Connective writing is an important part of communicating.
This is the official blog of the 2006 Illinois Technology Conference for Educators to be held March 2 and 3 at the Pheasant Run Conference Center.
I read this great piece in the New York Times and it made me think.........
Over two months and not a post in sight! Perhaps it's time to retire this blog and start thinking ahead to IL-TCE 2007, "Think Outside the Box and Wires". But before that happens, I'd like to put in a plug for IETC 2006 in Springfield, Illinois in November. I'll be there, as will others from IL-TCE. If you missed it at Pheasant Run, you can catch the updated version of my session, "Keep It Clean!" in Springfield. You can check my previous post, Illinois Technology Conference for Educators: Handouts and Follow-Up, for a preview.
What once was lost, now is found! At the ICE office we have 5 (FIVE!) pairs of glasses found at the conference, as well as a nice pair of gloves and some miscellaneous power adapters. If you are missing one of these items, please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or else call the ICE office (630-628-1088). Thanks!
It was on a whim that I had decided to create a quick follow-up site for my session, "Keep it Clean!", at IL-TCE 2006. I figured a few people who had attended the session might use it rather than trying to remember or copy down the web resources I had been demonstrating. In the the last month since the conference the site has had 200 or more pageloads, including many from return visitors. I was also surprised to see hits from California, Canada and Denmark. I guess it just goes to show you that a little follow-up can go a long way.
With the rapid rise of digital storytelling as evidenced by the amount of play the process is getting at conferences and in the blogosphere, I've decided to fire up The Competitive Voice again. I'll be posting short posts about my perspectives about the process, while continuing to post other tech-related posts at The Strength of Weak Ties.
Anyone who reads my blog knows I'm a big fan of Flickr and of digital storytelling. I'd like to share a project that one of our health teachers, Mr. Ted Glazier is doing with his sophomore health students. Ted's work has been featured before in this blog, and in David Warlick's.
Between the lines of the presentations I heard in which presenters dealt with the nature of information and information access in the future was an assumption: Having Internet access will allow a person to take advantage of all kinds of information and communication opportunities and we need to create learning opportunities for students that take this into account. However, if broadband companies have their way, when the Congress rewrites the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the concept of network neutrality--that the networks carrying the traffic of the Internet are non-discriminatory with regards to content--will be absent from the law. Instead, broadband companies will be able to charge the content providers for giving their content priority carriage on the providers' networks.
For the past three months I've been experimenting with Wiki spaces, so when I saw that the Conference had a number of workshops I jumped at the opportunity to listen and learn. I attended Charlene's, Will's, and David's presentations, and all included discussion of wikis. I'm not given a lot of PD time by my administration, but last Thursday, I had the entire 2 hours of in-service time for Technology Integration, so I set up workshops (password: harper) that I had hoped would interest the staff. I enlisted the aid of those teachers at Harper who have been using technology in their lessons. I asked them to share their expertise with their colleagues. I ran one of the workshops and focused on wikis. I borrowed from Will Richardson and began with Wikipedia and then had all 8 teachers who signed up for my workshop create a Backpackit account. Some of the teachers who would have taken the workshop were facilitating in other labs in our school, so my group was small. Several wanted to know what they could do with wikis? But a few were fascinated by its simplicity and how it archives all changes. Generally, the feedback that I received was very positive. All the workshops were engaging and gave even novices (we have an embarrassing sizeable number of tech novices) an opportunity to find a level of comfort at the computer. Unfortunately, technology based in-service time is usually no more than 3 hours per school year. My Administration doesn't quite get the correlation between technology and all other aspects of education in the 21st century.
In my breakout session on Social Technologies for the Classroom, I presented the idea of collaborating in a Wiki, using the very easy to create PBWiki.. For this session I created a "Classroom Ideas" wiki, to provide a place for those attending the session to continue the conversation (see Lisa Toulon's post below) by posting ideas and thoughts for classroom use of social technologies. It's been a week since our conference, and this too, seems to be a "Wiki Wasteland" (see Dave Jake's post below).
At the recent IL-TCE conference, I had the opportunity to present on Flickr and the classroom use of wikis. For both presentations, I created wiki pages to give participants a venue for contribution and collaboration about these topics while at the conference and after the conference. My intent was to take advantage of the enormous expertise that was present in the audience (cumulatively, about 350 people in three presentations) to extend the conference experience, and begin building community. I also posted the wiki addresses on my weekly Techlearning.com blog entry to invite their readership to contribute as well.
On January 16th, I ordered the book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms from Amazon. I have been anxiously waiting its arrival as I am very interested in these topics. Imagine my suprise when the author, Will Richardson, was scheduled to present at IL-TCE. I had never heard him speak before so I decided to go to his first presentation "The New Read/Write Web: Transforming the Classroom". I loved it so much I decided to stay for his second presentation "What's up with Wikis?" For both of these presentations, he has a website with support material at http://webloggedlinks.pbwiki.com/. As an educator who practices what he preaches, this is created using a wiki, of course. (pbwiki)
Thanks, Will, for an enlightening day. Still waiting for my book... Guess I should of ordered it directly from you instead of Amazon!
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For those who attended my session, "Keep It Clean!", and for those who wish they could have attended, the handout is available on the IL-TCE site, or you can use the direct link here. Keep It Clean!
It's Monday and I've had time to digest the events of last week! What a conference!
What a wonderful conference! Congratulations to all involved, from planning to technology support, to the awesome network, to the wonderful participants SO full of energy, enthusiasm and expertise!