web provides a wealth of opportunities for educators to create powerful learning communities. Learn about the tools and the pedagogies for success.

It's in Your Pocket: Teaching Spectacularly with Cell Phones
Hall Davidson, Discovery

Cell phones are tools for interactive PowerPoint, instantaneous podcasting/videocasting, and writing. Text messaging integrates into powerful applications. Connect: learn! New uses abound! Integrate them for teaching!

Wednesday Research: Redesign Assignments with Social Bookmarking
Lucie deLaBruere, St. Albans City School

Redesign research assignments for students, increase critical thinking, and maximize your own productivity by managing online information using social bookmarking tools such as Please pre-install

side note: This is the topic I will be presenting the Innovative Learning Conference in October. Naturally, I am excited to see how someone else approaches this same topic.

n08s312, n08s291, n08s765, n08s554, n08s436, n08s247, n08s283, n08s409, n08s254, necc2008


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Miguel said...

Let me know who you find to teach Scratch. I'm dying of curiousity to learn and teach this myself!