Several things stand out for me as highlights of NECC 2008, the first was being able to attend EduBloggerCon, I missed the one last year in Atlanta. I had the opportunity to participate in a conversation with some highly regarded educational leaders, centering on professional development and the different opportunities that exist today for people to learn anytime, anywhere.

ebc08SNPD


One of the sessions I enjoyed most at the conference was Konrad Glogowski and his presentation on Blogging Communities in the Classroom. He speaks of his transformation as a teacher, through the blogging communities created with his students. If you ever have the chance to hear him, do yourself a favor and listen to how to grow a blog.

Another was Chris Lehmann’s presentation on School 2.0, Progressive Pedagogy and 21st Century Learning. Visit his blog to read his thoughts and view the presentation.

One of the best moments on this first day was finally meeting Darren Draper. We have taught OpenPD three times in the past year, presented together at conferences in PA and Utah, and met face to face for the first time at NECC. Because of our online interactions I felt as though I was meeting an old friend, for the first time, definitely a highlight for me. Being able to say hello, in person, will help to enhance my online connections, adding the human element made the conference extremely enjoyable for me.

Image Sources Flickr users derrallg, teachandlearn, rellis

As I sit in the airport to return home I finally have a chance to think about the past few days. I was very excited to attend NECC08 this year, to meet many face to face, and also to attend EduBloggerCon which I have been hearing so much about, especially after last year in Atlanta.

I would like to thank Steve Hargadon for working with ISTE to arrange both the space for EduBloggerCon on Saturday and the Bloggers Cafe during the conference. If not for your efforts neither would have been possible or available to all of us.

I thought the conversations on Saturday offered a variety of topics for many to participate in. Not having attended the Saturday event last year I had no prior knowledge or frame of reference in terms of what to expect, I still felt an excitement to be part of conversations with people whose thoughts and opinions I respect, being together to speak with one another and share ideas. Even though I didn’t know what I was missing this year, I felt an underlying current of unspoken dissatisfaction and I believe it was a deterrent to the day. I wish the day had played out differently, and that we had felt comfortable enough to discuss the underlying discontent. We talk of being a community, are we really? Wikipedia defines community here.

If we cannot discuss issues we feel are truly important, at the one time of year when we have the largest cross section of our community together, face to face, from different areas of the world, then when can we? I am the first to admit I do not like uncomfortable situations or confrontation, but if we truly believe we are a community, and want to be a functioning viable one, we have to discuss openly our growing pains face to face, to come some understanding of what we are looking for from each other.

I agree with Kelly Dumont’s and Vicki Davis’s posts, we are all trying make a difference for children, education, and those we work with day in and day out. There is another conversation going on at Scott McLeod’s blog about FB, NYFB and LR’s, we do have to figure this is all out, hopefully before NECC 2009 and EduBloggerCon09 we will be able to drop the the titles discussed in this post in particular, for the good of the community. Each of us, in our own way are trying to use our voices to the best of our ability. It was wonderful for me to meet so many people this year at NECC who have been part of my personal learning network and as a result, now having had this personal time, I know our online conversations will be richer indeed. Thank you all for a memorable few days, I look forward to next year and hope as we move through the year ahead we will be able to work together in a more participatory way to make EduBloggerCon 09 something we will all be proud of.

Image Source Flickr user oshuchi

Viral Professional Development is emerging in education as a viable method of increasing teacher engagement and learning. Using tools such as Twitter, rss readers, blogs, educational networks, and wikis, educators are collaborating on a grassroots level. This year at NECC, a panel discussion of educators on July 2nd at 1:30 pm CDT will be discussing and live Ustreaming a session to discuss viral professional development.

How did this panel discussion originate?

On Monday, September 17, 2007, Google launched the Google Presentation web application to their suite of services. News of this new service spread quickly through the blogosphere and Twitter and soon more than fifty different people made over 500 edits in a twenty-four hour period to one Google presentation. Since introduced, this presentation has been used by hundreds of people to begin conversations centered on free online tools used to weave a web of connections between people around the world.

As a result of this transformational experience, educators begin discussing the importance of sharing the changing nature of professional development and documentation of best practices in VIRAL professional development. The proposal was written in Google docs and since acceptance, an expanded group of educators around the world has used a wiki, elluminate, and a variety of tools to bring a collaborative, immersive viral PD experience to NECC and to people around the world.

Presenters
Vicki Davis, moderator
Darren Draper
Kelly Dumont
Kristen Hokanson
Robin Ellis
Ryan Bretag
Beth Ritter-Guth
Carolyn Foote

Backchannel Presenters/ Moderators
John Maklary
Stephanie Sandifer

How can you participate?

At 1:30pm CDT on July 2, we will be participating in a NECC panel discussion that centers on the power of the network. During our presentation we hope to demonstrate to all those attending our session in person (and virtually), just how powerful global collaboration can be. Hence, we are asking for your participation in our presentation as well.

1) Join our Ustream

We will be streaming the presentation live on the Open PD Ustream channel at 1:30 pm CDT on July 2nd. You may watch here and participate in the conversation (and even ask the panelists questions).

2) Leave a comment on our voicethread

One way that you can participate now is by adding your voice to the VoiceThread below. Please take a few minutes and add your thoughts about the different tools depicted through images in the thread. We would truly like as many voices possible, offering a wide range of thought on the usefulness of the common tools we all use in our collaborations.

How do you use these tools? How are they important to your professional development? Please add your voice.

3) Join the conversation on the NECC Educational networking site

We’ve created a discussion thread to converse on this panel discussion at the NECC educational networking site.

Follow our most recent announcements.

All announcements and events pertaining to this session will be announced at the Walls Came Down wiki.

Viral Professional Development is emerging in education as a viable method of increasing teacher engagement and learning. Using tools such as Twitter, rss readers, blogs, educational networks, and wikis, educators are collaborating on a grassroots level. This year at NECC, a panel discussion of educators on July 2nd at 1:30 pm CDT will be discussing and live Ustreaming a session to discuss viral professional development.

How did this panel discussion originate?

On Monday, September 17, 2007, Google launched the Google Presentation web application to their suite of services. News of this new service spread quickly through the blogosphere and Twitter and soon more than fifty different people made over 500 edits in a twenty-four hour period to one Google presentation. Since introduced, this presentation has been used by hundreds of people to begin conversations centered on free online tools used to weave a web of connections between people around the world.

As a result of this transformational experience, educators begin discussing the importance of sharing the changing nature of professional development and documentation of best practices in VIRAL professional development. The proposal was written in Google docs and since acceptance, an expanded group of educators around the world has used a wiki, elluminate, and a variety of tools to bring a collaborative, immersive viral PD experience to NECC and to people around the world.

Presenters
Vicki Davis, moderator
Darren Draper
Kelly Dumont
Kristen Hokanson
Robin Ellis
Ryan Bretag
Beth Ritter-Guth
Carolyn Foote

Backchannel Presenters/ Moderators
John Maklary
Stephanie Sandifer

How can you participate?

At 1:30pm CDT on July 2, we will be participating in a NECC panel discussion that centers on the power of the network. During our presentation we hope to demonstrate to all those attending our session in person (and virtually), just how powerful global collaboration can be. Hence, we are asking for your participation in our presentation as well.

1) Join our Ustream

We will be streaming the presentation live on the Open PD Ustream channel at 1:30 pm CDT on July 2nd. You may watch here and participate in the conversation (and even ask the panelists questions).

2) Leave a comment on our voicethread

One way that you can participate now is by adding your voice to the VoiceThread below. Please take a few minutes and add your thoughts about the different tools depicted through images in the thread. We would truly like as many voices possible, offering a wide range of thought on the usefulness of the common tools we all use in our collaborations.

How do you use these tools? How are they important to your professional development? Please add your voice.

3) Join the conversation on the NECC Educational networking site

We’ve created a discussion thread to converse on this panel discussion at the NECC educational networking site.

Follow our most recent announcements.

All announcements and events pertaining to this session will be announced at the Walls Came Down wiki.

HOPE

May 20, 2008

cure.JPGThroughout the year I have worked with Ms. Stubits, and her third grade class. We have done a variety of projects throughout the year, but I must say I believe the one we are working on now will probably be the one the children remember most. Ms. Stubits has been sharing a story with her students, a friend of hers has a daughter who had been diagnosed with cancer in 2006, her name is Lily Oetjen and the students have been writing letters to Lily and following her treatment through a blog her mother keeps on CaringBridge. CaringBridge provides free, personalized websites that support and connect loved ones during critical illness, treatment and recovery.

As part of their social studies curriculum the children study government, citizenship, economics, manufacturing, products, and advertising. As a culminating activity they have to make and sell a product, identify their market, estimate quantities they may be able to sell advertise and determine a goal.

This year the children as a class decided they would make bracelets, HOPE bracelets to be exact, and the money they make will be donated to CaringBridge in Lily’s name. For the past several weeks they have been making bracelets, writing persuasive advertisements to post around school for their sale to classmates and the school community. Ms. Stubits has been able to create an environment in her classroom for students to truly tie the unit of study into something tangible in their lives. The conversations surrounding citizenship, being a good citizen in their community as well as their classroom and school helped lead them to doing something for someone else. They have worked hard, are very excited about the sale, feel good about helping someone else their own age that has had some difficult issues to deal with in her young life. I commend Ms. Stubits for involving her students in an effort to make a difference and think outside the box in terms of connecting government and economics for 8 year olds into an experience I believe they will remember for a long time to come.

We hope to be able to have Lily meet this group of third graders through a Skype video chat, Lily lives in Nebraska too far for a field trip from Pennsylvania, but through the use of so many collaborative technologies available today we believe we can make it happen. Visit the links above leave a message for Lily.