Friday, April 27, 2012

LHRIC Tech Expo

 LHRIC Tech Expo
April 27, 2012

The BOCES Lower Hudson Regional Information Center hosted a technology expo yesterday in Briarcliff Manor. It was hosted at the beautiful Edith Macy Conference Center. (#LHRICEXPO, Website Information). This full day conference occurred on a Friday. What a great way to begin the weekend. Feeding our #edtech brains with the nourishment to ponder new ideas, re-evaluate current practices, and strive for a better tomorrow for our students. Oh and did I mention as always the Edith Macy Conference Center provides the most wonderful food to nourish our physical selves while the Ed Tech discussion feeds our thoughts.

Here are some of my notes:

Keynote Session Attended:
David Warlick, 9:00 – 10:00 am
Twitter: @dwarlick
This was not my first time hearing Mr. Warlick. But each time the experience is just amazing. What an eloquent, engaging, and informative speaker he is.
Notes from the keynote:
  • We should strive to be a learner. He presented a photo of Stonehenge and informed us that scientists and mathematicians are attempting to recreate and calculate the sound that might have been heard inside Stonehenge. He claimed that he did not know this the day before he presented to us. I love this modeling of being a life long learner.
  • The core of teaching should be to become a master learner.
  • Mr. Warlick gave us a website with links to his resources. They can be found at (Please becareful. I typed it incorrectly with a .com.... this is not the correct page. Please note the .us).
  • And event notes could be found at
  • A really ingenious idea he has on his page. He uses an addon of a Google map that plots where he has been for a presentation. What a great day!
  • Mr. Warlick also demoed a cool tool, A backchannelling site of sorts.
  • We have moved from an information scarcity society to an information abundance society
  • Children today have no ceiling.
  • Information today is networked, digital, and abundant
  • We live in a “culture of hyperconnectedness”.
  • Rather than necessarily bringing video games into the classrooms, let's figure out what it is about video games that we can learn from and bring that experience to the classroom setting.
  • Mr. Warlick demonstrated the use of Scratch. This made me wonder if Scratch could be downloaded onto an offline computer. Then students could create but we wouldn't have to worry about the implications of the share button. Teachers could share by manually sharing the created files without having the automatic public sharing.
  • We should be teaching digital responsibility – copyright, appropriate use, etc
  • We learn from traction (the hard places). Excellent point. Makes you think about kill and drill vs. inquiry and exploration.
  • Education should be a Responsive Experience
  • The web moves at the speed of light has the data
  • What can we learn from Gaming? Students need goals. Students need appropriate rules. How do our rules help us accomplish our goals?
  • Start small. For example with an image. Then let students question their way into a topic.
  • Good education provokes conversation.
  • In gaming (and as it should be in education) It inspires personal investment. Children succeed by getting it wrong! How often do we learn from the wrong answer in the real world. We should be preparing students for this life skill.
  • Mr. Warlick showed us,
  • According to their website, “DoodleBuzz is a new way to read the news through an experimental interface that allows you to create typographic maps of current news stories.”
  • An interesting idea. Search on a topic through the news. Draw a doodle, line, etc. News articles will shoot off the doodle. Draw another line from a specific line of news to see more information.
  • Students should be guided by safely made mistakes in order to grow
  • Let's make it not about what you have been taught but about what you have taught yourself

First Session Attended:
Amy Rosenstein, 10:10 – 11:00 am
  • Mrs. Rosentstein is a third grade teacher in Ardsley.
  • She played an informative video on Skype. If this was your first time seeing Skype it did a wonderful job highlighting the tool's features. I have used Skype for many years. I did not know that you could drag and drop files directly to your connected partner through the Skype software.
  • Mrs. Rosenstein showed a video synopsis of her program where students connected to individuals around the world.
  • She mentioned Skype in the Classroom, and Epals to find connections.
  • Teaching students to ask good questions is an important skill. Questions that lead to discussion are much more conducive to conversations online then yes or no questions are.
  • Someone asked if Skype sessions can be recorded. Mrs. Rosenstein suggested Vodburner. I should try this again. I had attempted it before but was not successful. But after listening to Mr. Warlick remind us that we learn from getting it wrong, maybe it is time to revisit the tool.

Second Session Attended:
Rus Healy, 11:10 – 12:00 am
Well the useful points from this session were that we need to define the structure around beginning to think about Bring Your Own Technology. You need to define your intended audience. Will you begin with teachers, students, community, or any mix there of when designing your program?
Our goals should be:
What resources do we want members of the wireless network to access?
What users should we support? And how will they be supported?
Where will we provide this access?
What control level do you need to provide?

Pleased to have had lunch with my colleagues from New Rochelle and Adam Bellow. It was great to catch up and compare notes.

Third Session Attended:
Adam Bellow, 1:10 – 2:00 am
Twitter: @eduTecher

I have had the pleasure of knowing Adam for a few years through both the Discovery Educator Network and ISTE Young Educators Network. It is always great to hear him speak. I always come away with a wealth of information and new ideas.

It's funny, as I am about to blog, I notice I begin to write my notes as “Adam shared a soapbox link,” Interesting how my edtech voice changes when it is a member of my PLN. Above I wrote respectfully “Mr. Warlick gave us a website with links to his resources”. Why am I not now beginning this section of notes as “Mr. Bellow”? Perhaps it has to do with Adam Bellow's kind nature. Although he has many accolades behind his name, he never fails to greet those he knows and remembers warmly. I feel honored that through the DEN and ISTE I have met many wonderful, highly reputable ed tech leaders. Many of whom I am graced with the privileged to call friends. These members of my PLN would not be addressed Mr. Dembo, Ms. Naugle, Mrs. Parisi, Mr. Davidson, Mrs.Sheehy, Mrs. Sharoff, etc. The wonderful thing about PLN's is that P. Yes Paula L. Naugle (my former roomie is always special in my heart). But I mean PLN as in Personal Learning Network. The P for personal is what makes it such a great social learning experience.

Now please forgive me as I address Mr. Bellow as Adam in my notes:
  • Adam shared a soapbox link,
  • Love the term he used “a fremium service”. He discussed how some tools eventually require a fee. Although I agree with the companies an excellent tool is worth the fee. I also agree with Adam that companies should work with educators to make the fee reasonable. And teachers should have a plan B, C, D, E, and perhaps F and G.
  • Technology evolves so should Education.
  • Adam played a video regarding the History of Ed Tech. It was interesting to be reminded where we came from and where are now. It is exciting to consider where we will be?
  • As always, Adam's sense of humor and whit came out in his presentation. He talked about being college (showed an image of a set of desks) and career (showed a cubicle) ready (showed a headstone). His presentations are not those horrid presentations of black text on a white screen with too much information to absorb. Adam models teaching digitally.
  • IEP should be for all students. Doesn't an Individualized Education Plan sound like a universal idea?
  • Any teacher that can be replaced by robots should be.
  • Love this video. So glad Adam incorporated it into you his presentation.
  • A slide mentioned several tools that I was familiar with however, I am not familiar with Thanks Adam! I love learning about new things in passing. It wasn't necessarily something that he was presenting on. Just happened to appear. Digital Learning at its finest.
  • Edmodo is training wheels for exploring social learning. Great analogy. I hope to borrow that for a presentation of my own that I need to do for my superiors regarding a recent project.
  • You can't predict the future. We need to build it. Here here. Not to be dripping with Discovery references but Let's Build It Bigger and hopefully better than it has been. Bring on the interaction. Bring on the enjoyment from learning. Bring on the future.

Fourth Session Attended:
Dr. Annette Lamb, 2:10 – 3:00 am

  • Dr. Lamb (hmm back to that respectful professional tone) covered all the basis of the Google Search left hand navigation panel. So many cool new features have been added. Some I have been taking advantage of for awhile. Some were newly introduced to me by Dr. Lamb.
  • It would be wise as she modeled to go over the left navigation search panel and show students all the possibilities they have to them.
  • In Google similar image search you can now drag and drop an image from your desktop. This was a very cool feature Dr. Lamb showed. I have used the url image and the upload app to tell Google what image we want to find similar images of on the web. I haven't done this via drag and drop methods yet. Very cool
  • Life magazine images are now available in Google Image Search.
  • Youtube has an educator/schools portal. Youtube for schools. FAQ.
    • Appropriate education channels can be limited to view and exclude the extras that are deemed inappropriate
      • BBC
      • Discovery
      • National Geographic
  • Blog search is available on the left navigation search panel. Filter results from the search engine to just blogs.
  • Google patents – find the original primary source documents regarding the filing for any particular patent.
  • Google applications – search for related applications to a search term.
  • Some google skills:
    • Generate questions
    • Identify key words
    • Select google tools
    • Analyze google snippets
    • Identify main ideas
    • Connect to questions
    • Evaluate resources
  • – web graphic organizers for video, audio, graphics and text
  • If you search in Google by action words they will find videos
  • Reading Levels search by basic, intermediate, and advanced
  • Teach students that the url has changed after clicking on a Google result. You are no longer in Google. Teach them to look at the url address bar to see where they are “located”.
  • Analyze who created the page, why should we believe the information
  • Google Search stories – 7 options of searches (I have been asked to draft a direction sheet on this. I will do so shortly).
  • Google now has hotel finder and flight (show time and distance of any flight)
  • Google Elections
  • I know to Google myself to stay aware of what is written on the web. But use Google Scholar too to see if your referenced in articles.
  • Gooru for learning tools
  • Google Science Fair
  • Gwigle Game ( to practice searching
What an amazing amount of material was covered quickly.

Fifth Session Attended:
Web Tools to Make Your Classroom Rock
Adam Bellow, 3:10 – 4:00 am
Twitter: @eduTecher

A second helping of information on tools to bring to our classrooms were showcased by Adam.
  • He mentioned that Educational technology should be about what the stuff let's us do, not about the stuff.
  • A response system creator for phones
  • Make your images interactive
  • for online study groups
  • shorten multiple urls into one easy url shortener
  • How to direction list creator
  • Online video editor and collaborator
    • Private and shared libraries can be created
  • Put yourself into your presentations. Video over slideshows overlay. Really cool tool. This was demonstrated to me at a DEN event in the fall. But I had unfortunately forgotten about this tool. Grateful for the reminder.
  • Can't wait to share this one with teachers. This tool was very new too me. Record audio and convert to instrumentals
  • Great task created if this then that. Set up parameters to put the web to work for you.
  • A popup sticky wall of notes. Similar to a wall of online Post-its
  • There is no finish line. Love that statement. The goal should be lifelong learner and tools constantly change. There really is indeed no finish line.
  • EduTecher,, has a back pack feature where you can save your favorite tools
  • What fabulous resources for everyone to explore and possibly integrate!

What a great day of social learning and socializing! The day concluded with a raffle giveaway. One experience that was quite comical was when I was asked to choose one of the raffle tickets from the bag for the numbers to be called. I quipped, “I don't want to pull the raffle ticket. I want to have the winning raffle ticket.” The number I happened to choose was one digit away from my own number. Too comical for words. Thank you LHRIC for providing such an amazing day. Thank you presenters for a wonderful learning experience. And a very special thank you to the vendors that helped make the day possible.