ISTE 2010 in Denver was my first technology conference and, other than the fact that I was mentally overloaded, I came away inspired in so many ways for my new group of students coming in August. I am now exploring Edmodo and In Sky (Learning.com) and how I will use them in my classroom. The additions to Learning.com will make the use of technology fit into daily learning much more smoothly than just using it to complete assignments and projects.
Liz, I can appreciate the "overload" from the conference. I think most of us are that way the first time we go, but, like you, we come away with many new ideas that we just can't wait to try out in our classrooms.
How do you plan to use your new found tools in your classroom? I would also be interested in hearing about the responses from your students.
My personal opinion is that ISTE provides me the opportunity to try and take a drink from a Firehose!
ISTE has a lot to offer. I am unable to really get a good drink from such a large Firehose. I, therefore, try to find one thing to implement in my classroom after the conference. I'm excited you found two things to implement. I look forward to hearing more about how you are implementing and enjoying the use of both Edmodo and In Sky within your classroom. Please make sure you share challenges you have with each as well.
Liz - I agree that you can be overwhelmed at technology conferences - so many great choices where to start. You mentioned that are you are exploring "Edmodo and In Sky (Learning.com)" how did you choose to start with those resources? What made them stand out to you as a place to start?
And did is there a resource that you used before NECC - that you came back to and realized that is the best tool for the job?
The best tools I ever found out about are the InTel teaching tools. Not only are they free, versatile and interactive; but the tools are durable and lasting. Of course, there were so many other tools provided that we could never actually use all of them. This and some similarities among tools revealed how competetive the field is. Likewise, this indicated the importance of being knowledgeable about the resources. I guess that is one reason why I like the InTel teaching tools and the simplistic nature that presents the tools as reliable resources. Nonetheless, I am definitely considering going back to another conference just to find out about all of the new tools and see how everyone is utilizing them.
Eva, as I work with teachers here in AZ who are using and learning to use the tools, I always hear the word "Wow". I have worked with an 8th grade math teacher who's students came alive when she introduced the Seeing Reason tool in their lesson. The kids loved the tool so much, that when they started to act up, all the teacher had to say was "Do you want to go back to using the book"? Instant quiet.
Have you had the opportunity to use the tools yet and if so, what was your students reaction to them?
Eva - Thanks for all you posts and replies. There are many Visual Ranking and Assessing Projects fans here in Engage. Have you used the Showing Evidence Tool with your students? I'm still not all that comfortable using the tool. I'd appreciate hearing from anyone about their usage.
In addition to ISTE, I have been facilitating a technology training this week for teachers in my district. We have been helping teachers to discover new Web 2.0 tools that will enhance communication and collaboration among their students and between teachers. So, this has definitely been a tech-based summer!
One of the reasong that In Sky (Learning.com) caught my interest is that our district has been using Learning.com for several years and our students and teachers are already familiar with it. The weakness has been that it only provided basic technology lessons that don't necessarily fit into the required curriculum. With In Sky, teachers can enhance classroom lessons and units with simple addition to their class assignments via Learning.com. Since students already have Learning.com accounts, they will be able to log in and extend their content/ curriculum-based learning via Web 2.0 tools.
What spoke to me most directly about Edmodo is its simplicity. Many blogging sites have lots of distraction on the pages. For first time bloggers, Edmodo provides a safe social/ academic networking platform without a lot of extra fluff to distract them from the ongoing discussions. I also like that you can search for other Edmodo teachers by campus, district.....