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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Overview of Friday at Educon

No, I am not at Educon. Snuggled in my south Georgia home, I'm reading posts from yesterday and wanted to bring out the highlights (since the people there will be too busy to do so.)

Friday was basically the tour and getting to meet people at the social at the Franklin Institute with most eating dinner at the hotel at an "Asian Fusion spot" during which they had great conversations as well.

However, if you look past the normal excitement of meeting people, these bloggers had great observations that I want to share (Didn't have time for more, I've got to watch the Saturday keynote live):

"Dennis Richards got the ball rolling at one point where he asked our end of the table to share one new tool we were excited about. I shared my Olympus WS-110 audio recorders (I heard about them on Wes Fryer’s blog) which have served me and my students well over the last three months. Dennis Richards shared Mind42, a mind mapping web app that can be used collaboratively and will save all of the various iterations as you go. I also mentioned the Mac Heist software purchasing opportunity – the iStop Motion and SnapZPro alone made it a deal for me - but apparently the 15 day window is now closed. Next year maybe?. Maria Knee brought up the Snowball Mic, which she just got for her classroom, and a case for the video recorder that I need to ask the name of again..."

"Chris , the principal, has said many times that this school is not about technology and that was apparent. Every student has a laptop but everyone we met wanted to talk about student projects and the learning going on, instead of showing off the boxes and wires.The primary emphasis here is on collaboration and using all the tools available to extend the learning outside the building and the “work day”. And the staff made it look so easy. :-)"
I echo the sentiments that the focus is on LEARNING. Not the tools. I also believe that extending the learning outside the building is vital. The lines of school and home time are becoming a bit blurred and I believe we'll see this change further in the future. (My students already have growing RSS readers of their interests to attest to this.)

Who is going virtually?

Many of us not attending are getting a handle on things with Principal Melinda Miller planning on attending today's ustreams which are available at edtechtalk or at Darren Draper's mashup page.

OH, Kristin Hokanson just im'ed me and is adding me to the links for their google notes and I'm watching Ryan Bretag live blog the keynote.

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