Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Educational Technology Conference – October 23rd, 2009

The Computer Using Educators of BC

Invite you to the largest

Educational Technology Conference of the year

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Hosted in Surrey, BC at Sullivan Heights Secondary School.

Attend this year to find over 50 sessions (including a French strand), two keynotes, 2 mini-keynotes, vendor displays, Friday lunch, Thursday Wine and Cheese, networking with your colleagues, Saturday 1/2 and full day sessions and a CUEBC PSA Membership all included in the $100 conference fee.

List of Workshops

Conference Schedule

Register Now!

Conference Schedule

Thursday

6:00 Registration Opens

7:00 Wine and Cheese

8:00 Keynote – Chris Kennedy - Assistant Superintendent of Schools for West Vancouver.

Friday (Vendor Floor open 7:30 to 2:00)

7:00 Registration Opens

7:30 Breakfast

8:30 Keynote - Steve Hargadon - Web 2.0 as the Future of Education – Founder of Classroom2.0

9:45 Sessions

11:30 Lunch / CUEBC AGM

12:15 FSL/Immersion Mini Keynote

12:45 Sessions

1:00 Changing faces of Distributed Learning – Mini Keynote

2:45 Thank you and Door Prizes

 

Saturday (Lunch on your own)

7:30 Registration

8:30 to 2:30 – Four All Day Sessions: Classroom 2.0, Quest Atlantis, 3DS Max and

9:30 to 11:00 SMART Notebook 10: Embedding interactivity into your Lessons

11:45 to 2:00 SMART Notebook 10: Best Practices for Digital Content Development

Register at http://cuebc.ca/horizons2009/

by September 30, 2009

to get the $100 Early Bird Rate.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Blog Birthday – great to be one year old!

image Well today is the one year anniversary for my blog.  For those of you still thinking if you have enough time/motivation/content for a blog, I can tell you that it has been well worth it.

Reasons to have a blog!

  1. Time.  While it does take time to write the blog, find pictures (what is a post without something to look at) and create the links it has been well worth the time. I’ve been a very modest blogger with just 27 posts in the past year.  My goal has always to just find about two topics a month to share.  In some ways it has been a time saver.  Some of the emails that I get about things like FREE software, can be responded to with a simple link the post.
  2. Motivation.  It is great to have a consistent (albeit modest) daily hit count for my blog.  In the past year there have been readers from 43 countries.  Welcome to all, leave a comment and a link to your blog!
  3. Content.  One of my beliefs is that we all have something to share.  To others, we are always an expert on something.  As an avid reader of 30 or so educational blogs and 100’s of news RSS feeds, I wanted to contribute after years of reading (and lurking).

If you don’t have a website hit tracker I highly recommend Google Analytics. Here are the stats from my blog.

Most viewed posts:

  1. The Perfect Student Computer (November 2008)
  2. The Perfect Student Computer (December 2008)
  3. Free student and teacher software (December 2008)
  4. What students have to say (January 2009)

Most commented posts:

  1. Free student and teacher software
  2. Blood donation
  3. Twitter – two words

Map of visitors from 43 countries courtesy of Google Analytics.

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Thanks again for reading, if you are still sitting on the fence then time to get moving, sign up for a blog and start writing!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Digital Immersion at Riverside Secondary

This morning I’m working with a grade 9 class at Riverside Secondary.  Under the amazing leadership of Jeremy Brown and Elizabeth Bancroft with the support of the administration team they launched an exciting, engaging program for students.  Student stay together for the full mornings each day this semester take Science 9 and a Digital Immersion course.  Next semester, Elizabeth Bancroft takes over with English and Socials.  There are a number of structures that their team has put together to ensure student and program success.  All the student self-elected to join the program, they are engaged and enthusiastic.  They are also very patient, as you can imagine when working with technology, there are times when things go wrong.  The school has a robust wireless infrastructure and the room is well supplied with electricity around the walls and in the centre of the room.  The students all have modern laptops.  Some have privately-owned computers but the majority are using Dell Netbooks supplied by the school.

My small contribution this morning was to have the students download and install Windows Live Writer (see previous blog post).  They then connected the program to post blogs on their internal sharepoint blogs.  Their topic was researching and sharing “Breakfasts from around the world”.  They will then have access to read and respond to each other’s blogs.

The teachers have approached this like an action research where they are actively learning and experimenting with new ways to have student make the best uses of Web2.0 technologies while covering the prescribed learning outcomes of their respective courses. 

One of my key determinate of a quality program is would I choose it for my children if they were in Grade 9.  The answer is a resounding YES.  I couldn’t help thinking how this program would be great social environment to use the internet to research the topics and share.  As a teacher I would be thrilled to teach in an setting like the one designed for these students.  I hope we see more of these types of programs.

Reference: The picture from the internet.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Internet Filtering in Schools

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Under the guise of student safety, many school districts are choosing to block various websites.  My personal favourite excuses for blocking sites because students are ‘off task’ and ‘facebooking’ too much.  Using this train of thinking, students will somehow be more on-task and focused when we block sites.  I guess this would mean banning books would improve student reading?

I work in aimage great district which blocks almost nothing beyond the most inappropriate sites.  We have a broad belief that the internet is an educational resource that should be open to all current and unanticipated future uses.  We believe that educators are creative caring individuals and will think of ways to use social media and other sites in ways we can’t even imagine right now.  I’m a huge proponent of keeping the internet open and free for all students and teachers.

There was a great twitter discussion on September 9th about this topic.  You can find the tweets under the search term #edchat.  There was an amazing response and re-tweet to this original post ‘RT @plevy: All schools and universities should open access to social media #edchat

Thanks to my blogging colleague Lisa Reid for getting me to think about this topic in her blog.

I’d be interested in hearing from others. How much is filtered at your school/district?

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