Thursday, July 03, 2008

Viral Learning and Teaching 101: Reflections from NECC

I wasn't able to attend NECC 2008 in San Antonio, TX. Well...I wasn't physically in Texas, anyway.

Technology, being what it is, allowed me to participate in so many ways that were not possible 5 years ago.

On Wednesday, for example, using Skype, virtual help from Darren Draper, and the can-do spirit, I was able to present with Vicki Davis, Robin Ellis, Darren Draper, Kristen Hokanson, Kelly Dumont, and Carolyn Foote on Viral Professional Development. Here is the UStream:

At the same time I was presenting with them, the Ramapo Story World Kids presented their amazing work. Peggy Sheehy, BernaJean Porter, Knowclue Kidd, and Kevin Jarrett presented the work of students who took Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken" and crafted an amazing and immersive application of it. Literature Alive! was able to step in during the final hours to help the students see their work materialize in Second Life. While I am proud of everything we do at Literature Alive!, I am really pleased with this project. Our mission is to help others share a love of literature through a passion for reading, and we say that we support others in their quest to share literature. We don't often have the opportunity to help others, so it was personally fulfilling to be able to do just meet our mission in such a complete and focused way. And, of course, that would not have been possible with out the tireless volunteerism of Eloise Pasteur and Daliah Carter.

Aside from being able to present at NECC, I was able to participate, as well. In addition to being able to listen to the excellent keynote addresses, I was able to participate in a workshop led by Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay. The Flat Classrooms workshop was very engaging, and it reinforced some ideas that were floating around in my head. For one, I have realized that I need instructions. I am not able to look at a wiki and guess the next step. So, I truly felt like a student because I often forget to break things down for them. Since I didn't understand the rules, I went ahead and created all kinds of pages that weren't needed and, as a result, messed up some other groups as they tried to prepare their wikis. I also learned that I love working with my international friends...I got to spend some quality time with Nick Noakes and Eloise Pasteur as learners, and we all struggled together as students instead of as teachers. I am fairly convinced that the three of us would have been in the naughty chairs in school!

So, in the span of 12 hours...I was connected with a boat load of people and, yet, I was alone in my dining room. Isn't technology great???


I love photoshop! I played with this image and made a wee movie. Someone needs to remind me to keep packing and stop playing!

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