Tuesday, July 08, 2008

NECC 2008 Through Distance Learning

And yet another summer passes sans attending the mega ed tech conference NECC.

No, I will not be bummed out by not have the seeming unlimited funds of districts around the our nation. Districts that sent hordes of eager participants to this years bash at San Antonio. I will not get any cheese with my whine. On the positive side, I have been lapping up the scraps and crumbs of leftovers from NECC. I have found streaming video http://www.kzowebcasting.com/necc/ and the best part is that I could fast forward through the presenters crowd warm-ups, self-promos, shout-outs, and even parts without audio. Would I pay for this? No. Would I recommend it to others. Absolutely! The chat feature is wonderful. Send you fellow teachers a link to the site on Twitter or IM or Plurk, or Pownce and have them comment and give feedback while viewing a particular presentation. Now, I have been a fan of David Warlick for many years and always love to listen to his presentations. Here is how I see sharing these videos with my fellow teachers in my school.

Set up a Professional Development schedule. Maybe call it NECC via Distance Learning, or Converge, Connect, and Transform Learning. Then, using our email server, set up a group of teachers interested in earning credits in technology. From this group of names, have them create a Pownce account. The reason for using Pownce, is that users can setup Events. When the time for the training comes, send the group a link to one of the NECC webcasts and ask the participants to post their comments and questions in the chat room. I have been impressed with backdoor chat. Our teachers would be using MacBooks, so we could launch iChat with Bonjour to connect the laptops. Now, will our wifi handle the streaming or will we encounter buffering issues? That may be the "$24,000 Question".

Other cool "take-aways" that I have picked up include Edtags.org. Edtags.org is a social bookmarking site for educators. Diigo and Del.icio.us are great bookmarking site that I use all the time, but they are blocked by our content filter at school. Edtags.org is unblocked and is now high on my personal list of sites to use. I lacks lots of the numbers of users that the other great social bookmarking sites have, and that is fine. I have been busy adding my bookmarks in Edtags.org and marking them for use by my friends only. This way, I can add teachers in my school as users and add them as my friend so they can access my educational bookmarks and add another tool to our learning community.

Mogulus.com is really exciting. However, it does not make the cut of the content filter in our district. It is also flagged for inappropriate content.

I will not be so bold as to consider this to be a master list of tools for the classroom. Hopefully, I will be able to find time to post additional resources.

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