After voting on November 4th, I drove down to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in order to attend SC EdTech for the first time. I looked forward to learning more about instructional uses of technology and Web 2.0 tools and was not disappointed!
Wednesday, Nov. 5th
Here is a break down of the sessions I attended:
- Cathy Nelson’s “Your 2.0 Sandbox: Come Play and Learn” Cathy covered many Web 2.0 tools including RSS feeds, Twitter, wikis, and blogs. She created a informative wiki for attendees which provides links to these and many more tools.
- Lorie Cafarella’s “Digital Storytelling” Lorie defined digital storytelling and focused on using Windows Movie Maker to showcase student work. She gave a four step process for creating a digital story. Two sites mentioned during the presentation for sound effects were www.soundamerica.com and www.moviefx.com.
- Kevin Merritt’s “Elvis Found Hiding in a Megacache! Geocaching Rocks On!” Kevin gave a concise overview of GPS devices and and pointed out features of www.geocaching.com. Then we went on a field trip to find a nearby geocache. (This was my first time out of the Sheraton since arriving on the previous damp night in Myrtle Beach.)
Thursday, Nov. 6th
Another full day!
- CayLen Whitesides’s “Encouraging Reading through Technology” CayLen Whitesides is one of two media specialists from York Comprehensive High School. Their incorporation of technology into promoting reading is inspiring. Heather Loy has already written a blog post about this presentation that is worth checking out.
- Chris Craft’s “Don’t Read to Me: A Presentation on Presentations” Chris’s enthusiasm for his topic is evident. I have been souring on PowerPoint presentations for quite some time now, so was ready to hear what Chris had to say. According to Chris, too many people use PowerPoint as their notecards and/or overload their presentation with too many cutesy graphics. Chris used his understanding of the cognitive load theory to explain why this is BAD. (An older version of his presentation can be found here.)
- Jeff McCoy’s “Googlicious – Maps, Space, Earth, and Oceans” Jeff demonstrated Google Earth and the new flight simulator (with some virtual tragic results!).
- MaryAnn Sansonetti’s “iPod-ibilities in the Classroom 2.0” MaryAnn wowed me with this presentation! I had no idea of the multitude of instructional uses of iPods in the classroom. She has created a wiki to share many of these.
Not only did I learn many new ways to enhance instruction through technology today, but I also had the pleasure of spending some “down time” with several other educators. Cathy Nelson, Heather Loy, Chris Craft, Jessica Donaldson and I went to Broadway at the Beach this evening. We walked the “boardwalk,” fed the huge fish (who got into fighting matches with the ducks over the food), and ate dinner at the Liberty Steakhouse.
This was definitely one of the highlights of the conference for me. It is such a treat to spend time with others who share the same passion for improving how our students learn.
Banner image from http://edtech.scaet.org/