Monday, November 16, 2009

26th Annual Technology Conference at Michigan State University

This past weekend, on Saturday (Nov. 14th), I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the 26th annual, 2009 Technology Conference. It was held at Erickson Hall on Michigan State University’s campus, and it was an all day affair for those individuals interested in attending the sessions and workshops. I found the conference to be very well planned out. It consisted of morning sessions and workshops and afternoon sessions and workshops (The sessions were free while the workshops cost extra money). If you’d like, you can take a look at the conference agenda. This may provide you an understanding of the day’s events.

Oh! Another very cool thing about this conference…it was easily followed on Twitter, via #coetc09! I had almost completely forgotten about my Twitter account until that morning. I was able to follow conversations and ask questions and receive answers on a variety of topics relating to information being conveyed during the conference.

I had the chance to arrive early enough for the continental breakfast which led right into the key note speaker’s presentation. Andy Losik, the 2009 MACUL educator of the year, did a fantastic job of garnering everyone’s attention and admiration for the amount of hard work and energy he puts forth in the area of teaching and technology. Once his presentation was complete, I attended the morning session, “I Have a SMART Board…Now What?” This session was extremely informational. I have not had the opportunity to work with SMART Boards, sadly. The schools I have been placed in have not had such high-tech resources at their disposal. After attending this session, I realized how AWESOME they are! I REALLY hope that my future classroom has a SMART Board. However, I also left the session feeling extremely overwhelmed with just how lacking I am in the area of understanding how to USE SMART Boards. Hopefully, in the weeks/months to come, I will have the opportunity to practice using a SMART Board and, with any luck, feel comfortable utilizing one with students in a classroom.

I had debated with myself, at an earlier time, with whether or not I should sign up for a workshop. I decided to go ahead and I’m glad I did. For the afternoon I attended the workshop “Unlocking the Collaborative Power of Your Classroom: Creating Classroom Wikis Using” presented by Erik Byker. First of all, Erik Byker is my TE 401 Social Studies course instructor and I think he is an awesome teacher. Not only am I interested in creating classroom wikis (I want to create one for my fourth grade class as my final extension project) but I also wanted to show support to a great instructor. I’m glad I did. I had a wonderful time investigating the “behind the scenes” of creating classroom wikis, and I’m excited to begin making my own. If you are interested; I was given a handout during this workshop with quick tips, and useful suggestions to contemplate while creating your wiki and I would be happy to forward it along.

Finally, I want to throw a thank you out there to everyone responsible for putting the conference together and ensuring that all those in attendance would have a meaningful experience. Not only did I enjoy myself, but I also learned a great deal. Thank you!

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