Friday, July 20, 2007

Building Learning Communities....turning the corners....Day 2

There have been several organized activities that have been setup for the BLC conference...last night we did the Boston Duck Tour with several of our groups from the conference. It was a great tour. The Duck Tour guide/driver "Captain Covert" was absolutely hilarious! Not only did we get a good overview of the history of Boston but we got a stand-up comic routine as well. There were quite a few duck boats scooting around the town and I am sure that all the guides were great....but I highly recommend Captain Covert if you get a chance to choose.

After the tour, people had a chance to either do some shopping, eat dinner or have a walk. Our small international group (Canada/NZ, UK and AUS) decided to take the walk to find the Cheers Bar....which we did.

You never know what is going to happen at a conference or in a hotel. Last night after we returned to our room and ready to get some sleep...I started to hear water running....I jumped up and ran into the bathroom and there was a stream of water coming out of our bathroom ceiling all over the bathroom. I ran down to the front desk to let them know....they ran up to the room above us and apparently the room above had plugged their toilet and flushed it a couple of times.....apparently a lot! The water continued to stream down for what seemed like an eternity but was about 30 - 45 minutes. The floor was flooded. The hotel was booked solid but a room was found for us and we had to move rooms around 1:30 in the morning.

Ewan McIntosh did another great presentation this morning on "We're Adopting: An Adoption Strategy for Social Software in Education." Ewan talked about the strategies that he and his team in Scotland use to encourage teachers to use technology.

Emergent is an important aspect in the success of teacher technology integration. Emergent behaviour is is basically learning by example.

5 examples of emergent behaviour is:
  • lead by example
  • lead by reminding
  • provide adequate support
  • lead by mandate (one of the worst things to do...ONLY use it if you ABSOLUTELY have to)
  • personal and school benefits compliment each other

The last presentation of the afternoon was Marco Torres. Marco's presentation "Lights, Camera, Learn: Movie-Making Made Simple and Fun!"

All week Marco's students have been here at the conference videotaping (for podcasts on the BLC07 site) and taking photographs to record the conference. I had a chance to talk to these young people and they are really amazing. The ideas, positive outlook and passion that they have for their work and their future was quite inspiring.

Marco is a social studies teacher that found a voice for his students through video. Marco talked about the ownership of multimedia and stated that it is a language that isn't owned by anyone. Multimedia is a tool to be able to communicate effectively and globally. Some steps and tips on best practices was highlighted in the workshop. Check out the links below for further information.

Websites: (student website with lots of films the students have produced) (produced outside visiting schools) (podcasts on quick how-to's)

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