Saturday, June 28, 2008

NECC2008 Ning Community

I'm up this morning and gleening resources from the NECC2008 Ning Community. I have joined the groups: and Diigo bookmark sharing at NECC2008, Virtual NECCers, and Digital Storytellers.
The Digital Storytellers have shared several sites in the discussion already. I've now got to take the time to investigate those. I am looking forward to watching their digital storytelling wiki to see what develops.
I have found lots of people to add to my and Diigo networks and follow. I've added feeds to this blog for bookmarks tagged digitalstorytelling and NECC08.
The Ning community has been a great place to start my virtual attendance at the conference. I can tell already that I will be in overload soon and need to figure out how to manage, evaluate and utilize all the information (but that is always the case).
Now I"m "headed" to see what the EduBloggerCon has to offer virtually.
Huuummmm...I must remember that I'm Eastern time and San Antonio is Central (Thanks Donna for the reminder)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Virtual Attendee at NECC08

I'm multi-tasking again. Mainly trying to figure out ways to effectively attend NECC 2008 virtually.
Here are just a few ways I've found.
1. Summize - and search the tag NECC to search Twitter for twit posts on NECC. You can also get an RSS feed for the search.
2. Join the Ning NECC Network and join a group or groups that interest you. Be a part on the online community.
3. Check out ISTE Island in Second Life - events here
4. Do a Google Blogs search for these tags - necc, necc08, necc2008.
5. Do a TwitterScan for necc, necco8, necc2008
6. Check out NECClive wiki
7. Check out EdStreamTV wiki "Your TV Guide for NECC 2008"
8. ISTE has the sessions and events that will be available as Podcasts and you can follow Apple's official NECC podcast channel.
9. ISTE also has video-on-demand sessions and events.

Not as good as being there but.....

World's Best Presentation Contest is putting on the World's Best Contest Presentation 2008. You could win a MacBook Air, Amazon Kindle, iPod Nano or Touch, or Garr Reynolds book Presentation Zen. I plan on entering, just as soon I some thing inspires me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tips for Conference Bloggers

I came across the e-book, Tips For Conference Bloggers, the other day. I printed it out and finally got around to reading it. I really wish I could put these tips to use at NECC, but I will be at home. I am making plans to attend NECC 09 in DC.

The 6 page book broke the tips down into 15 sections, including Tools, location, prep, style, quotes, context, audience, linking, taging, and several others. I am going to hit the tips that spoke to me.

Don't sit in the front row, as you may distract others. Sit on the side or in the back. IMO, the best tip is to sit near the power outlets. I would also like to add, don't sit close to the outlet that the presenter is using. I once knocked the lcd projector out of the socket, David Warlick's to be exact. Not my best moment.

Start the post before hand. I don't know why I never thought of this. I always started with good intentions of blogging a conference, but I never seem to follow through. Google the presenter or check the conference website for some info. Depending on what blog platform you use, it is possible to save this is a draft. Next conference I go to, I hope to have my first paragraph written, even before I arrive.

Spelling and syntax matter.

If you are quoting the speaker, make sure you got the exact quote.

Audience and Context
Remember you are blogging for yourself and those who read your blog. Also, assume the it will be read by those who were not at the conference. If they show a youtube video, mention it and try to embed it.

Link all there is to link. This includes, speaker's homepage, speaker's organization page, speaker's blog, speaker's books/videos, and other relevant posts or pictures. I use a program called Texter on my PC. It allows you to type an abbreaviaton and it replaces it with a phrase. For example, I type "linknecc" and press enter, then "a href="">NECC" appears, which when published is just the link (ie NECC). Similar programs are available on the Mac. TextExpander (about $30) and RapidoWrite (free)

Tag every post with all relevant tags, starting with the conference name and the speakers name.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Change is in the air

This blog was begun in December of 2005 by Katie after we had attended a NCETC conference. She invited Aaron to join in, Donna was next and eventually I joined. They have done a great job maintaining the momentum.
We all have worked in the same school district and have had an incredible journey exploring, collaborating, and sharing within our district and in the greater edtech world. We have all been transformed in ways that are only partially documented in this blog.
Change is in the air. We won't all be in the same geographical location anymore. In fact we won't even be on the same continent. We have all committed to maintaining this blog (I'll have to start pulling my weight here at the original local) and have disscussed starting a podcast. While I will miss my coworkers, I am excited about the possibilities. The ability to maintain professional and personal relationships with people I admire and love across physical distance will add another dimension to our understanding of and ability to harness this vast new world.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I came across this site while reading lifehacker. Tablefy is a site where you can create a table to compare any number of items. I just gave a presentation on iPods and was looking for an easy way to compare them. Too bad I didn't know about this.

I ran through it quickly. It is simple and was a breeze to do. Beside just adding text, you can give a url of an image. Tablefy will automatically create a thumbnail for you. It is also possible to add a youtube video, among other media.

The site also allows you to save your own tables to edit later. You can also search for other comparisons and leave comments. I can see great uses in education, like comparing characters, geometric shapes, and plants and animals.

go to the table!

The best part, you can embedded in your own wiki or website. There is an also an option to keep your table private, if you don't share well.

Monday, June 16, 2008


From Katie's post, you know we just finished up our Summer Tech Conference. I would have to echo Katie's sediments, it was wonderful. On our wiki this year, we decided to post our PowerPoint presentations. We also did this last year by saving the presentation as jpegs and uploading them to Picasa web albums. We could then embed them as a slideshow.

This year I decided to give SlideShare and Scribd a chance. Both sites allow you to upload PowerPoint files, along with PDF and some open office file formats. Scribd adds support for Word and Excel too. I uploaded my presentation ppt file to both sites. I used a non standard font and both sites changed my font to standard font, not what I wanted. Since both sites allow PDF uploads, I used CutePDF to save my presentation as a pdf file. I once again uploaded them to both sites. Slideshare worked perfectly, but Scribd never took my pdf.

Needless to say, I have become a fan of SlideShare. Even more so, when they featured my presentation on their homepage.


I was cleaning out my desk and found this quote on a post-it note.

"Smart no longer means knowing information. It is more about knowing how to find the information you don't know."

I think is sums up the 21st century skills we are trying to teach.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer Tech Conference '08

We just finished our BCPS Summer Tech Conference '08! It was fabulous. We had a huge response and doubled our numbers from last year. Participants also enjoyed the conference and we have received great feedback that we will be posting on the wiki soon. To see what we did and get resources from our sessions go to the wiki!