Friday, July 07, 2006

Day 4 - NECC in San Diego

This was a good day.

The main event was the Thinking Graphically presentation that Lynne Anderson-Inman and I gave at 11:30. About 40 people attended.

I am now in the Closing Ceremony with about 1200 of my closest friends. Kathy Schrock is doing a presentation on having students create PSAs (Public Service Announcements) as a language arts activity. She is showing a bunch of PSAs that students have created. They are pretty good.

She is now showing a PSA that was created at the ISTE Leadership Symposium. Apparently the attendees did the audio and she ddid the video. She called it "kinda lame." Who am I to argue?

When she was done, everyone applauded. She said "Applause is soooo 90s." She had us all open our cell phones and hold them up like kids do at concerts now. I feel updated!!!!!!

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

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.

Day 1 of NECC '06 in San Diego

The End of the First Day of NECC is upon us.

I am going to be blogging the happenings at NECC. It has been a wonderful opportunity to see new things that are happening. I will intersperse these accounts of my doings with comments on interesting software packages, people, ideas and places that I see.

This is actually before the actual beginning of the conference. Actually, I guess the conference began tonight with the gala reception and festive fireworks. Would you believe that we went out on the terrace of the Convention Center where we watched 5 sets of fireworks exploding up and down the San Diego coastline. AND they were all synchonized.

But I jump ahead of myself. My NECC day began with attending the ISTE NETS Forum. This was a meeting where the ISTE folks who developed the NETS (National Educational Technology Standards) 8 years ago, were meeting with educators from around the country (and even the world) to discuss how they can be updated. We were engaged in a number of interesting activities including identifying the new technologies and educational applications for the past 5 years.

An important thing for me to share here, is the address for a survey on the NETS Standards that they want as many educators as possible to fill out. If you want to have a say in how the next set of NETS standards look, complete the survey at this address:

3D-Interactive Mindmapping: Saw some interesting software tonight at the reception. My favorite is called 3D-Interactive Mindscene. It is a mindmapping tool that allows you to review an "aerial view" of a mind map for the book "Of Mice and Men." Then you can change your perspective and move down to a more "on the ground" perspective as you "walk through your mindmap" of the book. You can visit the site of this company at The site takes you through a multimedia presentation. This is the only book they have developed but the possibilities are endless.

simSchool: Saw an interesting simulation software that creates a classroom simulation that poses classroom situations/problems for teachers and they can practice their teaching skills in handling the problems and get immediate feedback about their success. I didn't get an opportunity to spend much time playing with this software but if what I saw in the short demo holds true with the rest of the product, this looks like a valuable tool for teacher education and mentoring. You can get to it at simSchool. Click on the "Tour the Classroom" button to try it out. You have to register but it is worth it.

My Hero: is a site where kids from around the world post stories and videos about those people who are important to them. Apparently over 20,000 schools are registered on this website. I may go to the screening on July 6th from 4 - 7 pm to see more about it.

Well, that is the beginning of my experience at NECC. If there is anything that you want me to search for, leave a comment on this blog.