Reflections from IETC Springfield - 2011

It's presentation week for me, as I co-led an in-house learning strand on Monday for our school, followed by a 2-hour workshop at IETC on Wednesday, and tomorrow it's off to NCTE for a 1+ hour workshop on Tablet PCs. Although I'm looking forward to some turkey and time on the couch, I wanted to reflect for a brief moment on my presentation.

The topic was "Creating a Teacher Website Using Google Sites", and I was pleased to have over 40+ in attendance. Most stayed until the very end as we discussed the ins and outs of how to create a useful and manageable teacher website. The workshop included a presentation on what works and what doesn't for teacher websites, followed by over 1.5 hours of hands-on time creating, adding, and editing web pages. I tried to address as many questions and offer 1:1 assistance throughout the session, and I was pleased to see individuals helping each other as well when I was occupied.

One huge surprise was the ability of many attendees to create and edit their Google Site using Apple's iPad. With so many iPads now in the field, I was admittedly skeptical that those with the iconic tablet would not be able to do much more than watch and take notes. Instead, we found that the device held up quite well, and I don't think we lost any of those in attendance that chose to go forward with building a site.

It was mentioned that I appeared to have spent a lot of time building this workshop. I certainly did, but I hope that it will be worth it as the site can effectively help all of our teachers as well as those in other districts who may not have the time or the opportunity to set up individual meetings with me or their respective technology staff developer. That being said, I do hope I get to offer this workshop again in some capacity. It was a pleasure working with dozens of new teachers and playing a role in their website development process. Please feel free to view the session resources, and contact me if you have any questions or would like me to present at your conference or organization.

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