Organizers Bob Dillon and Chris McGee are reporting that registration is at capacity and they are very excited to have such an enthusiastic group of educators on board for the first ever edcampSTL (also known as an unconference). They are hoping that the group is ready to share & discuss all things education! Bob and Chris are planning a post-lunch activity called “things you can’t do in school with kids in the building” – hmmm…. wonder what that entails?
If you aren’t able to make it in person, be sure to follow backchannel chats on Twitter with the hashtags #edcampSTL and #MOedtech. To learn more about edcampSTL, visit their wiki– it has all sorts of info, including discussion boards, sponsorship thank-yous, hotel room rates and much more. And don’t forget, the Midwest Education Technology Conference kicks off the following week- get all your ed tech PD in this February in St. Louis!
Check out the Polycom Special Events calendar! These free videoconference events are always very popular and they fill up fast. Registration for Polycom customers opens on Wednesday, December 1st for January through May events.
According to it’s wiki, “Polycom Special Events are designed to provide Polycom customers free curriculum-rich videoconferencing connections in order to demonstrate the power of the technology to support learning.”
There are videoconferences for elementary, middle and high school students. In addition, professional development options are available. Polycom asks that you please check your calendars carefully (teacher conferences, vacation days, state testing) and make sure your class is available before registering. Cancellations are requested 5 weeks in advance to give another class a chance to participate.
At this Midwest Education Technology Conference preconference session, you can learn how to set up your own Twitter account. Come discover great educators to follow which will expand your personal learning network (PLN) worldwide. Follow leading educational experts and content area specialists. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to use Twitter to improve your knowledge and skills while also improving teaching and learning in your classroom. This half-day session presented by Shawn Kimball is tech level beginner. You’ll need to bring your own laptop! (Follow METC on Twitter @METC_CSD)
Powerful Ingredients for Blended Learning, presented by Wesley Fryer and Karen Montgomery
Blended learning contexts which combine face-to-face interaction with online, digital learning, can provide students with more flexible and in-depth opportunities to learn than traditional lectures. In this bring your own laptop session, we’ll explore key ingredients for blended learning which teachers and students should utilize in our information-rich environment. Good teaching is similar in many ways to good cooking. Recipes are helpful, but master cooks often modify those to meet different needs and situations. The same is true for teachers. If we extend this analogy of cooking to teaching and learning in a Web 2.0 world, what are the best “ingredients” to use as we help both teachers and students learn to be more effective, safe, and powerful communicators in our flat world.This workshop will focus on six key ingredients: del.icio.us, social bookmarks, Flickr photo sharing, VoiceThread digital storytelling, collaborative writing tools, websites for phone recording as well as SMS polling, and videoconferencing. Cooking can be intimidating for novices, but richly rewarding. Let’s learn to “cook up” some gourmet learning with some powerful (and free) Web 2.0 tools.
Extreme (Web 2.0) Lesson Plan Makeover, presented by Darren Kuropatwa
In this workshop, learn how teachers can “rejig” their lessons to take advantage of social media and free tools available on the Internet. Emphasizing pedagogy over tools, we’ll look at research based approaches to using Flickr, wikis, Google Maps, and mashups of a great many more tools. Bring along your favorite lesson plan and we’ll try to give it a Web 2.0 face-lift in this bring your own laptop session.
Three Midwest Education Technology Conference featured speakers have been announced: (from left to right) Howie DiBlasi, David Jakes, and Scott Meech.
DiBlasi is currently a member of the Alan November Consulting Team, and is a recognized leader in digital technology, multi-media, interactive videoconferencing and 21st Century learning. He has extensive hands on experience in training administrators and educators using 21st Century technology and applications. Join him for a preconference workshop on Monday, February 8 or attend one of his breakout sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 9 & 10.
Jakes has spent 25 years in education as a teacher, staff developer, and technology coordinator. His interests in educational technology include digital storytelling, the application of geography-based systems for learning, and developing online communities of learning through blogging, wiki and other connective technologies. Jakes presents breakout sessions Tuesday and Wednesday, February 9 & 10.
Meech is starting his 15th year in education. He currently works at The Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth, Illinois as the district Technology Facilitator. As an early technology adopter, he became the test pilot for any and all new tech initiatives. Meech’s teaching quickly transformed from a traditional teacher-centered paradigm to a constructivist student-centered approach. He presents breakout sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 9 & 10.
METC 2010 is February 8, 9, 10. Registration opens October 1, 2009. For more information on METC 2010, visit the conference’s Moodle.