PLNs as a cool tool – from ReThink IT conference

It’s been a week of conferences and I am finally getting around to posting some of the outcomes.

Early last week, I had the opportunity to use prezi again for a 3 hour workshop about how and why to use multimedia tools for education:

Then late in the week, I was challenged to a cool tool duel against two other IT facilitators in Montreal. Below I relate my approach as I shared it in the CAIS community ning:

I also wanted to share the outcomes to the Cool Tool Duel that took place between JP Trudeau (Selwyn House), Vince Jansen (LCC) and me, Sharon Peters (Hebrew Academy).

As a way in demonstrating the power of an educator’s Personal Learning Network, I asked six global educators to hop aboard a FlashMeeting during the duel and share *their* cool tools. I had heard Alan November (the keynote) state many times the importance of including global collaboration as a way of promoting the skills our students will need in their learning careers. It seemed appropriate to demonstrate this to our audience of educators.

To that end, I invited John Thole (director of Edunova in Cape Town, South Africa), Derek Wenmoth (director of CORE-Ed, Christchurch NZ), Chris Betcher (independent school educator, blogger, author, podcaster, Sydney, Australia), Lucy Gray (U of Chicago, moderator of Global Collaborative Ning), Dr. Cheri Toledo (Illinois State University, author, researcher, webcaster), and Brad Ovenell-Carter (independent school educator, asst head, Island Pacific School) into our cool tool duel. With the time zone differences, this took no small effort, but I was very very pleased when all of them accepted the invitation unhesitatingly and enthusiastically.

A special outcome of the FlashMeeting (now recorded) was that these six educators had an opportunity to meet each other and grow their own networks. In fact, they were so excited about meeting, they started a Google Wave where their conversation continued!

Here are the tools that were shared between all of us during the “duel”:

John – Ning

Chris – Screentoaster, Layar, Wikitude

Derek – eXe, QRCodes for Droid

Lucy –, PlanetFoss, Planetfesto

Brad – Tweetie2 Tweetie 2 Review: The Best iPhone Twitter App, Period – Tweetie 2 …
, Kaltura – Open Source Video Platform

Cheri – The Differentiator

Sharon (I had a few lined up as backup plan):


Twitter Lists

Forty-Two Interesting Ways to Use Pocket Cameras (care of Tom Barrett)

Complete Guide to Google Wave

VUE: Visual Understanding Environment (I think Brad showed me this)

Google Fusion Tables


The other folk (Vince and JP):





graphic organisers




The Prezi I used for the Duel: