Blogging – Not IF, But When, Where, and Why

It has been much too long since my last blog post. When I lamented how far behind I felt in my writing recently to a friend, she wisely pointed out that my “life stress score” was probably pretty high. She went through the list – kitchen renovation, two parents and nephew in hospital, hosting a big family reunion, child leaving home for university, change of job, change of routine….. okay, okay!! I have been a little busier than usual in the last few months!

I don’t feel particularly stressed – everyone is now healing nicely, the kitchen reno went well, the family reunion was a big success and it looks as though I am going to thrive in my new job at LEARN. But there are times, recently, when I have found myself overwhelmed into paralysis.

Today, Dave Cormier asked me to read over his blog which is also a part of a presentation at the University of Prince Edward Island. It is a terrific post/presentation and should provide some good material for those of you who may have to make similar presentations. I decided to comment and the ideas just flowed out like a dam had broken.

Here is what I wrote:

    A great presentation/blog, Dave! I liked your visuals and the embedded slideshow as well.

    I have a few more thoughts about blogging for educational purposes – not if, but when, where and why, as well.

    I used blogs with my high school students for the last three years in a variety of ways. As an English teacher, I am always looking for ways for my students to produce writing in authentic situations. Most of us are reluctant writers to begin with, so writing purposefully for a real audience makes a big difference in motivation and effort on the part of students. For the most part, traditional samples of writing would have an audience of one (the teacher), maybe two (if the student actually proof-read it!). With a blogging environment, the audience can be larger than just the members of the class. However, I have found that my students would *prefer* to write for an anonymous audience over their own peers – so powerful is the social force of peer groups in the teenage years! What I also discovered consistently over the three year period, was that the quality of writing improved greatly both between samples handed in for only my eyes and over time.

    This was due, I believe, to a number of factors. First of all, the students were exposed to the quality of writing by the rest of the students. Suddenly the bar was raised. They could see for themselves what was good and mediocre (and just plain awful) writing. The students who perceived themselves as not quite doing a great job put a good deal more effort and care into their writing. I almost couldn’t believe the quality I was witnessing from some of those students! As well, they were also aware that they themselves now had an audience. This also motivated them to perform at their best.

    Last year, I asked the headmaster of our school to read my students’ blog posts – at times in response to his weekly address – and he agreed. The very fact that the students were aware that the headmaster was going to read their blog posts also motivated them to really dig deep and write critically and thoughtfully. I was very impressed with much of what they had to say.

    So when we talk about using online social spaces – such as blog or wikis – for communicating for educational purposes, I would have to say a very compelling reason is because of authentic audience.

    I am very impressed with the new Québec Education Program that has now been completed in its mandate to provide a new curricula for the students of Quebec in the 21st Century. It explicitly states that the notion of text is no longer bound by words on a page (be it webpage or hard copy) but we now read other texts for meaning – visual texts, audio texts, multimedia texts. Literacy is now about making meaning from all available texts. Most blogging and wiki environments permit these texts (as you have shown on this blog post with your visuals and slideshow) to habitate all in one location in order to foster meaning-making for its audiences. Our students exist in a world where they are saturated with these texts. They have themselves become the producers also of these texts. I believe it is fundamentally important that we give them opportunities to produce content in meaningful, yet appropriate ways. This is another very important reason we educators should be using these tools and environments within the scope of our instruction.

    I have also been blogging myself – though certainly not daily – for the last two years. I took it on as a way to prime the pump for my own thesis writing for a graduate degree. The discipline of blog writing has given me back much more than that. I have connected with educators I had no idea were out there. In fact, I am still surprised when someone says they are following my blog! The notion of an authentic audience who reads what I write is a powerful motivator; however, with it comes a responsibility of care for what I write and about whom. I work very hard not to betray the trust of my friends and colleagues as I write. It is very important to play nice and play fair when you are putting your thoughts “out there” on the Internet. This is about digital ethics – something I don’t believe we teach enough to our students. As they become producers of content, it gives them an opportunity to experience ownership of ideas – perhaps through this, it will give them a sense of the importance of copyright and avoiding plagiarism.

    Thanks for giving me a chance, Dave, to thrash through some of my ideas and beliefs about the uses of blogging in education!

Some of the above ideas are greatly influenced by Dave Warlick who presented at a conference I attended a few weeks ago. We are crossing our fingers that he will be able to be our keynote speaker at a conference in Montréal in February!

Tonight on our WOW2 webcast we have a number of really terrific special guests lined up for a “super admin” show – Dr. Scott McLeod, Barbara Barreda, Chris Lehmann and Miguel Guhlin. Please join us at 9 PM EDT on edtechtalk – who just moved to a new server yesterday!

Soon to Come on Women of Web 2.0 Webcasts

Our Women of Web 2.0 webcasts have been on hiatus for the last few weeks, but we have been busy lining up guests for the next few months. Take a look at who we have joining us for our weekly conversations (chatroom and live stream):

August 21 (that’s tonight!) – we have a special back-to-school show with teachers as the guests! It will be a revolving door type show with much interaction and participation expected from our chatroom. Kristen Hokansan (Maine) and Anne Lawton (Québec) will be featured as teachers who are stopping by to share their vision for the upcoming school year.

August 28 – Dr. Mary Friend Shepherd (researcher on e-folios) and Dr. Robert McLaughlin (chair, ISTE SIG on Digital Equality)

September 4 – Administrator 2.0 Supershow – Part 2 of Men and Women from Administration – Miguel Guhlin, Scott McLeod, Barbara Barreda and Chris Lehmann will be joining us!

September 11 – Weebly

September 18 – Non-traditional professional development – Dean Meyer, Darren Draper, Steve Hargadon, Julie Lindsay

September 25 – Bud Hunt

October 2 – Diane Hammond –

October 9 – David Jakes and Ewan McIntosh

October 16 – Anniversary Show – David Warlick

October 23 – highlights from K-12 Online Conference

October 30 – Vinnie Vrotny

November 6 – Melina Miller – the Podcasting Principal

November 13 – Beth Kanter – Blogging in Cambodia

How is this for a terrific line-up of shows? Please be sure to join us for some great conversations!

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Recollections from Literacy and Learning in the 21st Century

David Warlick in Fredericton NB

After battling a virus I picked up somewhere on my travels last week, it is good to get back in the driver’s seat and recollect my thoughts on last week’s conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick – Literacy and Learning in the 21st Century – designed for teachers who are heading into the classroom soon in a 1:1 laptop environment. This initiative is province-sponsored and one of the growing numbers of schools who are moving in that direction.

Dave Warlick was the keynote speaker and it was exciting to see him presenting to a group of educators who are going out to the front lines of education very soon. I have heard David speak many times before (via podcast and videos), have had conversations with him on a few occasions, but had not actually ever seen him present live. He is so well-organized and sensitive to time issues! This was his second visit to New Brunswick – he had been quite a catalyst for change for many teachers during his last visit back in March. I was fairly familiar with most of the tools and environments he shows off – but even so I am a very small minority in an audience of teachers. He was very kind to use my blog as an example during one of his presentations. I realized then how difficult it was to find the rss link on my new blog layout….. gotta change that!

Dave was experimenting with chatcasting during his presentations and while only a few of the teachers chimed in, some very good ideas and thoughts were expressed and new conversations started. Dave later adds his own comments to those posted in the chatcast which further continues the conversation. I like this idea and hope he (and others) will continue to explore the use of backchanneling in such lecture-style deliveries – it challenges participants to become active, not passive, participants. We have so much to learn from each other – in this situation, we are all professionals with our own sets of valid experiences and seasoned wisdom. Let’s harness the tools we have at our disposal and get them to work for us to share, collaborate and learn from each other.

Vince Jansen
also presented on the topic of virtual school environments. I caught only a few minutes of his presentation, but certainly saw most of it morph from a collection of various ideas and concepts to a well laid out set of concept maps of virtual environments for groups and personal learning environments for individuals. We have had many conversations about web 2.0 tools and spaces in the last number of months and it has been astonishing to watch how quickly he has grasped the significance of these tools for the education landscape. He has been working with technology in education for dozens of years and was very ready to make this move to the new transparency and facility of web 2.0.

I made my own presentation about online international collaborative projects (wiki) and have built on some of my previous ideas. Along the way, I included a description of how each of my own three kids uses the Internet – on their own, apart from educational uses. None of my kids would call themselves geeky; they very naturally use the Internet to find new friends, socialize, share their thoughts (and poetry writing!), and collaborate to accomplish goals (online gaming). This is typical of most teenagers today, I am convinced.

Dave Warlick pointed out the need for an appreciation of this new literacy for the 21st century. He even went so far as to say we should redefine literacy and that we should stop integrating technology and start integrating literacy. I agree entirely! I would like to completely avoid the “T” word, as I call it. The laptop (or such tool) should be invisible and ubiquitous. Our students are not asking themselves what technology they are going to use today – they just pick the most convenient method of communicating and socializing with their peers. They also have discovered that they can be producers of content and long for an audience. Facebook’s popularity is a perfect example of this.

During the conference, I witnessed a good deal of apprehension about what to do about Facebook. Some expressed interest in getting an account, others felt it should be left to the kids, others wondered how to get students to represent themselves appropriately while they were using such social networking sites. While I don’t have much time to maintain my Facebook account, with two daughters using the site, I have decided to be there at least as a presence. I even have a few friends! To me, it points out the pressing need for educators to be using social networking sites in an educational context so that these issues of appropriate representation can come up very naturally.

A special thanks to Jeff Whipple for being a fantastic host and for his invitation to come along to this conference.

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Global Projects begin with Globally-Minded Educators

Or does it??

That thought just came to me as I was putting together a presentation for teachers in New Brunswick next week. I had been at it for hours – collating way too much material for a one-hour session. How can one share the rationale, the experiences, the opportunities, the tools, … the great benefits of global projects in just one hour?? How can I adequately describe my daily experiences with global educators through the tools of the web? On a day-to-day basis, it is quite typical for me to communicate with an average of 10 other teachers or educators from around the world. I just realized this the other day. In my world, this is the new normal – most of my online peeps would probably say about the same. Is this an echo chamber? I don’t think so. I am meeting new teachers (often very enthusiastic about these emerging technologies) every week and it is encouraging to see new faces and hear new voices.

It has been suggested that the global projects might come from the students. In fact, I was going to show my audience next week, how my three children use online environments and tools to communicate with friends from around the world. What do you think??

This past week provided a feast of experiences for me as I communicated, collaborated, shared and socialized with other educators from around the world – all from my backyard patio, where I sit now, writing by candlelight on a beautiful summer’s evening.

First of all, it was just plain wonderful to catch up on my blog reading this week. Since NECC and BLC, I have come across some bloggers who have shared solid insights and chewed on issues that I have often wrestled with – or offer new ones. It has been a particular treat for me to read Dean Shareski‘s blogs. I kick myself later, many times, for not leaving comments on the blogs I read – I should teach myself to do it right then, because I never seem to get back to it.

While the blogs have been stimulating, it has been twitter that has been the highlight of most of my days. While others scratch their heads over twitter, I try to point out that it is not the tool, it is the QUALITY of the network of users that makes this work. The educators that I have linked with in twitter are exceptional, dedicated, innovative thinkers who freely share resources, offer feedback, provide emotional and intellectual support, pose thoughtful questions, stimulate interesting discussion, and, very importantly, often make me laugh. We are an inclusive community.

The real treat for me this week, though, was participating in the chatcasts to augment Darren Kuropatwa’s conference sessions in Denver, CO for a group of public school teachers. Darren was introducing the tools and pedagogies of web 2.0. He invited other educators (open invitation on his blog and twitter) to come along for the ride by participating in a skype conference chat during his presentation. Many of us had “backchanneled” like this at the Building Learning Communities Conference earlier this summer (where I had the pleasure of meeting Darren). I was unable to listen to Darren’s live presentation, but I did participate in the chatcast which he later posted on his wiki to the presentation. Once again, the chat was lively, interesting, relevant, supportive, reflective, and helpful, I hope, to the educators who were present there watching the chat emerge live on a projected screen. Talk about being risk-taking by a presenter!

Yet here was another example of globally-minded educators sharing, engaging in discourse, supporting, and collaborating with their peers – what a wonderful example for our students! What a privilege it is to hang with such innovative, boundary-pushing, articulate and creative educators (who are still learning)!

On the topic of backchanneling, I mentioned to Terry Freedman that my own daughter had used that technique a bit during her grade 12 math and science classes last year (even backchanneling her own father for help with math!), and he requested an interview with her which she granted. Her 18th birthday was celebrated just a few days ago and I am very proud of her articulate and intelligent responses to Terry’s badgering….. I mean… interview techniques. Just kidding, Terry! You and Elaine were very good interviewers!

Dr. Cheri Toledo and I had a skype conversation earlier this week which turned to this subject of backchanneling (instant-messaging during a lecture or presentation) as well. We decided it was a topic worthy of academic research and will start soon collecting data about it, possibly for publication in an academic journal. So many of us see some value in exploring this technique with our students – even in K-12 education. Unlike Miss Manners, I think it is not boorish behaviour second only to heckling. Please certainly add your comments to this discussion. Worthy of academic practice and study… or opening a Pandora’s box?

I have also been in contact, this week, with Noble Kelly, of Teachers Without Borders Canada, and hope to be able to provide some global partnerships to classes in Canada and South Africa. As well, I am trying to find partnership opportunities for some teachers who are looking for global collaborative opportunities in the upcoming academic year. If you are interested, or know of some opportunities, please contact me!

Eight Random Things Meme Tag

It’s happened again…. blog tagging is back. I was tagged by Charlene Chausis, who I met at NECC earlier this summer. Congrats, again, Charlene on your award!

Here are the Rules:

  • Post these rules before you give your facts
  • List 8 random facts about yourself
  • At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them
  • Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Random Facts About Me:

  1. I used instant messaging as early as 1987 when I worked at a computer centre on a university campus.
  2. My husband asked me out on our first date over email…. in 1987.
  3. My dream car would have standard transmission, not automatic.
  4. I love peanut butter and chocolate ice cream.
  5. My favourite number is 7 (and does not appear in any of my passwords! 😉
  6. I like to read murder mystery novels as brain candy.
  7. My 60 GB ipod has only 175 songs on it (my kids are disgusted with me!).
  8. In spite of being a proud Canadian, I really don’t like winter.

Phew! There!

And now, for eight poor blogging souls, I choose Reuven Werber, Chris Betcher, Graham Wegner
, Cheryl Oakes, Vince Jansen, Jeff Whipple and Meg Peters (is it considered cheating when you use your own daughter??).

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BLC – Day Three

Bob Sprankle

Originally uploaded by Edublogger.

What a fun day of stimulating conversation and exchange of ideas!

Last night we enjoyed an evening of entertainment and levity on the Boston Harbour Dinner Cruise. I spent most of the dinner with new colleagues from LEARN finding out a bit more about my new job environment. Later I enjoyed some conversations with new friends who I had originally met at NECC.

I made it through most of the keynote session this morning by Dr. Yong Zhao who showed off a number of Internet trends such as youtube and Second Life. The compelling part of the session, for me and a few others, was the skype chatcast that quite a few of us were adding to. This phenomenon of backchanneling during sessions was even part of the topics we discussed. Yes, we poked a little fun at each other along the way (while David Jakes once again kept us on task), but we also enjoyed some powerful discourses about the speaker’s topic, the conference and the role of web 2.0 tools at such a conference.

I attended two sessions later in the morning – Darren Kuropatwa (New Tools, New Pedagogies – Developing Expert Voices), and Christian Long-Chris Lehmann (Designing High School 2.0). Again, we brought in a number of people into a skype chatcast (who were both in the session and off-site) and had amazing discourses about not just these sessions, but some others that were going on. Many said later about what an invigorating experience it was to have so many voices chiming in with their ideas, responses, experiences, and even dissents. I have to say it was one of the most intellectually stimulating experiences I have had for some time. Definitely a high point was when George Siemens came into the chat and we had a lively discussion about sustainable change in an educational environment and the affordances of a laptop as a tool.

Later, at lunch, I had the great privilege of having Bob Sprankle – Podcast Guru – show me how to use Garage Band on my new MacBook Pro. Wheeee! Imagine having private tutorials with Dave Warlick for pro-blogging tips and Bob Sprankle for podcasting tips all in one summer! Somebody pinch me!

Much more so than NECC 2007, I found most of the sessions promoted or used web 2.0 tools for educational purposes. One would certainly get the impression that a LOT of educators are using these tools in the classroom. However, in many of the audiences of the sessions I attended it was clear that many, many teachers (who were attending this tech-oriented conference) were NOT familiar with these tools and were clearly not using them. We have certainly not reached any kind of saturation point with comprehension of such things as rss feeds, podcasts, and skype. We have a long way to go, baby.

Über-bloggers and even more reports on BLC

While I have been here at BLC, I have watched the evolution of the über-blogger. This term refers to those bloggers who are no longer satisfied with merely taking notes for a later blog post, or even blogging on the fly. No, bloggers have now found each other. They have moved beyond the private experience of writing their own takes on the sessions to the social experience of back-channeling the sessions using either skype or twitter. I was invited into a skype conference with several bloggers who were either onsite (even sitting next to me) or were vicariously experiencing the conference through the collective notes of the attendees. David Jakes has been sharing some of these skype conference chats. I think this practice is another development that has arisen out of the Bloggers’ Café phenom of NECC 2007. To me, it is is a very valuable learning opportunity (that even our own students should be encouraged to use). We learn more through the collective experience in the moment than by writing our own thoughts, then asynchronously responding later.

More session reports:

Joyce Valenza – School Library Websites: State of the Art Information Landscapes for 21st Century Learners (audio-recorded)

Joyce is a tremendously passionate and dynamic speaker and presenter and her session included a wealth of perspective and resources. I found her paradigm of using student pathfinders (wiki-based resource pages) to organize a library webpage to be very appealing.

Her notes and resources can be found on the schoollibrarywebsites wiki.

She believes it is no longer an option for a school to not have a library website – it is a MUST for our 21st century students.

Ewan McIntosh – “We’re Adopting” – An Adoption Strategy for Social Software in Education (audio-recorded)

Five point strategy:

identify key user groups
identify and understand your key users and influencers
let key users evangelise
turn evangelists into trainers

emergent behaviours

lead by example
lead by reminding
provide adequate support
lead by mandate (never had to do this)
personal and school benefits complement each other

It’s not about the tech, it’s about the teach.

More Notes from BLC

I am seeing a recurring theme here at BLC. In the last month before I left school, I said something very radical, but what made a lot of sense to me. I have becoming convinced that we should be putting all our students’ products and projects online. Everything. Essays, multimedia projects, photos of that which could not be made digital. I got some strange looks from the senior administrators, although no one responded.

And so here I am listening to stellar presenters from around the world who are demonstrating best practices and showing amazing student work – all posted online. What are they using? Flickr, youtube, meebo, podcastpeople, the list goes on. The value of sharing online is now becoming widely recognized. However, I would say we are not yet at a critical mass.

More session reports:

Bob Sprankle – Podcasting with Purpose – (audio-recorded)

Benefits for Writing (podcasts)

Students Decide
Peer Teaching
Guiding Questions from Teacher
Team Writing Benefits

Research Skills
Teaching Others

Purpose to work – Podcasting creates purpose – relevance, audience

(So the wind won’t blow it away) creates artifacts to return to

podcasts can be part of living portfolio

writing for a global audience

George Lucas says we have to do away with learning in isolation

information literacy, relevant learning, global communication

Great to hear Cheryl Oakes’ voice during this presentation = great interview with real elementary students!

self-directed learning – students are very self-aware.

These teachers have let go of the control of their class and their students and permitted students to create their own ideas for podcasts –

Bob mentions – A whole new mind – mentions the importance of “design” – podcasting fits this need

He also mentions The Book of Learning and Forgetting – now on my book list.

We learn from the company we keep – quote from book.

What podcasts are we listening to? What blogs are we reading?

Teachers and learners become information artisans – DAve Warlick

Bob says that artisans today are the blog writers

Bob describes the instance of his class with the wikipedia lesson that Dave Warlick shows off at a presentation/blog – someone challenged the lesson – students respond – the process is iterative

The Medium is the Message – how podcasting has changed us – more personal

digital world – two kinds of people – producers and consumers – power will go to producers – quote from an adult visitor to room 208

Data – does the data show learning gains? Watch what they are doing – when they are teaching what they ahve learned – they are showing that something is happening.

Ewan McIntosh – Is your public body public? (audio-recorded)

identity 2.0??

The kind of spaces we have:

Secret Spaces – Mobile sms im

Group Spaces – beebo, facebook, tagged

Publishing Spaces – livejournal, blogger,flickr, phtobucket

Performing space – secondlife, world of warcraft, f2f in school

Participation Space – marches, meetings, markets, conferences

Watching Spaces – television, gigs, theatre, youtube

how implicit or explicit is your digital life?

(forced to write this) things I like:

citrus scents, summer days, a clean house, driving along the lake

Things I don’t like:

being late, paying bills, running out of milk for coffee

I work on creating curriculum and sharing ideas with educators – I also look after the needs of three teenagers and a busy household.

viral success cannot be planned

fear: always loathing?? – school 2.0 not happening because educators are afraid of trying it out –

love the fear, don’t loathe the fear

overplanning – room for serendipity, are you allowed and able to fail?

do you allow students, teachers to make mistakes??

why bother?? 2007 – this is the year that 16 year olds were born in teh same year as the web browser

are we ready for this? something has changed, we have to change

Will ICT have any impact – where has it made the biggest impact?

emerging technologies make the biggest impact – IWB’s has less impact on than when implemented 5 years ago

word count of – CDs = 0

emerging practieces – ways to share it all – make the biggest impact

ways to share it all – ie blogs??

don’t incriminate yourself – just don’t speak

take the 5th amendment – influence of the blog

bloggers are flattening out

wikis – another way for teachers to share it all

shares a wiki with what teachers created best practice guidelines for staff blogs

blogs are conversations – so converse!

who do you consult? roman army or wirearchy

track them – see what people are saying about, your conference, your org

finding bottom-up culture; losing permissions-based culture

don’t do a me-too! look at your own cultural context, why they don’t accept the way things are (for me – what is it about Québec? )

do you want everyone to blog? why? examine why you want these tools

he likes very social public body

opens doors to a communicative body – a connected public body

Thoughts and Notes from Building Learning Communities 2007

I am so glad I came to BLC this year! This conference has quite a different feeling from NECC which I attended a few weeks ago in Atlanta. True, I had something like five public presentations while I was at NECC and I also got swept away by the Bloggers’ Café opportunities for social sharing. I had arrived in Atlanta the day after my last day of school – so I was quite exhausted during and after.

The week before NECC I made an impulsive decision to attend the Building Learning Communities Conference – mostly because of the reasons stated above. I had scanned the names on the presenters’ list and knew this was going to be an opportunity for some very rich and engaging stimulation. And I have not been disappointed.

Tim Tyson, principal of Mabry Middle School in Georgia was the opening keynote speaker. Below are some notes I had sketched out during the presentation. He is a modest, articulate, engaging speaker whose passion for his students, his teachers and his school clearly shines through.

Tim Tyson discusses the importance of relevance in education – how project-based learning that connects students with other people and places in the world is RELEVANT and how the evaluation of it is authentic to both the learner and the teacher.

He stressed the importance of having students make meaningful and valuable contributions to the world – when do we contribute something meaningful or significant – when we are adults – or is it right now (for students)? Let’s make it a choice rather than default.

Tim gives example of authentic relevant learning, the student video of stem cell research – alarming topic – but students were on fire for the topic. They were challenged to create a video that would capture the importance of the issues and communicate that to the audience in a 2 minute video.

The first session I attended was Reel Celtic Connections by Ewan McIntosh. I audio-recorded the presentation and hope to have that podcast up and available soon. I had read Ewan’s blog and listened to a number of podcasts where he has shared his ideas, so I was prepared for some solid depth. The title can be misconstrued. His presentation focused on the educational changes that have taken place over time in Scotland and how he strongly believes we need to be addressing this generation of students who have been raised in the era of the Internet. Ewan also stresses that changes to educational systems have to be done at the LOCAL level – there is no one size fits all – but the culture and situation of the system should be taken into account. He is not a believer, he says, in school 2.0 or classroom 2.0 for this reason. This challenged me to take a critical look at my own cultural situation in Québec that need to be examined as we reshape our educational landscape to better suit our students.

Ewan’s presentation was augmented with video clips and a google earth visit to Scotland. One big take-away for me was the government inspectorate report that Scotland recently released that summarized data which demonstrated that emerging technologies are making the biggest technologies impacts on schools! We need to get that word out!

Will be collating my notes to the other sessions I have attended soon! Two more days to go! Wow!

On a social note, I am having a grand time meeting such peeps as Darren Kuropatwa, Dean Shareski (fellow Canadians), Ewan McIntosh, and others – some of whom I was able to have dinner with last night.

NECC 2007 – First Report – Edubloggercon and Advanced Blogging

Costa Rica!I was only very briefly able to get the edubloggercon yesterday at the Georgia International Convention Centre. However, from what I saw, it was like a distilled version of NECC itself with all kinds of people whose blogs and activities I have been following for the past year. It was especially exciting to meet so many of our WOW2 webcast guests face-to-face!

Last night a few of us had dinner on the revolving restaurant at the very top of the Westin. Terry Freedman, editor of Coming of Age, Cheryl Oakes, Julie Lindsay, Vicki Davis, Kathleen Malsbenden, Vince Jansen and Deb Barrows were those amongst our group and the conversation, as you can imagine, was rich and full of laughter. What a thrill and privilege to hang out with such an incredible group of educators.

Now I am at Dave Warlick‘s fantastic all-day workshop on Advanced Blogging (all right, true confession – he is making us do this blog entry as an assignment!). Already I am picking up some great ideas and resources! To benefit from the wealth of resources collaboratively made available to us, you can visit the workshop wiki.