Microsoft Popfly lets you make mashups and build web pages without knowing code. I am to the point I don't teach the detailed web site creation coding I used to. I teach RSS, embedding, creating wikis, uploading media of all kinds, but I just don't know how important coding is any more at the basic level.
This is a fascinating blog post about how Alfred Thompson used PopFly to create a mashup activity for a classroom demo for teachers. He also took this document from word into Live writer to make a blog post.
It is important to look at many ways to do things. I found this information very insightful and cool.
Excellent overview from Jeremiah about the use of twiter to backchannel at a conference. Backchanneling is something I think that is very important, but there is very definitely a best practice.
Here were my comments to Jeremiah:
"I am a classroom teacher and LOVE the backchannel (they are great for test reviews -- like group notes and more) and won't do a conference presentation without one, that being said, I wouldn't use twitter for it.
Like you said, many people don't use twitter or get it.
I like to create a "backchannel room" so that it is archived and recruit ahead of time at least two people:
1) A backchannel "moderator" - they answer questions and I call on them several times to ask for their summary of what is going on in the backchannel (this is when I'm the main presenter)
2) A google jockey -- they drop the links I'm talking about in the backchannel chat.
I also like to ask the people in the backchannel to share best practice and what they are doing. I've had people comment that the one hour with a backchannel and me presenting was more meaningful than a whole day at a conference. (More compliments to the backchannel, I'm sure.)
I've seen backchannels handled very poorly and it was TERRIBLE. It was chaos. And actually downright rude to the speaker. (More like backstabbing than backchanneling.)
I've also seen it used well and it was incredible!
The archiving of the backchannel gave me rich links as a presenter and participant AND also feedback on the session which I referred to later as the presenter.
The backchannel is great -- I just like to use a backchannel ROOM especially for the session (inviting "friends" from around the world who are also watching on ustream) -- and then creating an archived copy of it.
I think backchannels are very important and you've hit on the core of what is happening in the evolution of professional development and conferences. "
I spent the day with Emily Vickery, the teacher/administrator at Montgomery Academy in AL, responsible for their PD. This is her wiki, where she shares with others at the school what they are doing. We talked about using RSS and diigo to give links. She is doing great work and will be presenting at NECC on July 2nd -- her students are going with her!
This is a website where tv enthusiasts are sharing videos and collaborating. This is an example of how television and all of our entertainment is evolving to become more customized.
In addition to creating personal learning networks, we will also be creating personal entertainment networks (PEN's) -- all via this amazing thing we call RSS. Understanding RSS is not only important for learning but just living your life.