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FETC Finds

FETC Logo  I can't tell you how excited I am to be presenting and learning at the Florida Educational Technology Conference this week!  I arrived in Orlando Wednesday evening and presented two sessions myself on Thursday. The first one was on Apple's new iWork 09 suite and how to design documents and presentations to engage students.  

My second presentation was titled "Creating a Personal Learning Network with Web 2.0 tools" I co-presented with Colleen Glaude, who works with me in Pensacola, and Katie Morrow, a virtual colleague from Nebraska.  We posted the resources from our presentation here and will also be posting the actual slides from the presentation soon. 

Today, Friday, I get to be a learner!  I'm excited about seeing and hearing what new things are out there for Educational Technology.  I'll be updating this post throughout the day with what I've learned and what I find. In most of the sessions I'm attending, I'll be taking notes using my laptop and Google Docs.  I'll be sure to post links to my notes here so you can learn along with me.

Olah  The first session I attended today was presented by Michelle Olah, Spanish Teacher at Teague Middle School in Altamonte Springs, Florida.  She presented a session titled "Get them Talking using Web 2.0" Her session gave lots of great ideas for Foreign Language teachers to use to help students practice communication skills and to learn about foreign cultures.  In fact, many of the resources and ideas she shared are ones that would be perfect for many subject areas and grade levels.  My notes from her session are here and Michelle's site to support the presentation is here.  Check it out!

Now I'm off to search for more learning!

It's 1:30 and I just left Jill Burdo's session on "Creating a Closed Social Network for a School: Lessons Learned" Jill spoke about her school's experience with using Social Networks as a tool for teaching and learning while providing an internal and safe environment for students.  My notes from her session are here.  I really like the thought of using Social Network tools to support teaching and learning. It's a great way to take the learning beyond the classroom.

One session that I didn't get a chance to attend, but you need to check out is Laura Ketcham's presentation on Using Cross-Curriculum Web 2.0 Technology to Increase Learning Outcomes.  She and her students created videos to introduce participants to how web tools help them communicate and learn. Laura used the videos as part of her presentation and she gives lots of great resources and suggestions for using web tools with her students. Make sure to take a look at her site!

My final session of the day was presented by Dean Shareski.  His session "Going Global, Going Public" was one that led to some great conversations later in the day.  Dean spoke about learning to manage your digital identity and how to teach students to create a digital footprint that represents them well. My notes from the session are here.

There were so many great presentations that I didn't get to attend, but with the use of digital tools, I was still able to learn from them.  Suzan Brandt and Jeff Richardson, two great technology educators from Hoover, Alabama created a wiki site to share session links and to document their own learning.

Many presenters also used UStream to live stream their presentations so that remote learners could learn along with the participants such as this presentation on MathTrain.TV. I actually attended this presentation remotely while sitting in the Orlando Airport waiting for my flight home.  You can still view the video by watching the recorded version here.

I learned so much while attending FETC that I know it's going to take me a while to just process it all.  However, my biggest take-away from the conference was that professional development can happen anytime, anywhere with digital tools.


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