Posts Tagged ebc08

Goods, Bads, and Bests from NECC Week

NECC 2008 was the best conference I’ve ever been to.  Mostly, because it was so dynamic.  Usually I judge a conference only on the quality of the sessions but this one was so much more than lectures.  I wanted to take a couple minutes and reflect on the Goods, Bads, and Bests from NECC Week (EBC, NECC, and NECC Unplugged).

Easily, the best part of EBC and NECC2008 was meeting people from my personal learning networks.

The 2nd best part was participating at NECC Unplugged.  I didn’t get to schedule a session there because my travel plans were made so close to the conference that I had no idea if I would even be attending past Monday afternoon until a couple days prior.  So when I got to sit-in and contribute to an impromptu roundtable conversation with Steve Hargadon, Darren Draper, Robin Ellis, Karl Fisch, and several others from my PLN, I was excited.  We discussed how EBC could be better next year along with social networking in education.  I had been a passive observer at the Blogger’s Cafe until that point, and it feels so much better to contribute to the community.

The third, and last, best part is a little of a selfish one.  I hosted a poster session called Using Web 2.0 to Motivate Student Creativity which focused on Web 2.0 for Beginners and it went really well.  A lot of people stopped to watch our (OCHS) kids talk about their experiences using these tools.  I met hundreds of people and loved talking to educators who really wanted to make their children’s experiences at school more relevant.

The Goods.  The best sessions I sat in were all at EBC.  They were discussions yet, only one of the sessions that I attended at NECC was even close, mostly because they hosted a backchannel chat (pw:necc) through Chatzy. David Warlick and Alan November didn’t dissapoint but Social Networking in Education was the livliest and most passionate session that I attended outside of EBC.

The Bads.  By far the worst part about NECC Week was the lack of wireless connectivity.  In over half the rooms I was in I had nothing, nada, zilch for connection.  Kristen Hokanson said it best to an IT guy trying to solve the problem at EBC once he declared they had no idea so many people would have laptops, “but this is an edtech conference.”  They didn’t have enough access points and in the theater where the spotlight sessions were at, there was nothing.

Those view-blocking Pearson cameras at EBC were annoying, but I wasn’t nearly as mad as others about them recording and profitting from our words.  Spreading information…..good.

The other bad part, which I have encountered at almost every conference I’ve attended, was their take on Online Learning.  When I went to NECC in Philadelphia a few years back, I don’t remember any online sessions so was happy to at least see that strand in almost every concurrent session.  However, most of the sessions weren’t worth attending, the NACOL booth didn’t even have someone sitting at it, and the one session I did attend was horrible.  It was three instructional designers from the University of Houston who lectured for 45 minutes straight about 3 basic lessons you could teach online.  It was like they just discovered e-learning and somehow convinced ISTE to accept their proposal.  I wish they would screen for people who are really doing something with online learning and hybrid schools, its a future of education.

flickr user: kjarrett

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@mrplough07 in Real Life

I’m stealing a title from a recent movie because its a good play on my experiences this past weekend at EdubloggerCon, NECC2008, and NECC Unplugged.

For the past year-and-a-half I’ve been meeting, collaborating, sharing and learning with people in a variety of online personal learning networks (PLN).  I turn to them when I need some help.  I turn to them when I have research to share.  I turn to them when I need advice or a recommendation.  I turn to them when I want to discuss personal achievements.

I’ve learned a lot about a few people, and a little about a lot of people over that time.  Even if I have never had a discussion outside of following someone’s updates on Twitter, there is an interesting connection.  It’s hard to understand but many people that I talked to this week described similar feelings about their “friends.”

I had never knowingly met anyone from my online networks before EBC this weekend.  But what’s really interesting is that didn’t matter.  In fact, it even enhanced the conferences.

When we met face-to-face for the first time it was like we had known each other for years, even if we had just met on the NECC Ning the week before.  All those walls that people throw up when they are in a social situation in which they don’t know anybody were completely torn down.  Conversations were instant, passionate, and left off right from our online discussions or posts or thread or comments.

Everyday my belief in PLN’s is reinforced and this weekend/week proved the most powerful of all reasons for having online social networks.  Even if I never meet the people I learn from, and that learn from me, we still have something important online.  However, there is just something really special about the experience of meeting those nodes from my network that strictly online connections can’t ever quite equal.

flickr user: Kasia/flickr

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Designing the 21st Century “School” – EBC08

Live Blogging at EBC 08.

What would your 21st century school look like?  There were two main ideas behind this session.  Describe ideal school in the future, and to put that information on a wiki so others can access it to reference an ideal.  It can also be used for writing grants if you are interested in that.

I worked in small group talking about ‘what a 21st century school should not look like.’  We created a list.

This is the final session for the day at ebc08, was one of the best conferences I’ve attended but really wished that some of the sessions that were rolling wouldn’t of stopped in midstream.  Is that a mixed metaphor?

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Social Networking in the Classroom – EBC08

Live blogging for 2nd Session at EBC08.  Facilitated discussion with Steve Hargadon hosting and Pearson Learning waving their boom microphones around.

-elgg is a possibilty open source program

- walled garden vs. not, what are the benefits of each?

-  @coolcatteacher – do no start out on open space, teach them in safe space first then move towards public forums when they get etiquette down.

- a lot of people running cover it live, tried to get but FF3 isn’t compatible it seems, budtheteacher told me try it anyway but out of time for this session.

-  How much social web about pedagogical model or creating global citizenship?  Both, but more about education benefit for me since trying to get at-risk kids through hs

- using to follow even more twitterers who I dont normally follow

- students self-regulating in one example, 300 posts but 3000 comments in a blog project one ran on Ning network and kids self-regulated

-  kids that never talked f2f, was one of smartest kids in class and only did teacher find that out when they got a chat forum going

-look up fishbowl w/ live blogging

- backchannel in classroom is not threatening for f2f

- places to mentor, to teach etiquette cuz have grown up in Wild Wild West @kevinhoneycutt

- kids mentoring kids,

-  why are we zero tolerant with digital when not in analog, kids get in a fight at recess would we close recess.

-  think of everything as learning opportunity

- kids learning how to use these tools in personal lives while teachers learned in professional lives @khokanson says. Rings true, so we need to use these to teach professional behavior.

-Hate my method of liveblogging, need to write next session up a littel different.

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