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As many have stated before, the education and technology conferences feel a lot like reunions these days. This is mostly due to Twitter, though attending conferences begat more Twitter contacts which begat knowing about more conferences which begat attending and/or speaking at said conferences which begat gathering more Twitter contacts and so on and so forth.
Tomorrow I’ll join the hordes already at Educon. This is the third annual education conference taking place at The Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. [Philly is my hometown, and as a result, I garner strange looks whenever I ask for a glass of “wooder” at a restaurant.] Chris Lehmann is the dynamic, phenomenal, and brilliant principal of SLA, and it was a pleasure to meet him at last year’s Educon and host him at the inaugural TEDxNYED in March 2010.
As per Educon’s homepage, EduCon is both a conversation and a conference. And it is not a technology conference. It is an education conference. It is, hopefully, an innovation conference where we can come together, both in person and virtually, to discuss the future of schools. Every session will be an opportunity to discuss and debate ideas — from the very practical to the big dreams.
This year, I am thrilled to be co-leading two conversations at Educon. Based on experience, I know the attendees are smart, engaged, innovative, and tech savvy, so I am understandably intimidated. It’s hard to hide behind my camera when I’m one of the presenters. However, I’m too excited to learn a ton, gather resources, and reunite with people from my personal learning network to dwell too much on my insecurities. Plus, I am paired with awesome collaborators who are people I genuinely like and highly respect: Meredith Stewart (@msstewart) and Basil Kolani (@bkolani). My two sessions are listed below:
Students need to recognize that their communications and actions contribute to their character. In an age where everyone uses Google (including high school counselors, college admissions, and employers), it is more important than ever to initiate conversations with students about how their immediate online choices have potentially permanent ramifications.
I spent the day in New Jersey. More specifically, I woke up before 6:30am on a Saturday (!) to head to the inaugural Tri-State Education Technology Conference (#TSETC) hosted by Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal) at New Milford High School and sponsered by Schoology (@schoology). I will be forever grateful to Al Doyle (@aldoyle) for driving and Basil Kolani (@bkolani) for navigating while I complained from the back seat. We were all presenters at TSETC today, Al talked about Game Theory, and Basil and I co-presented on Grassroots Professional Development.My PLN has grown exponentially over the last couple of years, and it was a pleasure to match a face to an avatar and/or reunite with EdCampPhilly organizers Mary Beth Hertz (@mbteach) and Rich Kiker (@rkiker), Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal), Aaron Bellow (@adambellow), Tom Whitby (@TomWhitby) wearing the same Hawaiian shirt he were to Teacher Town Hall at Education Nation last weekend, Bill Stites (@wstites), fellow EdCampNYC organizers Deven Black (@spedteacher) and Katy Gartside (@nykat4), fellow TEDxNYED organizers Tammy McKenna (@tmck76) and Basil Kolani (@bkolani), NYCIST friend Al Doyle (@adoyle), Pamela Livingston (@plivings), Aaron Eyler (@Aaron_Eyler), Neal Taparia and Darshan Somasheker from EasyBib (@EasyBib), Mark Moran (@FindingDulcinea) from Sweet Search, Jim Lerman (who I worked with 10 years ago at The Dalton School, Dorothy Fox (@dee8906), Meg Wilson (@ipodsibilities) and many others I’m too tired to remember to list right now. While TSETC was not an UNconference, I treated it as such. I ignored the blank papers at four separate stations where people were expected to sign up for sessions. Instead, I popped in and out of rooms, greedily gathering as many useful resources and websites as I could. Here’s a bit of what I learned/shared as I walked around: Grassroots PD by me (@SpecialKRB) and Basil Kolani (@bkolani)
- We spoke about our New York Consortium of Independent School Technologists (http://NYCIST.net) and how it’s tag-line is “Knowledge is in the group”
- Building your PLN can happen by following lists like the one Brendan Schneider (@schneiderb) created: http://www.edsocialmedia.com/2010/08/101-people-you-should-follow-on-twitter/
- Following the Twitter hashtags of various chats: #edchat #ntchat #engchat #scichat #spedchat #musedchat and so on…
- EdCamps are popping up all over – I’m helping to organize EdCampNYC on 12/4/10
- TEDx allows you to host an independently organized TED event using their name and format – I’m also on the organizing committee of TEDxNYED on 3/5/11
- Various Nings like the Independent School Educators Network http://isenet.ning.com/
Thinking Outside the Ban: Taking risks to prepare students for success Keynote speech by Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu)
Ten Web 2.0 Tools to Make Your Classroom Rock by Adam Bellow (@adambellow)
Teaching the 10 Steps to Better Web Research by Mark Moran (@findingdulcinea)
- Al’s Game Design Blog he uses with his class: http://gamedesign2010.blogspot.com
- Al’s wiki of Gaming resources: http://gaminginschool.wikispaces.com
- EdTech Now! Blog: http://edtechnow.blogspot.com
Appsolutely Accommodating: Meet the iPad by Meg Wilson (@ipodsibiities)
- Meg totally delivered a great presentation. She demo’d a bunch of awesome Apps that she’s written about on her blog including Proloquo2go, Signs4You, Text-to-Speech, Speech-to-Text, and Big Buttons. Her blog highlights all the technology integration projects she’s developed to accommodate all learners.
- Finally, Meg live-blogged TSETC here: http://www.ipodsibilities.com/iPodsibilities/iPodsibilities_Blog/Entries/2010/10/2_Tri-State_Education_Technology_Conference.html
- and here slides are here:
Transforming an Educational Experience with Social Media by Bill Stites (@wstites)
- The session was streamed and saved here: http://www.edsocialmedia.com/2010/10/edsocialmedia-at-tsetc/
- Slides here:
iGlobal Class rojects: Extending learning beyond the classroom by Shelly Terrell (@ShellTerrell) Skyping in from Germany!
Living and Learning with a Classroom set of iPads by Colleen McGuire (@mzmacky)
Clearly I was unable to be everywhere, but I saw these slides posted to Twitter from other presentations too:
Digital Storytelling by Samantha Morra (@sammorra)
Will Online Learning Change Everything? by Cory Plough (@mrplough07)
Finally, I just want to re-share these free lessons incorporating Yolink, Sweet Search, EasyBib, and Creative Commons can be found below. I created the awesomely punny “License to Cull with Creative Commons”: http://www.yolinkeducation.com/education/teachers.jsp