Another NYSCATE and as usual I still cannot believe how badly PowerPoint is used. Gary Marx, one of the Keynote speakers had one of the worst presentations I have seen in a long time. Slide after slide of bullet after bullet. He presented his “Sixteen Trends” which is more than can be absorbed in an hour and I could have read the book more easily than trying to keep up with his slides. His talk was good, just his use of multimedia slideshows was awful.
There were many sessions on the use of MUVE’s (Multi-User Virtual Environments) and a playground featuring Twitter, Ning, and Second Life to expose teachers to some of these cutting edge uses of technology. These social networking tools are enabling teachers to explore and get comfortable with Social Networking. I believe they need to be comfortable before they can even explore how they might use them in schools.
I had the great pleasure of meeting a number of people I have been networking with online and spent a good deal of time with Catherine Parsons (Victoria Gloucester) and Nancy Sharoff (Laelia Laval), as well as going to sessions presented by Sylvia Martinez, David Jakes, and Will Richardson. Brian Smith and Andrew Wheelock were both involved with the conference organization and found the time to chat with me as well. I had the opportunity to chat with David in person for a bit as opposed to online, which is a rare treat. He is a real gentleman, a very smart guy, and great to chat with. His sessions along with Will’s Q and A session were the highlights. Thanks for the conversations David!