Saturday, October 23, 2010

DEN Tech or Treat Virtual Conference-October 23, 2010

Last Saturday, I attended the face-to-face CECA pre-conference sponsored by Discovery Education at Smith Middle School in Glastonbury, CT. This Saturday morning, while sitting in my nightgown at my laptop, I tuned into a virtual conference. There were a number of sites (not in CT) where educators were gathered together ( some in Halloween costumes) to watch the live steam projected onto a wall, but there were also hundreds of other educators tuning in from their homes all across the world. I did not plan to stay but a few minutes, but I ended up absolutely glued to my laptop as one presenter finished, and another began. I participated in the conference from 8:30 until 11:45 a.m. Then I had to force myself to shut down the computer and go for a lovely ride with my husband  through the beautiful fall scenery . We went to Lyman Orchards; my husband had a craving for apple cider donuts. Luckily, I care nothing about donuts, so I wasn't tempted to have more than a donut hole. The place was mobbed, and I was glad to see folks outside enjoying the lovely fall afternoon instead of sitting home glued to their computer or the t.v.
Anyway, getting back to the virtual conference, Steve Dembo moderated it. He is a man of amazing energy, but, as I said in an earlier post, he does not let his ego get in the way. He is a wonderful, enthusiastic educator.
The first session by Gail Lovely offered hints on "It's not the Technology, it's the Education. She went through a slew of wonderful resources. All of the sessions were recorded and will be available on the DEN site soon. That is great because I'll have to go back and watch the session again in order to digest all the great information. Of course, that is no substitute for being able to participate live in the chat, sharing your ideas and getting feedback from others in the room. Here is the address she provided with the links to her presentation uploaded to slideshare:
Next, Porter Palmer gave us "Out of the World Ideas for Showcasing Student Work."
This should be a very helpful resource to meet our goal at Amity to share more of the wonderful projects our students produce.
Finally, I was about to close the cover down when my hero, Whitney Mihoulides, our Northeast representative who encouraged me to become a DEN STAR, presented her session entitled "Digital Storytelling in a Web 2.0 World." Needless to say, she did a terrific job, and it will take me a lot of time to investigate all the wonderful resources she introduced us to. She introduced us to a brand new resource from Discovery Education on tools to help students tell their stories digitally. While it is aimed at K-5, there are many resources there which can be adapted for older students:
She also told us about Photo Peach, an online site where one can upload photos and tell a story through a web-generated slide show.
Well, it's nearly Sunday, and I'd best get to bed.
I hope someone reading this blog will find something useful. Please leave me a comment.
Thanks! and Good-Night!


Whitney Mihoulides said...

Carolyn - Thanks for sharing about your Virt Con experience and for the kind words about all of our sessions! Get excited - SciCon is around the corner in January! Best, Whitney

Mrs. Stanley said...

Thanks, Whitney, for your comment. I will be looking forward to SciCon in January. Will it be all virtual, or will we have a CT meeting place as we did last year? I so appreciated being able to tour the CT Science Museum. In fact, I'm going there this coming Tuesday with our 7th graders for a field trip.

Teach42 said...

Doing some Google searches about previous VirtCons and came across this post. Thanks so much for the kind words! Glad you had a good experience. We're busy prepping for our next one and trying to figure out how we can ramp it up to make it even better! If you have any ideas, let me know, and hope to see you online :)

And thanks so much for writing it up!!