This past week I had the pleasure of attending South Carolina Educational Television's Summer Technology Workshop for teachers. Donna Thompson and Debbie Jarrett kept me busy by having me conduct sessions on Digital Portfolios, Social Media in the Classroom, and Using Mobile Phones in the Classroom. It was a great time and it seemed everyone got something useful as they had a great time. Here are some of my thoughts of my time in Columbia.
Edmodo: The more I use Edmodo, the more I like it and can't wait to use it in the classroom. Participants who used it signed up with little trouble. Edmodo allowed everyone to share and collaborate during the session at a level I have never seen. Hopefully, this will work for students too and I will keep you posted on how this works out.
MightyMeeting: Although I planned to only use this app in my sessions on Mobile Phones, I quickly uploaded my other two presentations. It was nice to be able to roam around the room and control the presentation from my iPhone. MightyMeeting allows you to do just that. Also, you may invite others to join in by providing your Room ID number. This allows presentations to be given over distances when used with voice communications such as Skype. A chat room provides a place for back channel discussions which can the iPhone app allows participation.
Using mobile devices such as phones, iPods, and iPads in the classroom is coming sooner than I thought. Augmented Reality and QR Codes have led me to this conclusion. Tongues started wagging when I covered these topics. Guess what? I was only scratching the surface with what I shared on the possibilities of what mobile devices can do.
After giving presentations on using social networks in education there is still a need to promote cybersafety to education professionals.
It is always to gather with friends and professionals who share the same passion I have regarding education technology. A group of us gather for dinner at the Carolina Ale House. During the gathering, Chris Craft proposed we try something I have read about, an unconference. The idea is intriguing and I think it would be worthy of continued study so it can be tried to see how this would work. The gatherings allow educators to gather for unplanned, unstructured discussions on whatever topics individuals wish to lead discussions on. Participants just pick and choose what they want to participate in.
Livescribe: I keep finding more uses for using my Livescribe Pulse smartpen. This time I used the pen to take notes on my research as I prepared for my presentations. All I had to do was sync my pen to my computer and run Myscript for Livescribe to get text that I copied and pasted into PowerPoint. This became a big time saver.
Finally, South Carolina Educational Television is a valuable for teachers. Imagine trying to teach without OnePlace, Streamline, ITV, and other media resources available to enrich your lessons. Also, SCETV is one of the few networks that provide experts to help work with groups on a variety of topics at no cost. Also, SCETV provides teacher technology workshops in March and July each year. These valuable services and more are at risk of being cut due to budget cutting mood of the South Carolina Legislature. Please contact your legislators often to tell them how much you value SCETV. If you do not know who your legislators are you can find out here. Also, consider either becoming a supporter of SCETV with a financial contribution or volunteer your expertise at a technology workshop.