Monday, April 20, 2009

CLMS Annual Conference

Last month the California League of Middle Schools had their annual conference in San Diego, CA. The goal of this conference is generally to provide Middle School teachers, administrators, etc. with a rich opportunity for meaningful and relevant professional development. Unfortunately, leading up to the conference, there were a number of underlying challenges, as attendance was down (budget constraints), and the number of attendees signing up for the paid sessions was also severely affected. As a result many of the presenters that were due to receive a stipend were told they would not receive it (lodging would still be covered) and were given the opportunity to decline conducting their scheduled presentation. The educational troops rallied and as far as I know, not one person declined to conduct their presentation. This is yet another one of the wonderful things about educators. Even when the circumstances change the greater good and message is not lost in the minutia of the moment.

I had to privilege and pleasure of presenting two sessions at CLMS. One session was titled, "How to turn PowerPoint into an Interactive Multimedia Instructional Tool" and the other was a three hour hands-on workshop titled, "Build it Better: Project Based Learning from the Ground Up with Google Sketchup. The PowerPoint session was very well attended and I only wish I had more than an hour to really share and demonstrate how to develop, plan, design, and implement a PowerPoint in that manner. Perhaps at next year's conference I will submit for a three hour session and really get into the nuts and bolts of instructional design as well as utilizing PowerPoint in way beyond a linear presentation tool. Given the numerous requests for that PowerPoint I am posting the session here and encourage any readers of this posting to contact me for any help you may need in creating a PowerPoint like this.

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by chocxtc

In addition, the schedule and format for the sketchup session can be found here

I am very pleased with all my fellow educators that took the time to present at this conference and to borrow from my good friend Kyle we certainly, "brought water to the desert."

I also would like to thank my good friend Dr. Mark Wagner for his support and efforts to spread the ed tech word.
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

CUE Sessions/Reflections

Earlier in the month of March I had the fortunate opportunity to conduct two different hands on session at the Computer Using Educators Annual Conference. One of the sessions I co-hosted was the Google Workshop for Educators (Google Learning Institute). My co-host was another Google Certified Teacher, Lainie McGann. This session was the first to fill up and sell out and was very well attended. Lots of google apps and google tools were covered during this session. One of the things that I shared on how to make and use, which also happens to be my favorite is a custom search engine. I am of the perspective that rather than rely on school/district filters, educators can provide a more streamlined method for their students to conduct research on the internet utilizing a custom search engine. By building a custom search engine you can control which sites your students access, which sites to specifically exclude from the search results, and you can remove the ads from the search results. I build a custom search engine for images. The purpose of this search engine was for students to find images that are in the public domain and/or have a creative commons license. By searching only these sites I also ensure that all of the results are K-12 appropriate images for assignments such as digital storytelling, powerpoint presentations, etc. Feel free to link to my site or contact me if you would like the embed code to add to your site or blog. My custom image search can be found here.

The other session I had the privilege to conduct at CUE was an iPhone/iPod Touch in education supersession. I have already shared and posted a cell phone in education presentation I conducted last year, so there is no need to state my position on that subject. What I will add is that these tools and various other smartphone technologies are transforming and will continue to transform education as we know it. These tools can most certainly help classes and schools work towards increasing access to the curriculum in a much more meaningful and engaging manner. My session covered many of the applications that are available for each piece of hardware in a variety of subject areas. I would like to add that most of the applications are currently free to download onto your iPhone or iPod Touch. The session keynote presentation is below:

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by chocxtc
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