The best thing about using social media at a conference is that you have the potential of sharing what you have discovered and learned with thousands of people.
They could be at the conference, but unable to be in two places at one time – like the cool session you are in. They could be back at their district, but can’t attend, and would love to learn about the resources and thinking that happened in Grand Rapids. The possibilities are endless.
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” – ― Siddhārtha Gautama
So please help share the learning with the education community and add descriptive tags to your posts on your blog, your Flickr pictures and your tweets. Here are our suggestions for the conference:
blogs – macul12
flickr – macul12
twitter – #macul12
I presented my session, Elementary Wiki Wonderland on Friday morning. I wanted to share the links to my presentation wiki and class wiki. I was thrilled with the amazing teachers I met who are as excited about wikis and Web tools as I am. It is so fun to share! The MACUL conference is where I learned about wikis from Julie Myrmel and Diane Rich in Hudsonville two years ago and I am happy to be able to share this with others. My presentation wiki also has information on how I use Blogs in my classroom as well as blogging resources. Be sure to check out the Wiki and Blog links to see how other educators around the world are using these tools with their students, as well as the Web 2.0 Tools page. I will continue to add to the presentation wiki. I plan to create tutorials on how to add users to your wiki and how to use the manage wiki settings. I am happy to answer questions, feel free to email me or contact me through the MACUL space ning (and while you are there, Join the MACUL space ning. It is another great way to connect with amazing eductors in Michigan.)
I think it was last year (maybe it was two years ago) that Kevin Clark introduced me to ScribeFire. It’s a blogging extension for Firefox. I find it is incredibly useful during conferences. First off, you can use it in a split screen mode, so you can still surf on the top half while taking notes in the bottom half.
More importantly though is that it saves work locally and then publishes to your blog once you’ve finished. I’ve sat through too many conferences where the wireless was either too slow or too unreliable for me to rely on an application in the cloud. Nothing’s worse then spending a bunch of time working on a post and having it get lost due to poor internet access. With ScribeFire this isn’t a problem.
Other cool features include:
- Easy tagging with check boxes for tags you’ve used in the past
- Enable pings through all the normal channels
- Post to del.icio.us with the same tags
- Easily add Technorati Tags
If you blog, or even just want to take notes during sessions I highly recommend this Firefox extension. Now, if I could just figure out how to have one window that would have the live chat from MACULSpace, ScribeFire, and still be able to surf… But then I’d wish I had a bigger screen
I attended my first MACUL Conference in 2002 and have attended each year since. I went the first year as a participant only; I got the feel for MACUL and benefited greatly from what I experienced and learned. The following year, and each year thereafter, I have come to the conference as a presenter. I like sharing and helping others learn and grow, and having a “presenter mindset” keeps me always on the hunt for new ways of using technology for teaching and learning.
Some of the most important MACUL experiences that have shaped me professionally include:
- Purchasing a Snagit/Camtasia bundle from the vendor area in 2002. I began screen casting long before it became a fad. People still come up to me and tell me they recognize my voice from the CD I published back in 2003! I’m still using Camtasia (and Jing) on a regular basis.
- Receiving a MACUL grant in 2004 for a digital storytelling project. I presented at the MACUL conference with a teacher from my district to share what we did and how digital storytelling positively impacts student writing. I developed a website to go with it, and people from all over the world still visit and use the teaching materials, especially to show the student examples.
- Hearing about the power of blogging from Will Richardson and David Warlick at Macul 2005. I created my own blog, Yes Tech! in Nov 2006 and have found that it helps me to be a reflective practitioner.
- Attending a Steve Dembo “Top 10 Web 2.0 Tools” session in 2007 opened my eyes to many new tools: Twitter, Wikispaces, and Flickr, to name a few.
- Getting to know & networking with other like-minded educators at social events on Thursday nights! The face-to-face meetings have continued, thanks to MACUL Space.
What are your favorite MACUL memories?
It’s officially one week since MACUL 2008 closed it’s doors, but the conversations are still going strong, thanks in part to the terrific work from the MACUL Conference Bloggers! This year alone we amassed over 80 posts about the conference, dozens of comments, and have sparked several conversations (both online and face to face) about extending and enhancing the conference experience. Too often, I receive thanks for putting it all together, but I’m always quick to protest that it’s not me who deserves the accolades, but rather the teachers, tech-integrators, and all around incredible people that blogged at this year’s conference.
If you were a conference attendee and gave a little bit of your time to blog about the conference and included the tag “macul08“, my deepest thanks to you for helping provide a connected learning experience for us all. And of course, those educators that put in their time and effort several months in advance to blog here on the MACUL Conference Blog, please accept my most sincere appreciation and gratitude for going above and beyond your normal duties to provide both conference attendees and those following along from home such excellent coverage of the MACUL 2008 Conference in Grand Rapids! All of the bloggers did a fantastic job of paving the way for great discussions coming out of this year’s conference.
Just in case you wanted a recap of your favorite blogger’s posts, or if you want to thank them personally with a comment, just click on one of the blogger’s names and you can see all of the hard work they put into the MACUL Conference Blog.
Image: ‘THANK YOU‘