Last minute preparations
At the suggestion of Toni Oliveri-Barton, I submitted a proposal to present on “Skype in the Classoom” for ISTE2014. It was accepted and special online friends and members of HLW Skypers and Global Classroom group offered to be part of the presentation. They were Toni Oliveri Barton,Theresa Allen, Louise Morgan and David Karsoncak. We asked Steve Sherman (Living Maths) from South Africa and Janet Barnstable, of USA, to be our special e-guests so that conference participants could experience the nature of skype and multi video participants Prior to the session
- A skype group was formed initially for the face-to-face participants so that we could collaborate and chat 24/7. The chat remains and will be there for up to 12 months or more. Living on the other side of the world still meant that I could read the discussions in my waking hours. (See 7 tips for successful skype groups)
- several skype videoconference calls were made to finalize the presentation
- google presentation Skype in the Classroom was used for our collaborative session – add slides, comments, images
- a google document Skype in the Classroom Resources and a collaborative live binder were setup to add resources. Conference participants and others were encouraged to help crowd source the google document.
- decided on an iste skype hashtag #iste14skype See the twitter feed
Immediately prior to the session
- @murcha @dkarnoscak @toniobarton @tdallen5 @mrsmorgansclass met in the bloggers cafe to finalize our presentation
- labelled the slides with our initials
- tested the connection 30 mins earlier from our allocated room. Brought in Steve and Janet via video
- positioned a webcam on the audience so that Steve and Janet could see who they were talking too.
- enlisted Sue Wyatt aka @tasteach to be our chief tweeter and administrator. Thanks Sue!
- Preston Morgan to be our general liaison person, photographer etc
- ensuring sufficient bandwidth for two simultaneous video linkups as the 1000s of conference attendees were using the internet often with 2 or 3l devices.
- keeping the 5 presenters all keen to talk about their exciting work, to a time limit.
- ensuring that both Janet and Steve could feel part of it by facing laptop webcam on the audience
- ensuring we were ready to talk to our slides so that time was not wasted. Theresa setup her laptop with the presentation advanced one slide in front of the session laptop.
- enabling Steve to demonstrate the more complex features of skype remotely from Sth Africa.
Participants start to arrive
After the session
- Louise Morgan created a storify listing the twitter conversations
- Session and document links were uploaded to the ISTE site
- Tweeted out the links to documents and presentation
Do you have ideas, resources etc to add to our crowd sourced document:- Skype in the Classroom Resources. Please add them. Were you at our session? If so, we would love some feedback.
Having decided to attend ISTE rather late in the piece, most of the cheaper accommodation was booked out. So, I stayed in the Little Italy Inn, a bed and breakfast in Little Italy, some 10-15 mins drive from the convention centre. This was a gorgeous, quaint area of San Diego. Here are some photos of my journey to ISTE each morning. Contrast that with my journey to school each day.
LIttle Italy a lovely part of San Diego
Breakfast complete, it is time to go to ISTE
Exiting the front door of the Litlle Italy Inn
Past the gardens
This reminded my of home – the tractor
Views to sea down the far end of street
Past my favourite Italian bakery and coffee shop
Past the older style houses
Nearly at hotel to catch shuttle bus
By this time, I was getting more comfortable with the wide variety of sessions and options to be found at ISTE. Following is a summary of my day.
Evernote – a pre-booked session through event-brite at one of the nearby hotels. This was a really interesting and practical session and included demonstrations by two teachers on classroom use.
Poster Session The Flat Classroom Projects I joined 5 Flat Classroom teachers in the great foyer. We were to take it in turns over the two hours to answer questions, but were so busy that we all stayed the full time. It was wonderful to meet face to face this network and be able to share the great learning that goes on in these projects.
“There’s an App for That! Finding Real Solutions with Today’s Apps” hosted by friend Gail Lovely. Australian teacher Chris Betcher was on the panel.
Ignite session This was a fast paced, action packed, inspiring session where speakers were allowed 20 images each showing for 15 seconds to share their topic “to ignite ours and expand horizons”. @edusum from Sydney Australia spoke about her students and how they had united to reduce bullying issues within their school using social media.
SIGMS Forum: Expanded Learning Opportunities – Using Social Media in the Library. This was a great session. The participants, mainly librarians were a jovial, animated group who showed passion for the use of web2.0 tools. Steve Hargadon provided the keynote and then a number of presenters shared tools that they like to use.
Networking It was with great delight that I met my great friend and mentor Peggy George on the Sunday of the conference. That night I was able to go out for dinner with her and also meet face to face Kim Caise who is another special online colleague. Peggy and Kim are c0-hosts of Classroom 2.0LIVE.
Following are brief summaries of further sessions attended on Monday 24th June.
Creating and Collecting Digital Work with Kevin Honeycutt and Tammy Worcestor Tammy and Kevin presented as an inspiring professional team, demonstrating apps that will provide urls or embed code. These can then be saved as links in a google sheet in digital dropbox. From there they can be accessed anywhere for printing or further use in online spaces etc.
Innovative and effective use of google maps bringing subject matter to life, using pins that feature links, videos, audio, images, notes etc.
Birds of a Feather – Global Education with Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis taking the lead completed the day. This was an informal gathering of like minded people sharing global projects, networking and opportunities and needs. Participants came from a broad range of countries.
The day was complete when an evening meal was enjoyed with Flat Classroom Teachers
in one of the restaurants in the Gaslamp area. There is something so special about meeting online colleagues face to face!
ESL (or English as a second language) has been a problem for me in San Diego. My Australian strine does not connect well with many US accents. So many times, I am asked ‘pardon’. It was fortunate that when ordering my sandwich at Subway, I had Kathleen Morris with me as she was able to keep interpreting each of my requests into US speech and again interpret that US accent for me!
However, this morning really showed the extent of the problem. I popped into this delightful Italian cafe where the most delectable assortment of cakes, breads and biscuits were displayed in shiny clean glass cabinets. The shop assistant was so friendly and accommodating and in my best Australian voice I asked for a roll with ham, fetta cheese and tomatoes using the Italian name. She immediately got me some baklava. So, I apologetically, said that I wanted the bread roll, to which she asked “do you want to take out” or eat here. (I thought). I said to take away as I wanted it for my lunch. Food is not in high supply at the Convention Centre and long queues form to place orders.
She proceed out the back and soon returned without my roll. Assuming it was being wrapped for me, I soon realised that perhaps they were toasting it. Even more apologetically, I said that I did not want it toasted, but wanted a fresh roll. She very obligingly cancelled the toasting and gave me the correct food. Minutes later, I was on my way to catch the shuttle bus to the conference!
There have been so many misunderstandings etc but good humour always prevails and both sides of the English language are good at that!