Thursday, June 30, 2005

Leaving Philly

Yesterday was a relaxing day. I actually slept in and it felt great. I timed it just right to get a Philly Cheese Steak at Rick’s in the Reading Terminal. This was my third attempt. The first day I tried there was nearly and hour wait in line. The second time I went later in the day, like about 2:30 and they were sold out and closing. It was really good. 3 friends from Utah were like 4 people behind me so we were able to talk during lunch. I went and spent the next 45 minutes with a vendor that we buy software from looking at their new and updated products.
This brings me to the issue of the exhibition floor. I spent less than 1 hour total in the exhibit hall. The reason is that it has looked basically the same for the last 3 years. There are slight updates to software, there are all kinds of solutions to help you mine your data for NCLB, there are 8,000 different kinds of students response systems. There is just nothing new or exciting. I felt it much more worth my time to spend my time in sessions. I did not gather one pin, one t-shirt, one demo disk, or catalog. Nada, nothing, Zip. My kids are going to be really disappointed.
I was able to attend David Warlick’s spotlight session on Redefining Literacy for the 21st Century. I have read over this material several times, but David does a great job of presenting it with passion, so it was great to see him present it. I blogged the session, but when I posted it through the Dash Blog widget it got lost. So I will point you instead to the SEGA Tech blog for their blog of the session.
I then went to a presentation call Professional Development in your Pajamas. This is where my policy for this conference really bit me in the butt. I made a pledge I would not walk out of a session I had chosen unless it was so awful. Well this one wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t what I thought it would be either. It was basically a team from a district in San Antonio describing a grant project they had developed and worked on. They spent the hour going over the project and not really talking much about the PD piece of the project. I really should have broken my pledge for this one. I have already blogged about the Action in the Classroom session so you can view that on it’s own. It really was pretty good. I went to the beginning of the Podcasting Birds-of-a-Feather session. This was facilitated by Mike Lawrence, the Executive Director of CUE. He basically turned it into a conversational forum. Unfortunately I had to leave after about 15 minutes to go to dinner with our district group. One of the first things I heard though bothered me a little. A representative from a publisher got up and asked and talked about interest in them producing their materials in audio format. I wanted to scream. Although I can see some educational benefit in them doing so, the whole idea of these companies charging huge amounts of money for this ticks me off.
Our district group had our yearly NECC dinner together at the City Tavern. This is one of the most famous restaurants in Philadelphia. It is actually a reconstruction of the Old City Tavern. The tavern was a gathering place for many of the founding fathers after long days of try to create a democracy. The original tavern actually burned and was rebuilt several times. The last time it burned the property sat for some time. Finally the park service decided to rebuild it and make an eating establishment out of it. The meal was a 3 course affair beginning with a selection of appetizers ranging from crabcakes to ham wrapped asparagus. I then selected the Cream of Mushroom soup for my next course and it was wonderful. I selected the Turkey Pot Pie for my main course and was surprised at the size of it. It was delicious. Finally for dessert I chose the Chocolate Mousse Cake with a raspberry drizzle. Again it was fantastic. I absolutely rolled out of the place afterwards. It was a good thing we walked there and back from our hotel about 15 blocks each way.
To cap the evening I attended the Podcast mixer that Steve Dembo at Teach42 organized. All four of us had a good time conversing together. I thought we would gather a few more, but it was great spending more time with Steve.
This morning I got up and took the 90 min. open bus tour. I hadn’t done anything really touristy, so I felt like I should probably see a little more of the city. I am kind of wishing that I had went to a couple of session instead, but oh well. I did get to see the stage for the Live 8 concert this weekend. If i though Philly was a little wild this week, it is going to be absolutely nuts this weekend, I am glad we were able to get out of town.
Although getting out of town was a little more difficult than anticipated. We made sure we got to the airport in plenty of time for our flight. Then came about two hours of standing in line to get our boarding passes gathered and bags checked. In the middle of this we noticed that our flight was delayed. First 30 minutes and then an hour. This actually worked to our benefit as it took us so long to get through United’s ticket line.The adventure was not quite over yet though. We had a connecting flight in Chicago and with the original flight time we only had about 40 minutes to switch flights and at different terminals to boot. Well we found out that our connecting fligh was slightly delayed as well, so we felt better. We loaded on the jet and backed from the gate, started to taxi and then stopped. We sat on the tarmac for a little over an hour. The pilot finally explained that there were several weather related delays particularly related to flights in and out of Chicago. About 3 1/2 hours after our original departure time, we left Philly. We were imagining that we would not be getting out of Chicago until late tonight. However, we were informed that our connecting flight had been substantially delayed as well and we would make it. We made not quite a mad dash from Terminal B to Terminal F in Chicago, but made the flight in plenty of time. So I will get this posted tonight.
For me this conference was about the workshops and sessions attended and most especially about the people I was able to meed after reading and listening to their online work. I will remember it for friendships made and ideas shared. I am looking forward to San Diego next year already.
See You in a Few!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Action in the Classroom-Dan Greenwood

This is a session on Digital Video Productions in the classroom. Dan is a curriculum director for a private school in Virginia. He begins by talking about how he got invovled in DV. He is an Adobe Master Teacher, he uses both Adobe Premiere Elements and iMovie. Well he is half right anyway. Actually I have been hearing a lot of good things about Premiere Elements.
Video's Positive Attributes- 1)Communication vehicle-visual(aesthetic element), auditory 2)Part of the Students Culture
Educational Benefits 1)Cooperative learning 2)Touches every learning style 3)Honors all multiple intelligences 4)Cross curricular 5)Requires content mastery
Bloom's Taxonomy creating film encompases Knowledge, comprehension, application/analysis, and synthesis/evaluation
Video Projects in Context 1)Culmination/significant activity 2)Cross curricular activity 3)Option for project 4)Extra curricular activity
How to conduct a video project in a classroom 1)Develop a Project idea 2)Structure activity as appropriate 3)Determine project parameters with rubric 4)Establish schedule-preproduction, production, postproduction
Assign students to video crews Use lexicon and established procedures of trade
Production Process Preproduction-Plan Script/Storyboard Production-Shoot Raw footage Postproduction-Edit Final Production
Video Genres Reality TV-Use for a cheap quick film-examples (Duck, teapot song, gossip) Educational Video-To introduce or explain concepts Documentary-Students as recorders of history News Report-Students as reporters Drama Foreign Film Commercial or PSA Music Video Video Montage Had to leave at this point, but knows what he is doing and is explaining it very well.

Podcasting Mixer

Those at NECC and you know who you are! The podcasting mixer Steve Dembo has been trying to organize will be at Tir Na Nog at 1600 Arch street. For a google map go to Teach42. On another note, my post on David Warlick's session today has apparently gone to the great void. It was a great session, I hope those notes show up eventually.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Educational Mac Podcast #19-June 28, 2005

Apple hits at least a triple with iTunes 4.9, they may even be able to leg it into an inside the park HR.
I meet Steve Dembo and it ends up being even cooler than I thought it would be. It seems Apple Education loves Teach42. Great blogging workshop this morning.
See You in a Few!

Adding to the Chorus of Boos

Let me add my 2 cents worth (With apologies to David). It really is not good that the preeminant educational technology conference does not supply wireless access in the session rooms of the conference. In the past 2 yrs. (New Orleans and Seattle) coverage has been a little spotty in the rooms, but you could usually get out. Not here. I am really disappointed.

Visual Literacy with Lynell Burmark

This is a another of those things I have been waiting for a long time. I have wanted to hear Lynell Burmark speak for 3 years. Finally I get my chance. When she presents is not what is on her handout, but it is the information provided in the handout. She uses black screens to indicate transitions in her PowerPoint. She begins by saying that we live in a visual world. She talks about the progression from verbal to visual to written and now back to visual communication. We process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. When we process text it has to be done sequentially. An image is processed almost instantenously. "I didn't think...until I saw."-Eugene. What you get is what you see. She suggests using images to start classwork at the beginning of the day, a unit, etc. Also use the image as part of an assessment at the end. Also need to counterbalance what kids are seeing on TV such as murders. Talking now about the healing power of appropriate images. Now color power, we recall or retain information 80% better if image is in color. Different colors give different effects. PowerPoint (presentation tips) 30 million PP presentations given every day. Use images on slides, put information on handouts. Retention and transfer both go down when the presenter reads bullet points from the slide. Graphics on left so your eye is not jumping back and forth. Use for flash cards, things with minimal information. Use to put an image up on the screen as students com into the room. Use Georgia and Verdana as they are not as squished. You can read lower case about 30,000 times faster than all caps.Gave a great Photoshop tip on straightening images. Enjoyable Session.

Effective Weblogs in Education Workshop

Tim Laurer, Tom Hoffman, Steve Burt, & Anne Davis (via Skype) Starting with Steve Burt introducing everyone and having us login to a blog they set up for this session. There seems to be a problem with the blog they have setup amd we can't get into. Tim is carrying on while they work on it. Tim is talking about his experiences and introduction to rss and blogging. He went pretty extensively through the Lewis Elementary site and how he uses it.
Steve has the site back up and working and is explaining how to use the Moveable Type engine, mostly for novices.
A question is asked about the difference between listservs and blogs. Tom talks about the ability to subscribe to what you want and not having to put up with Trolls and the like.
Anne is now presenting her part of the session. This is the page she set up for the session.
Tom is now talking about teachers weblogs. He asked for hands of those who have read teachers weblogs and what they think. He is talking about those blogging anonymously and those who are more "out" with theirs. He is urging educators to be professional and discrete in what they blog. He is encouraging teachers to blog under their own name so that they may feel a little inhibited so things don't come back and bite them in a few months or years.
There are a few questions about implementing.
Ben Harris is now talking about Wordpress. I enjoyed the information presented in this session.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Educational Mac Podcast #18-June 27, 2005

NECC Podcast #1 ISTE Affiliate Meeting Hands-on Digital Storytelling: Movie Making Made Simple ... and Fun! David Weinberger Keynote Possible Apple Announcement Tomorrow Maybe at the Podcasting Event? See You in a Few!

More Digital Storytelling

This afternoon we divided into teams of three and made movies. I had the privilege of working with Tom Horn from Rexford, New York and Annette Chamberlain from Fairview Heights, Illinois. With the theme of Voices and Revolution, we made a film call Simple Acts about the revolution in how people with disabilities are treated. It was a little light hearted and a whole lot of fun working with these two great educators.

Digital Storytelling from ADE's

Class taught by several ADE's including Marco Torres and Don Henderson. Talking about visual grammar. POV, Different Shots
10 commandments- Light-White Balance, No light, no picture, Light influences mood, emotion, light metering-use your hand, shadows-soft vs. hard Composition-Rule of thirds, pay attention to the intersections not the squares Get a tripod, keep camera movement to a minimum, pant, tilt, or zoom only for a purpose, walk like Groucho if you have to. Hold your breath for the close up shot. Keep the lens clean. Sound-Makes or breaks your movie, Mics-Handheld, lavaliere, boom, Camera mic & your closet-Buy one(any or all three), record ambient noise, room tone. record narration into camera, not the computer, headphones are a must, level your sound in FCP between 9-12 Light- Composition- Sound- Light- Composition- Sound- Light+Composition+Sound
Shooting Tips- be aware that you're in a team, shoot multiple takes, not them on the storyboards, separate shots using a slate, clapper, get permission forms if necessary.Software Tools suggested-Comic Life, Inspiration Storyboarding-give a scene in words and make them draw it.
Marco Torres examples Planning sheet

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Philadelphia, Here We Are!

Our entourage arrived in 15 pieces (people) this evening. We took a little walk from our hotel (Courtyard by Marriott) and dined at the Nodding Head Brewery. It was quaint and the food was good, although my favorite part was the bobble head collection. The first NECC ADE Podcast has been posted. My first 'cast will come Monday night, unless I have lots of energy after dinner tomorrow. For me, tomorrow is a full day at the ISTE Affiliates Meeting, then some place fun for dinner.
See You in a Few!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Educational Mac Podcast #17

Pre-NECC Podcast Running down my NECC Schedule. See the NECC website for others who will be blogging and podcasting from Philadelphia next week. See you in a few from the City of Brotherly Love!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

5 days until NECC

Okay, with 5 days left before NECC begins, here is a rundown on what I will be up to. Sunday June 26th ISTE Affiliate Meeting All Day Monday June 27th Full Day Workshop-Hands On Digital Storytelling. I am most excited about this bcause one of the facilitators is Marco Torres. I have admired his work with his students and filmaking for several years. Tuesday June 28th Half Day Workshop-Effective Weblogs in Education. I am excited about this one as well. It will be led by Will Richardson, Tim Lauer and others whose blogging in education has been such great examples to me. Tuesday night is the Student Film Festival which I am excited to view. Then there is the Apple sponsored Premiere Podcast Party. Knowing more about Apple's podcasting plans, I hope there are a few more details given here. Wednesday June 29th-The highlight of the day for me will be to get to see and listen to David Warlick's keynote on Redefining Literacy for the 21st Century. The district group I am attending NECC with will also be eating at the City Tavern that evening. I am excited about eating in such a historic venue. Thursday June 30th-This will be a shortened day as we will be leaving mid-day, but I hope to attend as many sessions as I can. Right now my biggest concern is when I will have time to spend in the exhibition hall. See You in a Few! Any who are going to NECC, hope to meet you there.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Educational Mac Podcast #16

The Educational Mac Podcast #16-June 10, 2005 Shownotes: A rambling wreck of a podcast. My brief musings on the Apple/Intel news and the impact on Macs in education. Cobb County Schools sued over laptop initiative. From MacDailyNews Macon County Journal David Warlick’s interview with Bob Spranckle of Room 208 podcast, give it a listen. Podcatching in iTunes 4.9 iPodderX CosmicBlobs -Modeling and Animation Software Looking forward to NECC Mini-Casts from Philly June 27, 28, 29 Show length-Goal to keep casts’ to 20 minutes See You in a Few!