Yesterday was a day of learning and inspiration. I spent the day at the Jacobson Visiting Scholar Symposium at Grand View University. Last year was the the initial year for this event. I attended then and I enjoyed it. This year was even better.
The morning started out with a delicious breakfast provided by the university. We started the day with a keynote address by visiting scholar, Dr. Erica Boling from Rutgers University. Dr. Boling talked about Transforming Education through Multimedia and Technology.
Following the keynote, we chose between three breakout sessions, presented by Dr. Boling, Alex Kitchen of the Bondurant Schools, and Steven Hopper from Heartland AEA. I sat in on Dr. Boling's presentation about using screencasting. She talked about the power of using video, particularly video created by students, to learn. Some of the examples she showed us using tools like Animoto carried that powerful message forward.
I used to use Animoto a lot, but during the past couple years I haven't. Dr. Boling showed us a video that she has used to introduce herself to students, which is something I used to do, but for some reason stopped. I also used to use Animoto as a communication tool with parents to show some of the great work kids were doing, and I am going to get back to doing that.
The afternoon was devoted to fifteen minute TeachMeet Sessions, including one presented by yours truly. I came away with lots of new things to explore, as well as reminders to return to some things I have tried in the past.
Some of the things I want to explore are:
- The communities on Google +. I didn't have any idea how many there were.
- Photopeach, which works like Animoto
- For screencasting I have used Jing. I want to check out Screenr and Screencastomatic.
- Popplet for mind mapping. This was a session presented by Christine Smith.
- Oh, yes! The Too Noisy App for the iPad, which totally cracked me up. I am afraid my kids might enjoy setting it off, but it was funny. That was presented by Jen Wells, who also talked about other Classroom Management Technology like Class Dojo.
I presented a session on Digital Story Telling. I showed the group the things my students have created using Bitstrips for Schools, Voki, Kidblog, and Storybird. You can see the things we talked about by visiting our class Wibki. The links are on the writing page.
I was really excited to see one of my colleagues from school there. It was nice to share the day with one of my coworkers. This was time well spent, and it reminded me how powerful some of these tools are, not to mention the energy and ideas shared by fellow educators.