As a true Constructivist, I believe that if we don't reflect we don't internalize and learn from our experiences. Going to the eMINTS Winter Conference provided me the chance to learn on a couple of levels; as a facilitator and second as a participant.
My experience at the WC was AWESOME this year. I got some new ideas for teaching using technology and was reminded of some things that I had forgotten. I walked away with some new resources to use personally and others that I want to pass on. I practiced my presentation/facilitation skills and was challenged by the size of group I was presenting to but realized that if I had a goal with strategies to meet that goal the size of the group didn't matter. Again I planned too much for a short session I facilitated but I think the participants did get both new ideas for using technology as well as new ways to get students collaborating. I think the time that I spent planning my session to make sure it met the goals I outlined in my session description helped to meet the needs of those that attended. The time that I spent selecting sessions to attend also paid off and they really sparked my interest and kept me engaged.
One of the sessions I attended focused on blogging using Edublogs in secondary classrooms presented by Jonathan McFarland. I think this teachers ideas will appeal to the 7-8th grade teachers I will be working with next year. Jonathan also shared a trick for creating additional emails using Gmail by adding a + sign and name after the username then @gmail.com and all emails will go to the same account.
When I signed up for School Tube I thought I was learning about a tool that I was already familiar with but was soooo wrong. What an great site for providing video's to use in the classroom. It is fully moderated making it a safe site for students to view videos. The site allows a user to upload existing YouTube videos to SchoolTube (as long as the original creator allows sharing) and will get around the issues that happen when you embed code into your site or try to send students directly to YouTube. There are so many other things you can do there but I am wondering if teachers can create accounts and upload their video artifacts to it for their eMINTS Portfolios (and bypass the file size issue that Moodle presents). I need to experiment with it a bit more but am excited at the opportunities.
Other things I heard about but need to investigate a bit more...Google Body, Twitterfall, MixBook, Teamness.com, edmodo, fur.ly, Glogster for education, Evernote (even though I already have an account I have never used it), Google Earth as a collaboration tool, and Geocaching.com. Also I wasn't able to attend Bernie Dodges session called Dodge Podge and I would love to hear about the online tools he shared so I need to find someone that went to his session.
eMINTS Winter Conference 2011 Presenter Materials Available at http://www.emints.org/events/winter2011/materials.shtml . If you were unable to attend, you will still find some gems and ideas in the materials. You can also visit the eMINTS Winter Conference Blog and read about conference events as they were happening.
If you haven't given yourself a chance to digest all you experienced at the 2011 eMINTS Winter conference take some time reflect and commit it to memory. I would love to hear what you thought of the conference this year or years past. Feel free to leave those in the comments section. And if you didn't get to attend this year make sure to think about adding it to your calendar for next year.
Photo by: Brooke Higgins
Quote from: BrainyQuote.com