Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Day 2 of NECC '06 in San Diego

While Day 2 of NECCLink was intriguing, it was a bit of a technological challenge. I seem to have lost my ability to access the wireless network through my computer so I will be unable to provide the "on the spot" blogging that I had hoped to do. I worked with multiple Mac gurus (including Richard at the Apple Exhibit) and it turns out that I can access the Web through a direct connect to my computer but not through wireless. This provides creedance to the age old (at least 10 years old) adage that there are three types of death: Brain death, Body death and being off-line.

I was fortunate enough to go to the SIGTC (Special Interest Group for Technology Coordinators) breakfast. The $15 breakfast (biscotti, muffins, and coffee) wasn't much but the entertainment was great. It began with a Web 2.0 panel including David Warlick, Tony Vincent, Will Richardson, Thor Prichard and John Hendron. I won't describe these folks because it is already posted at the SIGTC wiki. You will find links to their websites as well as the podcast of the discussion as well.

This is exciting that SIGTC already has this posted. We (SIGTC) will be using a wiki and a variety of Web 2.0 apps to provide resources for educators to use.

A highlight of the day was the keynote speaker, DeWitt Jones. DeWitt is a photographer for National Geographic. He gave a wonderful hour-long talk where he shared some of his life stories and then connected them with the photos that he has taken over his lifetime. He said that his interests are Vision, Passion, Purpose and Creativity. I was most impressed with his comment that "If you truly have a mission, the passion will be there. The purpose and creativity will follow without question."

I also had an opportunity to listen to Tim Wilson. Tim is the host of one of my favorite education podcasts, The Savvy Technologist. It was a great presentation. He has already posted his links to his website and will probably put his podcast up soon. I greatly appreciated Tim's view of the future. He spoke of Applications, Conversations, Audience and Challenges. One of his emphases was keeping students safe online. He suggested that we use tools on our server so that we can pull the plug until it is remedied. He isn't saying that we can fully control their access to technology, he only wants us to have a certain amount of sway so that they will pay attention.

Tim mentioned that we don't do much to teach web safety to our students. An attendee mentioned the iSafe curriculum. I don't know much about it but you can check it our at http://www.isafe.org/

I attended a presentation on Writer's Companion at the Visions booth on the Exhibit Hall. it is an interesting program that merges a graphic organizer, word processor, and desktop publisher to create a powerful tool for student writing. I need to review it a little more. This will be much easier since I won a copy of it at the end of the demonstration - lucky me.

Tomorrow, at 8:30, I will be at Nicholas Negroponte's keynote where he will unveil the $100 computer. I wrote about this earlier in this blog. It has a great photo of it. I will tell you more after I see it tomorrow.

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