It is now just past noon and my head is already spinning. I have seen two amazing presentations and I took a short walk through the exhibit hall. I have to recharge my laptop battery - and perhaps my own as well.
This morning I started off with Konrad Glogowski and Blogging Communities in the Classroom: Creating Engaging Learning Experiences. I have followed Konrad's blog and Tweets for a while and have become a huge fan, but seeing him in person was even more than I could have expected. He is quite funny and presented blogs in an inspiring as well as informative way. I can take everything I heard today and go right to my classroom and get to work. I wanted to blog last year, but life got in the way. There just will be no stopping me this year! I just went online and pre-ordered Will Richardson's 2nd edition of Blogs, Wiki's, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. It won't be available until July 15th, but I got a nice price! (Picked up David Warlick's book while I was there, too!) I have Will's first version, but he said this one is updated with 25% new information.
I was glad to hear that it took Konrad a year to become a good teacher blog reader. I will not beat myself up if it takes me a while as well. I am not sure if I have an advantage because I have only been an English teacher for a year. I think the previous ten years as a teacher still has the teacherly voice embedded within me pretty deep. I am going home to prepare my lessons to set my kids up for forming a community and how we are going to make it a safe and comfortable environment for all. I have several thoughts as to how to get started, but I am going to have to wait until my head clears to sketch them out!
I took a brief walk through the Exhibits and was quickly overwhelmed. I really want to get in there, but think I will have to do it in short chunks. I did get to talk to the Promethean people and am signed up to take an online class. I have a board, but I know I didn't use it to its full potential last year. That is another thing I want to be better with this year. Last year I had to learn both new curriculums and between the Milken and my parents accident, I was in over my head. This year is a fresh start and I am pumped!
I then went to as session on One Hour PowerPoint: A Strategy for Better Presentations by David Jakes and Dean Shareski. This presentation was great for several reasons. I have still been using PowerPoints and feeling like they are just not as Web 2.0 as the world seems to be moving in. I was reassured that there is still a need for this. There list of ten ideas gave me loads to think about as wells as some new tools. I use Flickr, but have not used Flickr Storm or isharephotos. I will be checking these out. I have addressed color and font, but I see I still have a few more things to address. I always address too much text and bullets, but I have not added a lot of multimedia in our PowerPoints. We will have to do some of that from outside our school. Our firewall is not multimedia friendly, but there are ways around that.
As I have been in the Bloggers' Cafe, I have gotten to hear a couple of presentations, including a great one on wikis. There is rich conversation flowing around me and that is so exciting! One of the reasons I love this conference is all the face to face meetings and the ideas flowing between educators. What more could you want?