Home > colleagues, iste, teaching > Mon 6/27: ISTE report, Day 2

Mon 6/27: ISTE report, Day 2

Monday marked the first real full conference day, and boy, it was full. I attended four separate sessions today, toured the exhibit hall for a while, and had a really great lunch out with some of the colleagues that I had met the previous night. Here’s a recap:

Session 1: Use Your Noodle, Learn Moodle
In this session, one of the vendors gave us a basic overview and introduction to Moodle. This was really useful to me because our school will be reevaluating our Learning Management System next year to determine if we want to move away from Blackboard to something else. Moodle will definitely be a candidate in the discussion, and I had never really seen it in operation. Based on what I saw, it seems like Moodle can do just about anything that Blackboard can, and looks no worse (which was my major concern). Here are the slides from the presentation: Use Your Noodle – Learn Moodle – AETC.pdf

In between the morning sessions, I went up to the exhibit hall to walk around for a while. I only had an hour, which really is barely enough time to scratch the surface, but I did have two nice conversations with the people from Google and Moodle about using those two systems. One of the guys at the Moodle booth tried to badge-mug me (scan my badge without asking first; there’s got to be a better term for that), but I straightened him out.

Session 2: Tools For Teaching Students at the Top of Bloom’s Taxonomy
This was a very good session, albeit somewhat inaccurately named. The title would lead you to believe that it focused on content creation (the actual top of the taxonomy), but really it was a laundry list of tools for use at every level. It was one of those kitchen-sink lectures where every slide had links to 3-5 web-based tools that you could use in your classes. The session was interesting, but will be even better later as a reference tool when I am actually doing more concrete course design. Again, the notes: Tools_Bloom.pdf

(Then, a break — really nice lunch at a Mexican restaurant)

Session 3: Building Learning Communities with Google Apps
Like the Moodle session, this was a fairly basic introduction to using Google Apps as the backbone for a school’s information management platform. Maybe I would have been more content with a little more detail in each session, but the panel was well-delivered and sold the Google suite fairly well. It’s hard to argue with free. One of the interesting things from this presentation was a program at an Iowa school that organized students into a tech support team, which is one of the ideas that we kicked around in our faculty technology training team at Hotchkiss. Here are my notes: Building Learning Communities w Google Apps.pdf

Session 4: Much Ado About Digital Content
This was a late-day change for me, as I decided to attend the panel featuring one of the teachers I met last night and had lunch with today. It was essentially a report on a nationwide survey on the use of technology in schools, as reported by all the responsible agents (students, teachers, administrators, etc.). I have to admit — I was pretty burned out by this time in the day. My notes will reflect that; thank goodness Microsoft Word has built-in audio recording. It was interesting to hear comments from some of the students, and it was also interesting to hear their views on what would make good “online textbooks”. Notes: Much Ado About Digital Content.pdf

And now, I think, some well-deserved rest before we do it all over again tomorrow!

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