Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Join us at the Kick Off Reception Wed at 3:30 PM

The conference is well underway. There was a whole lot of learning going on today in the full day workshops. We were blogging, creating moodles, songs, digital stories, digital tools, surfing great resources, learning about excel, forms, adobe, how to improve websites, solving mysteries and so much more. Thanks to all the tech staff who installed and set up all the computers and solved those tech issues and the volunteers who helped stuff the conference bags, and set up the registration area today. Wednesday will be more full day workshops. Don't forget to join us in the Exhibit Hall for our Kick Off reception from 3:30 PM to 5;30 PM. Come celebrate ICE's 20th birthday will appetizers, birthday cake and a chance to visit with the exhibitors. You can also pick up your conference bag and program to start planning your Thursday an Friday choices. Please check back here and check the large at a glance charts that will be around the conference center for any changes.

Do you feel that 'buzz'?

It's 8:00am in beautiful, historic, St. Charles Illinois (I'm not sure what specifically is historic about it, but there must be something). It's quiet right now, but in half an hour this convention center will be buzzing with the sounds of keyboards clacking, mice double clicking and most of all, educators learning.

Today kicks off the first pre-conference day of the IL-TCE conference. I'll be presenting a full day workshop about getting started in the world of blogging. This is actually going to be my first time on the 'other side' of the projector, as a presenter rather than an attendee. Considering how many years I've been going to ICE and how much I enjoy it, I can't help but wonder why I never signed up to present before. Regardless, this will be a rather fun way to kick the conference off. An entire day devoted to blogs, aggregators, RSS and a few surprises here and there.

What's also amazing is how well the blogging community is represented amongst the keynote and spotlight speakers. David Warlick, Will Richardson, Tim Lauer, Tony Vincent and the team of Susim Munshi and Susan Switzer are all highlighted speakers who are either well known for their blogging endeavors or addressing blogging directly in their presentations. Certainly a timely subject.

Enjoy the conference, more to come!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

There's lots to like about handheld computing!

Student with HandheldYou're probably familiar with the notion of providing students with handheld computers as a way to achieve a 1 student to 1 computer ratio. Common reasons for equipping students with handheld computers are their affordability, mobility, reliability, versatility, accessibility, and usability. It's no secret that I, Tony Vincent, like handhelds, but I will give you other reasons (and none of them contain the suffix -ity) why I'm enamored with handheld computing in schools. I will present I Like Handhelds Because.. Friday at 9:45 and 11:45 in the New Orleans Ballroom. I will convince you that tiny computers running the Palm and Windows Mobile operating systems are full-blooded computers that can improve learning. I've designed the presentation so that whether you've never touched a handheld before or if you are an avid user, you'll learn about software and activities that motivate and engage students of all ages.

Oh, and if you bring your Palm handheld to the conference Friday, I'll fill it with all sorts of goodies!

Technorati Help: Tags

Technorati Help: Tags

This post is for newbies! Technorati is a blog search engine. If you tag (assign categories) to a blog post, people can find your blog in Technorati. See Tim Lauer's post below as well as David Warlick's post preceding that.

For instance, if everyone that writes about IL-TCE in their own blog added the tag "il-tce" to the post, then interested people could search on Technorati using the term "il-tce and find all relevant posts. You can add multiple tags to posts, by the way. Neato! So to repeat David's suggestion, use the il-tce tag if you blog about the conference!

After reading Tim's post, I was curious as to how one actually put a Technorati tag in their blog. Click on the link above for instructions from Technorati. Perhaps the tagging gurus at IL-TCE will explain this better this week!

In the meantime, here's a homework assignment for you:

Visit Technorati and do a search using the tag "teachers" (or another tag of your choice) and see what you come up with!

Program Changes for Thursday and Friday

Please make a note of the following program changes.
Check out the online and searchable schedule for more information on the sessions added below.

Thursday, March 2
Poster Session added - 2:45 PM Table 1
Title: 5 Year Report, 5-Year Plan - Mac OS X in Education
Presenter: Dean Shavit, Mac Tech Magazine Columnist

Thursday, March 2
Poster Session added - 2:45 PM Table 6
Title: Web Quest and Bronzeville Project: Chicago's Neighborhoods and Landmarks
Presenter: Rita Dunn

Thursday, March 2
Poster Session cancelled - 2:45 PM Table 2
Title: Using your student recording system to create workflow databases
Presenter:  Ellen Chappe

Friday, March 3
General Session cancelled-  11:45 AM - Broadway C
Title: Am I ready for an Online Degree?
Presenter: Dr. Eileen Gallagher 

Friday, March 3
General Session added - 11:45 AM - Broadway C:
Title: Passage to Adventure: Using eZediaMX®
Presenter: David Spearman

Friday, March 3
General Session change:
1:45 PM - Saphire room
Presenters: Bonnie Thurber and Gary Greenberg
Title: Safe Social Bookmarking: a Personal Knowledge Management Tool
changed to
Title: Preparing High Quality Teachers: Online Ongoing Professional Development in the Collaboratory

Sharing our Work With Our Communities

IMG_2294I am very happy to have been asked to participate in IL-TCE, and look forward to the opportunity to meet, and learn from, teachers and administrators attending the event.

My workshop, and my talks, at this years IL-TCE will focus on how schools can utilize Web 2.0 technologies to tell their stories, old and new, utilizing the web to facilitate this conversation. Tools such as Word Press, Instiki, Flickr, del.icio.us, Google Earth, and RSS now make it very easy for educators to inform and enliven their instruction and to communicate about that work. From my experience, there is exciting and powerful work taking place in schools throughout the world. Web 2.0 technologies give teachers, principals and and superintendents, the power to share learning resources and ideas, and the opportunity to tell their stories.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Social Technologies for the Classroom?

On Thursday (10:45, Broadway C) , I will be presenting "Social Technologies for the Classroom?" We will explore some of the popular Web 2.0 'social technologies' such as Furl, del.icio.us, Flickr, Wikipedia, and Writley. Discover how these might be used in your classroom.

Participants will be invited to share their ideas beyond the session using a wiki at: http://il-tce.pbwiki.com/Classroom_ideas.

Resources for this session will also be posted on the web at: http://homepage.mac.com/charlenechausis/social_technologies.html.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Telling the New Story

It will be a pleasure to return to Pheasant Run Resort, and to see lots of old friends and make some new ones. This year, I will be talking about stories -- big stories -- the stories that we tell and retell about classrooms. These old stories owe their roots to a bygone time, yet they continue to paint our vision of schools and schooling. The old stories tell of seats in rows, stacks of textbooks, compartmentalized subjects, and an information-scarce world where gatekeepers control the content, and it flows in only one direction.
Campfire Story Telling
In this year's keynote address, I will suggest some new stories, the issues they must address, and how we might start to tell them. If we believe that we need a new kind of learning, a new kind of teaching, new classrooms, and forms of assessment, then we need to go out and tell a new story -- one that is so compelling that it will force people to forget about their classroom experiences from decades ago.

Come by and say, "Hi!"

Technorati Tags: , ,

The Read/Write Web in Education

First let me say this blog is a GREAT idea and just one more sign that we're all starting to understand the many changes that the Web has in store for our classrooms, our students and our practice. I'm really looking forward during my presentations on Thursday to having a conversation about those changes and the potentials that I see for us all now that we can easily create and share information and content with wide audiences. There is so much we can learn from one another when we become a part of a community of learners and practitioners using the tools like blogs, wikis, podcasts, RSS, social bookmarks and others. They are truly transformative in the ways they connect people, content and ideas, and I'm really hoping to articulate that promise when we meet this week.

Having said that, I'm envious that the rest of you will get to see Tim Lauer and David Warlick and Tony Vincent and the other great speakers who will be teaching about these ideas as well. I've learned a great deal from reading their blogs and following their work, and I always love to see and hear them in person. So I guess the big question is, is anyone blogging their sessions???

Looking forward to a great week...
Will Richardson

Friday, February 24, 2006

I'm looking forward to sharing ideas in my keynote at the conference:

“Neomillennial” Learning Styles: From Websites to Distributed-Learning Communities

This session will help participants anticipate the challenges and opportunities posed by students of any age with “neomillennial” learning styles. Emerging digital media are shaping motivations, attributes, and social patterns into types of learning styles quite different than those based on sensory, personality, or intelligence factors. "Neomillennial" learners seek distributed learning situations that interweave face-to-face interactions with communication and shared experiences across distance and time. The talk will demonstrate and discuss examples of middle and high school distributed-learning communities based on immersive game-like educational simulations.

The two spotlight sessions that follow will have some new content, but are primarily "meet the speaker" sessions to allow the chance for extended discussion. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Radio For Kids, By Kids

Radio WillowWeb LogoI hope that conference-goers can find time to attend one of my Friday presentations of Radio For Kids, By Kids. It’s all about podcasting, the trendy way for people to subscribe to audio content that can be automatically downloaded to a computer or mobile device.

Students at my elementary school have been making their own podcasts for over a year. The podcast is called Radio WillowWeb and it is an online audio program by students in grades two through five. Each podcast is about a different topic of study. There are shows about subjects like Japan, electricity, Native Americans, the Constitution, space, and respect. These fun and informative programs are engaging to listen to because Radio WillowWeb follows a format where a host introduces a variety of segments. Before attending Radio For Kids, By Kids, it will be helpful if you have listened to at least one episode of Radio WillowWeb. The episode are all good, so take your pick.

There are several different ways to listen to a podcast. You can listen right in your web browser by clicking on an episode from this page. You can listen directly in iTunes by clicking here. Once in iTunes, you can sync and listen on an iPod if you like. Or, if you use one of the many programs to "catch" podcasts, then here is the RSS feed. Really, you can listen to a podcast on anything that can play an MP3 file.

Radio For Kids, by Kids will be presented Friday from 10:45 AM to 11:30 AM in the New Orleans Ballroom and repeated from 1:45 until 2:30 in the same location. I hope to see you there!

The Headless Tech!

And just who is that mysterious headless tech in the post from February 12? Keep your eyes open next week at the conference and see if you can spot him. Who knows, there just might be a prize for the first person to correctly identify the headless "Red-Shirt" .

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

New!! Augusta Rooms I and II will have sessions.

Something new this year! The Augusta rooms will be used this year on Thursday and Friday for several great General and Exhibitor break-out sessions. Please check your maps, these rooms are located just past the hotel lobby and down the hall towards the Golf course room wing. There will be volunteers to help direct you around the indoor/outdoor pool and lots of directional signs to follow.

Presentation Zen

Presentation Zen

Presentation Zen is a must read blog for those of us who present regularly to groups. I thought people might find this helpful as they prepare for IL-TCE next week!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Blog - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Blog - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I've noticed that many of the people signing up to particlpate in the conference blog are new to this phenomena. This article might be helpful who are trying to get handle on what blogging is all about!

Audioblogger: Speak Up!

Audioblogger: Speak Up!

I first learned about AudioBlogger in David Warlick's NECC presentation last June and I was reminded of its existence today while browsing the blog of Dr. Larry Anderson. Larry blogged about the recent Mississippi counterpart to IL-TCE, the Mississippi Educational Computing Conference Association Conference. Three of out of his four posts were traditional text posts, but he also included an audio posted with his cell phone. Check out Larry's blog at http://nctpcast.blogspot.com/. I've never tried this before... maybe I will at IL-TCE!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Blogger Web Comments for Firefox

Blogger Web Comments for Firefox

Here's a very cool tool for more advanced bloggers who use the Firefox web browser. From this web site:

"Blogger Web Comments for Firefox is an extension that makes it easy to see what bloggers are saying about a page you're viewing in Firefox and even make your own blog post about it, all without leaving the page you're on."

I've tried it and it's a neat way to see how the other bloggers in the "blogosphere" are responding to certain web pages. And, it's another quick method of posting to a Blogger blog if you have one.

Quick tip: Make sure you have your status bar activated under the View menu in Firefox in order to see this extension work!

Blogger Help : What is BlogThis! ?

Blogger Help : What is BlogThis! ?

We hope that blog participants will write about preconference workshops, keynote and spotlight sessions, general conference sessions, the exhibition hall and the like. Additional information about certain topics, reflections on what you've discovered during the conference, or follow up questions are just a few examples of things you can write about here.

That said, here is one tool that might help you if you're bringing your laptop to the conference. You can install the BlogThis! tool in your web browser's toolbar so that you can quickly post something to a blog on the Blogger service. This elimates the need to actually visit the Blogger web site in order to post.

Hope this helps!

Lucy Gray

New this year at IL-TCE - Breakfast in the Atrium on General Conference days

When you arrive at Pheasant Run this year, if you haven't had time to stop for that first cup of coffee, don't worry. After registering in the Mega Center lobby, and picking up your conference bag and program head over to the Atrium by the pool. There will be a continental breakfast available, and tables to sit down to look over the program and plan your day. With the new exhibit hall hours this year, we've had to move breakfast on the General Conference days.

Breakfast will be available for registered conference attendees in the Pheasant Run Atrium (near the pool) at 7:30am. Coffee will be available until 10 AM.

Pre-conference Workshop days, a continental breakfast will still be available in the Mega Center lobby where registration takes place. Coffee kiosks will be available in several locations as well.

This years Exhibit Hall hours are different than in the past. The exhibit hall will be open Wednesday, March 1 from 3:30 pm to 5:50 pm, Thursday, March 2 from 9:30am-4:30pm, and on Friday, March 3 from 9:30am-2:30pm.

IL-TCE SURVIVAL GUIDE is available for download. Learn about the top 10 tips for having a great IL-TCE experience, get a listing of local eateries and this years optional Pheasant Run Dinner Theater informaton.

For more information on making the most of your IL-TCE 2006 conference
experience, please download our IL-TCE 2006 Survival Guide at:

A Reminder About Joining the ILTCE Blog

To join the blog, you need to send me an email at lgray@ucls.uchicago.edu. Within a day or so, I will send you an invitation to join the blog. This invitation includes instructions on how to do this. Please remember that you will not be able to post or comment unless you accept this invitation. FYI, about 40 people have joined the ITLCE and there are another 30 invitations pending! So if you already have received an invitation from me, make sure you accept the invitation by responding to that email.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Invasion of the "Red Shirts"

Are you a presenter and you're having some technical difficulties? You say the network in your session room isn't working quite the way it should? The solution is simple! Just look for someone wearing one of these bright red shirts. We're pretty easy to find and there should always be one of us within shouting distance of your session room. If we can't solve the problem on the spot, we'll find someone who can! Our goal is to be like the Maytag Repairmen, the loneliest persons at the conference. If you see a "red shirt" looking lonely, just say Hi. It helps to keep us awake and alert!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Shiftin' Paradigm Blues > Blogging of Inservice Day Feb. 17

Shiftin%u2019 Paradigm Blues � Blogging of Inservice Day Feb. 17

Hi All -

For those of you new to blogging, here is an interesting way one educator is using a blog to promote professional development. Bob Irving is a middle school tech coordinator at Lancaster Country Day School in Pennsylvania. He will be blogging about his school's inservice activities next week and you can follow it here ( http://www.e-lcds.org/wordpress/?p=20 ). Bob emailed me about this today and is interested in having others teachers from around the "blogosphere" join in this virtual conversation.

As IL-TCE attendees, vendors, and presenters, I hope that we will be able to do the same in this space during the week of February 27. Our goal is to provide some interactive reflection so that we can process all that we learn during the week of the conference. A collaborative blog is also a great way to fill in others who might not be able to make various keynotes and sessions. Please feel free to offer resources, make suggestions, and ask questions in this forum, too.

Don't be shy! Join in the fun!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

A Handful of Volunteers Makes the Conference Go On

Thanks to the many people who have generously offered their time to help staff the 2006 Illinois Technology Conference for Educators. We couldn't do it without you!

We still have a few volunteer positions that need to be filled. If you volunteer for a three hour shift on Thursday, March 2, or Friday, March 3, you will receive free registration for that day. If you volunteer for bag stuffing on Tuesday, February 28 or pregistration duties on Wedneday, March 1, you can use your free registration to attend either Thursday or Friday of the conference. Bag stuffing duties will take place in three hour shifts between 10 AM and 5 PM on Tuesday.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact me via email at lgray@ucls.uchicago.edu.


Lucy Gray

Friday, February 03, 2006


Ignore the link at the bottom of this post...I had to post this link in order to claim this blog in Technorati. I've added tags that are relevant to the conference by claiming the blog. So if anyone is specifically searching for something in the blog search engine Technorati, they might come across our new little blog!

Here's more info on Technorati from Wikipedia:


Technorati Profile

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Variety of Conference Offerings

I'm just curious if you all feel that there is enough variety in sessions (workshops, breakouts, posters, etc.) being offered for IL-TCE 2006. If not, what would you like to see more of next year? Less of? If you haven't had a chance to see the conference schedule, take a look at it at http://www.il-tce.org/schedule.

Creating Online Forms

I'm really looking forward to this seminar. Do most of you already have Front Page or any of the other software? Will it be necessary to be advanced at using these programs? Any thoughts?