Tuesday, July 1, 2008

July 1, 2008

Since there weren't any concurrent sessions until 11am, I spent the morning taking pictures around the Alamo and such. Once inside the convention center, I mainly checked out the vendor exhibits. We talked to the folks at Microsoft and they are doing some very cool things with Share Point now. We were then invited to a special demonstration of Learning Village, a one-stop shop for districts to store lessons, align curriculum, and much more.

So, I didn't get to any concurrent sessions, but the things I learned from Microsoft were invaluable!!

Oh, I also had a digital caricature done:

Monday, June 30, 2008

Pictures from Geocaching - BLUE TEAM GO!!

Monday, June 30 - GPS 3-hour Session

I have grabbed up a seat at my 3-hour GPS workshop. I am actually sitting at a Mac, and left my EeePC in the room to charge. I'm looking forward to exploring San Antonio in the name of Geocaching (I hope we get to!).

I just won an 'extra' T-Shirt from the Cisco presentation because I yelled louder than most of the folks there.. LOL! Of course, that's nothing compared to the iPod Touch that a fellow Techie won!! Then again, if I had won it, it would have been on eBay faster than they could have given me the box! LOL!

I hope you have had a great time at NECC today, and I appreciate anyone and everyone that happened to check in during the day to see what I was up to, and what the other bloggers on this site have written!

I'll post some pictures later, of course! :-)

Update: alicechristie.org - site we will use for the Geocaching workshop.

Monday, June 30 - GPS Session

I have no idea what concurrent session number I'm in right now. Most likely this is number 3. The session is "Where in the World: Interctive GPS Lesson." I arrived 15 minutes early and still barely got a seat. I have not eaten lunch as of yet, but figure I can do that after this.

I had planned on attending a couple gaming-related sessions, but have not made it to one just yet. I also had hoped to tap into an outlet at somepoint, but that didn't happen in this session either.

After I left the 'how to search' session, I walked through the exhibit hall for a bit. I've picked up a few trinkets, but my bag is already heavy. After this session, I may head back to the hotel for a bite and a bag dump!

Later today, I am signed up for the GP hands-on 3-hour program.

The program here is about to start - I'll update as we go along.

This was developed as a project between the college and a partner middle school.

The beginning of the presentation thus far has been a video the presenters made. While, it's semi-interesting, I think it would have been much more effective to tell us about what they did 'live' instead. There is also music overlaid and it is too loud to hear the narration. The project ultiimately required students to work in teams to find clues as to the location of their teacher. The project is available online (which I assume we will receive).

Several participants here will engage in a live demonstration.

Map reading, mapquest activity, topography maps. Students built topo map with playdoh. Latitude and longitude, coordinate systems, satellite imagery, and intro to GPS. Points on gps obtained from sat. image activity.

Whole group gps activity, 4 groups, students had to create geocaching.com pages and hide their caches. fine other groups' caches. each cache had puzzle pieces, put pieces together to reveal message.

Replicate final project. students are broken into 5 teams. intro to project, rules of the mission, there are 10 way points. each team is gievn 2 waypoints. half the teams will stay at HQ. When clues are found, they will radio back to HQ so HQ can research. How fast can the group get the job done?

Two memers of each group are staying, and two are going outside. Several observers appear to be going with the GPS group as well. Many observers are staying at HQ.

If my laptop battery dies, I will share info later when battery is charged or I can find an outlet.

geography in the classroom 2008 project page. httP://education.snc.edu/gps/GPS_Project.html

We are connected live via CIV to one of the students who did the project. The HQ tables are listening to their walkie-talkies while getting instruction.

geocacheproject.spaces.live.com - site for HQ web pages. This is where the HQ folks will help the others in the field.

Content can be modified for any content area. Can be split up into different sections. Morning - find clues. Afternoon - put clues together. Can be done with single teacher and another adult to help while students go out to find clues. They also used CHANCE cards. Switches people around and offers alternate roles.

As the session continues, the HQ folks are radioing back and forth the folks in the field. The public is allowed to access the project site to replicate the program.

Some folks have come back in, and they will work with their partners to solve the clues.

Very cool program and a fun way to use and teach GPS!

Monday, June 30 - Session 2

I had originally planned to go to a session that turned out to be in a hotel across the street from the convention center. Of course, I didn't REALIZE that's where it was... So, instead, I am in Web Site Investigator - info forensics.

The session is standing-room-only, and of course I am late because I stumbled in after not going to the other session. It is full of mostly library-media folks. Teach teachers and students how to judge what they find as credible and reliable.

The session is being podcast, so you can listen to it afterward. As efore, I will continue to update during the session.

What am i looking for? what keywords should i use? Where will i find the info? will i use a search engine, subject search, etc? how good is the info? how do i use it ethically?

forgive the lack of capitalization. i am typing one-handed while supporting the eeepc with the other hand!

misconception that all information is equal. tree octopus scenario is demonstrated. i had not heard of this site before. surprising number of students that believe the article. get outside the site to prove or disprove credibility. look at url - is it a to-level domain? is it org, edu? google search authors credentials. shrine to cary grant - doesn't look credible. start with page given in order to find author. google 'jenny curtis' as author. amazon book. 3rd party verifies author. actually is qualified even thought site looks awful. dr. martin luther king hate site. who is behind the site? publisher is stormfront. whois database lets you look up owners of domain. the domain does not automaticaaly equal credibility - .org does not mean it's good/valid info. google stormfront, don black. white pride, etc.

must investigate sites. find presentation on necc web site.

it is 11:30am. I am hopping to a different session or place...

Monday, June 30 - Session 1 and other thoughts

Earlier, I blogged about which demonstrations/concurrent sessions I would like to attend. Presently, I am sitting in a concurrent session, "Quick and Easy Computer Activities for Kids."

As of right now (7:45am), it hasn't started, but it should fire up here before too long. I'm excited to see what they have to say. This is specifically geared toward elementary students, which I get a lot of questions about during the workshops I teach. There seems to be plenty of materials and resources for middle and high school, but finding things for elementary students isn't as forthright.

Plus, my wife teaches elementary students, so I can help her directly with the information I gain here!

As much as I can, I will be blogging 'live' during the concurrent sessions I attend. It will help me take notes and keep you informed, too!

The presenter is Tammy Worcester and she has a web site with her tips, etc: Tammys_Technology_Tips_for_Teachers

I did not bring my camera today, because it is really the co-op's camera and that thing is pretty bulky. But, in retrospect, I may take a jaunt back to the hotel and grab it up later. We'll just have to see!

If you have never been to NECC before, here's a tip: you can often 'hop' between concurrent sessions. Generally, you can stick your head in, or even grab a seat, get the handouts or web info, then 'hop' over to another session during that same time period and repeat the process. The exceptions to this are the sessions that wait until the END before giving out the info and the sessions you really DO want to attend. I wholeheartedly recommend staying for the whole session if it is one you really to see.

I am going to publish this (8:15am) then immediately come back and start adding. As I add new ideas, I'll publish it out again, so you can keep up 'live' as much as possible. Be back shortly!

The room is nearly packed, and people are still coming in. This room is one of those 'big' rooms that can be divided in half, but they have not divded it. It's a good thing, too! Apparently, there is a HUGE demand for elementary student computer software.

Not 3 minutes after my last comment about nearly packed,' the place is at standing-room-only as many participants are actually sitting on the floor waiting for the presentation to begin. I am in an end seat, next to a power outlet, as is the guy in the seat behind me.

8:30 - starting up. Tammy has a slew of books, evidently, so I will check those out in ISTE Central later. As with most presenations, the presenter provides a commercial for her site, her books, etc.

The Tall Tale writing activity. Teacher teaches the 'normal' way, and have the students put their tale in 3 columns then print it, cut apart into strips, tape end-to-end, so they end up with a TALL tall tale! Easy to add tech to it!

T-riffic activity - powerpoint - blank slide - turn page sideways (portrait) - add word art "I'm T-Riffic Because" (press enter after 'riffic') - leave 1/4-/13 blank above - add text box below word art. 4-5 reason why t-riffic (play piano, etc) CTRL-SHIFT > (larger text) Fold in half lengthwise then tear out half a U, then tear a '7' and when you unfold, it looks like a t-shirt! Also use science, history, etc or 'our school is t-rific' etc.

Building healthy bodies - how can we keep bodies helthy. Execise, sleep, water, sunscreen, seat belt, wash hands,sont smoke, etc. powerpoint - 2 slides - add rectangle covers half side-to-side lengthwise. type building a healthy body by tammy, make text larger, change bg color to white. add smiley face. 2nd slide, add rectangle 1/4 of bottom. ctrl-d duplicate. make another smaller on top. add ideas have students print and cut out then make a person! print as handout 2 per page, smaller characters!

Create greeting cards with powerpoint - turn to portrait. card has 4 slides, then print as 4-page handouts and fold! Use Word Art on slide 1, turn upside down. Slide 2 - keep blank. Slide 3 - clipart. insert slide 4 - add text for card. print and fold.

print on 3x3 sticky notes. powerpoint. blank slide, page set up. 7.5 and 7.5 width and height. add whatever you want to print. proofreading checklist. reminders. duplicate slide to get 4 slides. print 4 at a time. first print on regular paper 4 per page. put 4 blank sticky notes over the prints. put page back into the printer correctly. re-print and your messages will be on sticky note.

fact flipper - students write 5 questions about a topic, 5 answers. 12 slides. 1st slide with topic and instructions. 2-6 will have questions. slide 7 has name, teacher name, etc. slide 8-12 answers. print handout 6 slides per page. page 1 has title and questions. page 2 has student name and ansers. cut flaps (bottom of each slide and up sides) from page 1, put page 2 behind page 1 and there you have your flappers. Have older students make them and donate to younger students.

excel - dog, cat, fish - add results, highlight cells with data, use chart wizrd and make chart. put picture on each bar. clipart. click once in cell, pause then click again so only one bar selected. choose matching clipart (dog, etc) and change each bar! click on bar, doubleclick and choose fill effects. stack and scale 2 units per picture! creates pictograms in excel.

algebra challenge - look this one up on her site... lol, conditional formatting. cell value equal to correct answer, set parameters. can also be used with capitals, people, dates, etc. can set up to three conditions per cell. great for interactive whiteboards!

The presentation then turned to several other project ideas that can be found on her site. Thanks for tuning in, and check back later for another 'live' session!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Something for Monday you may wish to see!

While walking through the ISTE Central area, I met a young man named Sean. He told me that he was from Alabama, and invited me to see his presentation from 9a-11a on Monday.

He had the glazed-over look of a young student who has been given a script to say from memory. He was so busy concentrating on what he had to say, that he almost appeared indifferent.

Ah, but you see, I know better. I was once a young man like Sean. I had my own lines to deliver in middle school (or there abouts) and it didn't matter how many people I shook hands with, or how many people smiled when I recited my 'lines,' I was still a nervous wreck.

I recommend going and checking out the E-pal program he and fellow students from Alabama and Arizona participated in. More info is HERE...