NECC 2007 – Atlanta – Day 1 and 2

Exhibit_hall_entranceWell I’m down here in Atlanta attending the 2007 NECC Conference.  I now know why they

call it "Hotlanta".  Yesterday was a code red day at 95 degrees.  I’ll periodically be updating you about what’s going on down here.  After being down here for two days I realize that I have a lot to learn about blogging.  I’ve seen people blogging while listening to presentations.  I unfortunately need to process before typing so my posts won’t be so up to the minute.  There are about 16,000 educators attending this year.  I have to say the crowds are a little overwhelming.  The exhibit hall is unbelievable.  Picture five football fields filled with every technology vendor, product and service known to man.  062507_14321jpg

It has only been two days, but a couple of buzz words have already emerged.  Creativity, Innovation and Globalization.  All put together in various combinations.  How many ways do they go together? These terms were first heard in last evening’s keynote presentation from Andrew Zolli.  Andrew is the designer of Pop!Tech and is considered a leader among young futurists.  For more on last night’s keynote check out he Funkee Munkee Land blog.   I’ve attended 4 sessions so far. Unfortunately I didn’t leave any of them completely blown away but I was able to gather a few bits and pieces to share with you. 

Session One: NET*S Refreshed
New NET for students were unveiled this morning. NET*S: The Next Generation now contain the following six strands:

  1. Creativity and Innovation
  2. Communication and Collaboration
  3. Research and Information Fluency
  4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  5. Digital Citizenship
  6. Technology Operations and Concepts

Session Two: Reinventing Project Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in a Digital Age
Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss are releasing a new book with the same name as the session title.  It will be released from ISTE in November. They feel that technology has reinvented problem based learing.  They promoted the use of wikis, blogs, skype , IM and del.icio.us for  student collaboration.  Though mainly a presentation to promote their new book, I did learn about three neat sites.

  1. Reinventing project based learning blog – What it’s all about
  2. Reinventing project based learning Flickr site – What it all looks like
  3. Google Lit Trips – A PBL that integrates literature and Google Earth

Session Three:The Anti-Boredom Campaign: Integrating Technology to Break the Worksheet Cycle
This was a model classroom presentation.  Using palms, white boards, digital cameras and blogging, attendees learned about the 50 states by participating in the 50 State Amazing Race. 
    
Session Four: Investigating Mathematical Models and Concepts Using Virtual Manipulatives and Applets.
Jennifer Suh and Chris Johnston, from George Mason University (VA), explored ways to effectively integrate virtual manipulatives into math instruction.  The main focus of the presentation was on how to use virtual manipulatives to teach mathematical concepts. The following websites were discussed.

  1. Math Playground
  2. NCTM Illuminations
  3. Jennifer’s Math Bridge Site

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