OMG – sorry just had to borrow that from my teenage daughter!
Today I attended one of the most inspiring SLAV Professional Development conferences ever. It was titled “Make, Share, Do: Active Online Learning” and featured the amazing Dr Joyce Valenza (of ‘The Wizard of Apps’ fame) from Springfield Township High School in Philadelphia.
Joyce’s keynote addresses (there were two and I’m sure the room could have listened to her for a lot more too) were fascinating. I don’t think I lifted my pen from the page (and yes I must confess here to liking to take notes the ‘old fashioned way’) and will have to spend the next few evenings deciphering my scribbles before I can share the many (and I probably mean hundreds if not thousands here) of websites/apps that she mentioned or showed. If not wait for Judith’s ‘Bright Ideas’ post next week on the conference and links to the many sites, not just from Joyce but also the other presenters. Joyces’ work was just awe-inspiring (from wiki after wiki after wiki) and imagine my surprise when in the middle of her presentation up pops my own wiki and I’m hearing my name as she talks about ‘Sharing eLearning at MESC’ – only a small mention but wow!
Adrian Camm (McGuire College) showed some of the wonderful work he is doing in the classroom using apps (I seem to have picked up the word ‘apps’ from Joyce here instead of ‘Web2.0 tools ‘ description I used to use) such as Wolfram Alpha and MIT OpenCourseware. He spoke of the “unclassroom and beyond” and the fact that we (you) could “no longer opt out of this new media”. You learn by doing and extend students by getting them involved seemed to be Adrian’s motto and I would love to be a student in one of his classes – even if for me it meant learning maths!
Cecilie Murray (Delphian eLearning) spoke to us about “Imagination in your pocket: educational apps” and the endless possibilities it seems for iPhone/iPad users with their portability for learning. I didn’t take many notes on this – concerned about RSI at this stage!!! – seriously Delphian eLearning links will also be added to the Bright Ideas post.
Tony Richards (IT made simple) and of Kahootz fame, but known to me as a member of ‘EdTechCrew‘ creating podcasts of ICT in education that are well worth subscribing to and downloading. Tony provided some personal reflections on various online technologies. Without duplicating any of Joyce’s presentation Tony showed us a whole other side to Google (look for “more” and “even more” in the drop-down box), the power of Twitter and following/connecting with ‘like-minded’ learners. Teaching with TEDTalks, Screencasting for creating videos to demonstrate concepts, calibre for ebook management, Popplet for brainstorming, diigo for managing, saving and sharing websites, and my favourite from Tony’s session Jing for grabbing screen images to create easy screencasts and activities.
Paul Callaghan (Games consultant) then gave us an overview of the game creators world and experiences we as learners can get from the ‘critical thinking’ involved in these. I’m still a bit overwhelmed by games (as you would have gathered from an earlier post from the PLN when I confessed to still playing with a ‘Galaxy Invader 1000’ and hadn’t progressed much futher – actually does Bejewelled Blitz count here??
We then experienced a ‘Smackdown’ Plenary Session – something quite new to alot of the audience and probably not done to it’s full justice in such a short time. It involved a variety of speakers (well known to many of us including Tania Sheko, Rhondda Powling, Camilla Elliott, and Judith Way) showing us, and telling us, about various tabs on the wiki created by Joyce and themselves covering a variety of topics from today’s conference – SLAV wiki – everyone was encouraged to join this wiki and add their own suggestions.
So in getting all of this out – I just had to share, plus I have late-night pickup for said daughter mentioned earlier so need to stay awake and am on such buzz from today that I don’t think I’d sleep anyway!!!!
Thanks to SLAV, the many friends and colleagues I met/reconnected with today and RAECO for the bottle of bubbles I won from the trade displays.