Monday, June 28, 2010

ISTE 2010: The first two days

My feet are up, a little sore, I have the air conditioner cranked high and a bottle of water next to me as I sit down and finally get a chance to reflect on the past two days.  Going to try to give you the quick run down of some of the things I've picked up during my first two days in Denver.  Hang on tight kiddos.....

Lesson #1:  Drink plenty of water in Denver and carry chapstick with you at all times.  This is important for dehydration as well as medical relief for those of us that have damaged our lips and tongues on cold popsicles. :)

Lesson #2:  I figured this out quick last year, but just confirmed it this time around, Edubloggercon is an awesome event to attend on Saturday. A few things I learned and/or tidbits that stuck in my head:

  • Branding Session led by Lisa Greathouse:
    • Blogs are like mini businesses, they help us get jobs, encourage others to get involved and help people find their own space (comment by Scott McLeod)
    • It is important to consider online personal versus online professional but it is ok to pepper some personal in the professional to create a true view of yourself to others (just don't get carried away)
    • Benefits of branding:  Meeting people that have the same interests, a great way to share information, another networking option.  Downside:  Time-You get out of it what you put into it.  (comments by David Ligon)
    • What are your goals in taking your ideas online?  Consider these goals when you start.  They may change over time, but take the time to reevaluate often.
    • When setting up your brand, you can use to see if your name is available.
  • Online Learning Session by Daniel Rezac
    • There is no longer a specific place where you learn online.  We are able to pick and choose from many resources and find those that are best for the learner.  (comment by David Jakes)
    • Be platform indepedent; don't develop your lessons to fit your classroom management system, be flexible because tools are always changing.  The system "does not need to confine what you do"  (comments by Bethany Smith)
    • Creating the learning community is invaluable.  Giving a space to your learners where they can communicate is a great way to foster learning at all times.  A great way to network as well as a way for students to share their work.  
    • Although there are many great tools out there, we still need to keep in mind that there are state and federal laws that may interfere with using some tools.  Be aware of those laws and work within them to protect you and the students.  
  • My favorite links from the smackdown
  • Networking/web3.0 by Angela Meiers and Jeff Utecht
    • I had to step out midway thorugh this one but there were two things that stuck in the first few minutes:  
      • You don't have to know everything as the teacher, but be aware of the options and be willing to let the students teach you!  I tell my teachers this all the time and they are always pleasantly surprised when they try it and it WORKS!
      • Jeff is using Facebook with students.  they create groups to share information about the class.  Two students per class are selected as admins on the group and they post out the main information for the class.  This has been very successful and now the kids are begging for this in all the classes at his school!  Awesome!
Lesson #3:  Networking Rocks!  
  • I had a seat in a place with an outlet, said "Hi, I'm Julie" and met a wonderful woman, Nancy Gilloon in the Virtual Environments Playground this morning. We discussed my upcoming move into the elementary level and she gave me a few tips on things she's doing in her school:
    • Kindergarteners use the home row keys as their password for logins.  We discussed how some districts make kindergarteners use the regular logins like every other student does while others have very simplistic logins.  I love how Nancy is doing this because it teaches them a very important skill in keyboarding at the same time.  
    • She uses resources on computer lab behaviors at to prepare her students for working in the computer labs.
    • She also recommends a peek at Wells Fargo Stage Coach Island (a virtual world).  This company just happens to also have a booth here at ISTE 2010 (Booth #2445)
    • Instead of using pictures of students, Nancy takes her kids to to create avatars!  Very cute site!
  • Be sure to stop by the playgrounds (any of them)!  It's a great opportunity to meet and talk to people.  Pull up a chair and just say hi!  You never know what you might learn.  All of the playgrounds have large markers indicating their location. They also have different themes, but the idea is the same.  Start a conversation and learn something new!  They're a great place to explore and make new friends.
  • Tweetups, meetups, parties and vendor events rock!  Be sure to make some time in your schedule for these.  Great opportunity to meet new people, have some great conversations and usually share some laughs! If you need some suggestions of where to go, just ask!  Usually everyone is willing to bring a few people along with them to meals/events.  I'm always dragging someone new to the things I attend.  It's all part of the fun!

1 comment:

  1. useful and informative tips. Thanks for stopping by and sharing some great information and hopefully more people can learn from this post.