Melting ICE - My poster session and final reflections
Day 3 (for me) marked my debut in the conference arena as a presenter. As soon as I finished setting up my widescreen display and laptops, I found 12 people crowded around in a half circle by my table. So, off I went and as I walked through my Prezi and described our Google Apps deployment process at ETHS. A few large groups and many individuals later, I survived my first poster session and honestly loved every minute. I can see why some presenters enjoy posters more as I was able to connect with individuals much like how I enjoy connecting with students one-on-one in the classroom. It was great to hear what other schools were doing, and I was able to offer some advice to those schools just starting their experience with Google Apps. One potential collaboration involves working with some faculty members at Zion Benton High School in developing both curriculum materials and a course for training teachers on how to use Google Apps as well as assessments for the skills learned in such a course.
Earlier in the day, I attended a breakout session by Brent Coley on iPod flashcards which was quite interesting. I can see several great applications for this in so many fields which require any form of memorization: Vocabulary for English and World Languages, Formulas for Math and Science, to name a few obvious choices. Having students design their own flashcards (all through PowerPoint, a program they already know) is a great way for them to get involved in assessing their own learning as well. Clearly, not all of our students would have iPods (though an equivalent mp3 player or cell phone with image playback capabilities would suffice). However, I wouldn't be surprised if more than half did have such a device. This would be enough to consider offering this as a teaching tool and/or curriculum supplement. Or, a teacher could look into applying for a grant to get a classroom set of iPod nanos (cheaper and with video cameras) and tie these into podcasting projects.
The last session for me involved "What Not to Present" by Cindy Lane. In this session, Ms. Lane walked us through the "Dr. Doolittle" experiment which showed us how important imagery can be in memory recall. She then tied this into how to use more images and fewer words in presentations. This seemed to gel with my earlier post on why I liked Prezi both as a presentation tool and a way to organize my thoughts in the presentation creation process.