CapEd Crusader Blog

A blog about blogs. Very M.C. Escher-esque in its circularity. This is a blog for educators interested in resources on blog use in education. The ideas expressed in this blog represent those of the authors and not necessarily those of Capital University.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Philadelphia The City of . . . NECC

Today marked our last day attending the conference. The morning began with a quick jaunt through the exhibit hall to check out the middle section that we had not yet journeyed through. Then it was off to grab lunch before meeting with Dr.'s B and K for a pre-presentation pow-wow[ :) ] We carried an AMC tradition and had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe [HRC] followed by the purchase of a Philadelphia marked HRC item. Following our enjoyable sit down lunch of which we had not managed to allow for the yesterday, we went over to the Lord and Taylor store on 13th street formerly known as the Wanamaker store where we listened to the largest pipe organ in North America. The consul is on the 2nd floor and the pipes range from the 2nd to 4th floors. It was truly a magnificent site. I was quite happy to be able to take this in since it was a highly suggested opportunity from those I know.

With the organ ringing in our ears we left to complete our final as well as first group organization of our presentation. I must admit that we were unsure how the presentation would go or how many people would be attending our afternoon talk. The results of both were pleasantly surprising. Even with a relatively small amount of group discussion the presentation flowed well together and I never felt as if we were speaking on top of one another or maximizing the speaking time. The audience was the largest surprise of all. The number was somewhere a little over 200 hundred people! People were everywhere on chairs, the floor, and standing in the doorway. The audience members covered from novices to a few expert bloggers. Many if not all members had heard of blogs. I believe the most beneficial part of the presentation for the novices, at least, was showing how simple it was to create a blog in a matter of minutes.

Personally, I love speaking and engaging in discussion with a room full of people. I find it a thrill to be able to present information to people and then to be able to react to their questions or comments. Next time I want to be able to contribute more to the discussion by having my own experience with working with blogs. I think I am going to start one myself and we will be more than likely starting one for undergraduate education students at Capital. There were a number of questions asked by the audience which helped to further define the use of blogs and what precautions schools may have to look into before beginning blogs in the classroom.

Afterwards you would not believe the rush of people to get copies of our presentation or CD copies as well. Many people we had to turn away and suggest looking for the posting of the presentation on the NECC website. I am hoping the post is on the site since so many people wanted to have access to the presentation.

I felt quite well after the presentation and knowing that our information in some way had impacted the audience if not to begin blogging but at least to give it some thought. Our debriefing session famous to Dr.B [so I hear] included some follow up we needed to do. I went out after that to the exhibit hall for a bit and then joined AMC and MSS for the bus ride back to the hotel.

With Dr.K out for the evening we made plans for searching out dinner and catching some sites of the city. We settled on a small restaurant before making our way all around the city. It was awesome to take in so many great sites in a short spance of time. We saw the Washington Square with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the location of the First Continental Congress, the first Bank of the US, Ben Franklin's grave, the US Mint, Independence Hall, and of course the Franklin Fountain for a little one on one with our favorite dessert, ice cream!!

The night was tons of fun and provided the chance to get some memorable pictures. Overall, my experience at NECC was inspiring and exciting. I cannot wait to do it again and know even better how I want to schedule my time. The sessions in general were informative and gave me some token things to take back to school. I definitely would like to present again if not at NECC at least somewhere else. I cannot think of a better way to get your feet wet in technology and gain the professional experience of conferencing. Here is to NECC 2005 and hopefully NECC 2007!!


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

And so the Journey Continues

At the end of the day I must say that I believe I saw and listened to as much as I could on my first official day of conferencing. The morning began with parading through the first couple isles of the exhibit area. It is an unbelievable space filled with salespeople upon salespeople. It is a thrill though to go through seeing programs you have never heard of and well, of course, getting the free stuff. There are so many pieces of paper and pamphlets thrown into your hands that it is difficult to process all the information that you are receiving. I don't want you to get the impression that I dislike the exhibits; actually it is one of the more interesting things of the conference. It is a place where you meet people from all over the country looking to know who you are and demonstrating how their products are the best for you.

After prematurely filling my conference bag, I went to my first session which was about the use of integrating technology into elementary classroom where the number of computers may or may not be limited. I found the session to be quite informative. It began with differentiating what true technology integration is within a classroom and with the students. Then, it delved into the types of possible integration such as groups, pairs, or individuals and what type of activities for varying subject areas could go with each group. With the activities suggested for the core areas the presenter had created templates to have audience members participate in the short activity. I am looking forward to the CD-ROM that we could receive through the mail with the activities used in the presentation along with other helpful technology templates. The activity I valued the most was a template for a reporter at the beginning of the class day held possibly at the morning class meeting. There were sections for the weather, news, word of the day, and jokes that a student could find and then read to the class.

The remainder of my day was spent at two other sessions and the exhibit hall again. Although I enjoyed the first session the most the next session opened my eyes to the implementation of handhelds in the classroom specifically with literacy [a little bit of classroom management was also included]. The session spent most of the time talking about software and how students as well as teachers benefit from a class set of handhelds. My last session for the day discussed using video technologies in the classroom and the available resources online for student video making including KitZu and Adobe Premier Elements. The process would require devotion and patience by both the teacher and students. I think it would possibly be a neat thing to try as long as you were incorporating the project across multiple subject areas.

The day ended with a wonderful night in Philly filled with the ultimate cheese steak from Jim's, a walk on the pier, ice cream at Franklin's Fountain, and well a new experience at Warmdaddy's. Tomorrow should be busy as well since there is more to see and our presentation to perform!


June 28, 2005 AM A Student's Perspective on NECC

Today is the first day we will be attending sessions at the conference. Yesterday we took the opportunity to register and listen to the opening keynote speaker though we were not in the same room he was delivering his speech. I also began looking over all the different sessions one could attend while here. Wow, there are so many that sound interesting and somehow beneficial to my career as an educator. I have narrowed my list by this morning with only one time slot where I have several I want to peek into. I want to use this conference to learn some new things about technology which I may not get exposed to at Capital. I think this goal will be accomplished since technology was not something that was routinely implemented in my early educational experiences. I feel as if I have only touched upon the many resources that are available to me through technology and the Internet. I am really looking forward to this one session about using your palm in the classroom. The palm, as I have discovered, is an amazing thing with a multitude of possibilities. I think this session will help me learn about this new toy I have and how students or myself could use them in the classroom. I hope I can gain much knowledge today and cannot wait to get excited about technology!!


Enter to win a free........(fill in blank)

Being a "newcomer" to NECC/ISTE I really had NO idea what to expect of the conference. Yes I knew that there would be venders and sessions, but even explanations did not help me comprehend the fact that there would be vendors and vendors and sessions and more sessions. My brain is currently trying to process all my new knowledge and is on overload. The exhibit hall was more than I could have ever imagined. I had attended Ohio schoolnet so I had an idea of the type of information I would receive but I was not prepared for the volume. Every booth had a drawing for some sort of prize. I believe that I entered to win an ipod, a projector, a trip, exc., but considering the fact that 16,000 other people did as well I don't think that my chances are to high. What I did enjoy about the exhibit hall is learning about what is out there. I love seeing what I am hoping to implement someday in my classroom. Often being called a "techie" myself I really enjoy getting into conversations with the representatives at the booths and being able to communicate with them in a common understood language. I attended a few very informative sessions, but the one that I enjoyed most was my session on grant writing that was sponsored by TI (Texas Instruments). I have heard from several of my professors that you can always write grants for money, but they never say how or when. It was very useful to walk away with an entire packet of information that outlined all the major do's and don'ts of grant writing. Plus I am the president of the Education Society on campus and will use the information from the workshop to create a program for my peers back at Cap. I am very excited to dive back into everything tomorrow and see what other information and giveaways :) I can get!


Day one in Philly

So today was the first full day of the confrence. For some reason, I thought that by coming for the second year, things would be less exciting and less surprising, but that was definatly not the case. I came to the NECC/ISTE confrence with the intention of being more focused in the sessions that i was choosing, and I was not going to try to "do it all". The sessions I chose today were ones that I could directly use in my classroom. The first session i attended was focused on the storm tracking capabilites of Weather Bug. the only problem use the software, the school must purchase a weather station and subscription. It still gave me some ideas on teaching weather in my classroom, especially after focusing on weather during my jr. field experience. The next session that I attended was with a very dynamic man named Hall Davidson. He works for PBS and the Discovery Channel. With these 2 jobs he has come up with a free way to make videos on line even if a classroom that does not have video cameras. It is amazing to see what students can do, and even cooler to find out that the materials on his site are free!!! After the video session and a wild goose chase around the convention center I finally found the Texas Instruments room. Here, I learned about grant writting. This was very important to me. In my classes I hear often, "oh you can get a grant for that", or "oh when you write that grant...." The speaker gave us ideas for places and even the hints about what not to do. It turns out that Texas Instruments actually has grant writters who will read grants that outside people submit. Very Very good fact to know. The only problem with confrences like this is that by about 3 o'clock, my brain is swimming with ideas and has a very hard time soaking new ideas in. Its alot of information, but a good nights sleep and some good "philly" food will help me be ready for the big day tomorrow!


Saturday, June 18, 2005

Primary Science education

The Early Years is a blog sponsored by Science and Children. They have postings, and then teachers give comments. One of my favorite had a question from a new teacher about how to grab students' enthusiasm for sciemce. The teachers that commented had ideas from a unit on birds to classification. A site not to miss! - emb

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Legal guidelines for bloggers

This is a great site for help on the legal guidelines for bloggers. - Legal Guidelines emb

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Prototype: Learning to use blogs in education

Prototype has great information about using blogs in education. Crawford Kilian, a high school English teacher, reflects on the blogs he uses for his courses, how students are using them, and just general good ideas! (emb)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Blog for Early Childhood science

The Early Years is a blog that focuses on Early Childhood. It has a science flavor, but addresses all issues in teaching (management, learning, integration, high level thinking, etc). The questions are posted by NSTA's Science and Children editors and practicing teachers comment with helpful ideas. (emb)

Blogging pays

Blogging is a skill that pays money, according to the Wall Street Journal. Blogging in the classroom as workforce education??