This past week I attended technology workshops at the ETV Studios in Columbia. While I was familiar with all of the session topics I attended, my purpose in going was to gather more examples of Web 2.0 tools in practice and learn new ways of using these tools.
Session 1: Blogging and Podcasting – Presenter: Brad Fountain from Discovery Education
- I learned that StreamlineSC (UnitedStreaming) has sound files, which I didn’t know before.
- I learned that I may be interested in becoming a STAR Discovery Educator (some of the many perks include great training and a blog that won’t be blocked by my school district).
- Use a blog as Classroom/Teacher web page for communicating with parents and include pages for: announcements/calendar, assignments, resources, discussion questions.
- That if I add someone to my Frequent Contacts they shouldn’t be bounced by school email (so @cathyjo if you’re reading this, try emailing me again from gmail!)
Session 2: Google Earth Basics – Presenter: Tom Taylor (www.geopackrat.com)
- Wow. Information overload. While I have downloaded Google Earth to my Macbook and opened it up, I had never actually used it before. There is so much to explore and the possibilities for using this in the classroom are NUMEROUS. Not just the Google Lit Trips I learned about at SCASL.
Session 3: Blogging – Presenter: LaQuita Hutchinson
- The best thing to come out of this session is getting my email on her mailing list! She sends out lots of great resources for K-12 education, many of which I will be passing along on future Odds & Ends posts.
- She also taught us how to create a blog using Blogger. While the service seems much simpler to use than Edublogs or WordPress, Blogger is blocked by most school districts.
Session 4: VoiceThread – Presenter: Nic Finelli
- Again, I was already familiar with VoiceThread and had created an educator account, but I have not actually used the service yet.
- The best thing about attending this session were the examples he shared. One idea was to use VoiceThread to document field trips. Have students take along voice recorder and/or cameras to document their trip. Then create a VoiceThread to share what they learned and allow others to comment.
- While browsing for examples on VoiceThread, I also came across this one on Information Literacy Perspectives by Della Curtis that I thought was good.
Session 5: Small Wonder Cameras – Presenter: Bill Sheskey
- While I knew the Small Wonder Cameras were similar to the Flip Video Camera I recently purchased, I knew there were a few differences. The Small Wonder has a flip out display and you can add an SD card.
- The great thing about this session as it wasn’t about the camera, but the lessons/activities examples. One technique was to distribute a photograph to groups and the groups had 3 minutes to decide Who, What, Where and When. After the three minutes, he recorded the groups answers on the Small Wonder camera and showed how easy it was to download the clips to the computer.
- Mr. Sheskey also showed other online tools as well. Picnik a neat photo editing site was one of these tools.
Session 6: Geotagging - Presenter: Tom Taylor (www.geopackrat.com)
- Never heard of this before, but basically it is to place a geographical location tag to stuff: photographs, videos, blogs, etc. and in this case, then mark them on Google Earth. There is no way I can explain it in a blog post. Sorry.
- Neat thing I didn’t know was that if you set the time stamp on your camera to to the same time that is on your GPS device, you can merge the GPS dates tracking file with your photographs and tag your photos with the geographical location right on the photo file itself. Only drawback is that the geotag is of where you were standing, not necessarily where the subject of your photograph is located.
- Tom has some wonderful photographs up on Flickr that he’s taken. I highly recommend checking them out.
As you can see, I attended some really great sessions. I highly recommend the ETV Tech Workshops. There will be another round in July (29th – 31st) and registration opens May 6th. Register early as the sessions usually fill up fast.