I know it’s difficult for many conference goers to come for the full three days. In fact, due to current budget reductions and belt-tightening, I often receive looks of jealousy and envy when I gush about a preconference session that I had. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend any of the precon events last year, but with this year’s offerings, I’m going to try my hardest to make it to at least a half day session on Wednesday, the 5th.
What has my interest so peaked? With precon sessions ranging from Lego Robotics (play like a kid) to Moodle (play like a bigger kid), and Universal Design for Learning (play with all the kids), I’m going to find it difficult to decide which to attend. I wish I could attend them all, and hopefully enough conference bloggers will be in attendance to give us highlights of the precon sessions, but I know whichever I choose, I’ll be treated to half a day of edutastic (it’s totally a word) technology based learning.
Add to that all of the hands-on MAC and PC based sessions on Thursday and Friday, and there’s more than enough to keep me busy. Of course, precons and hands-on session cost a bit extra, but you get 2 ot 4 hours (some precons lasting all day) of dedicated hands-on time to play with new tools, and often will leave with a wealth of knowledge, and a really nice freebie piece of software. Check out the links below to see if any of these sessions are for you.
MACUL 2008 Precon Sessions
MACUL 2008 Hands-On Sessions
Did you know that the MACUL Conference gets going on Wednesday, March 5? There are many awesome pre-conference sessions on a wide variety of topics this year. Sessions include:
- NXT Robotics – Lessons with Math and Science Applications
- Gridworld: New Case Study for the Computer Science AP Exam
- Seeing Technology: Evaluating Technology’s Impacts Beforehand
- Telling Your Story: How to Tell an Effective Story, Regardless of the Medium
- G.A.M.E.S. – Great Applications for Multimedia Engagement of Students
- Photoshop Elements for Mac: Cool Tips, Tricks, and Features
- Introduction to Flash for Educators
- Web 2.0 Tools for Professional Learning
- What am I Going to Do on Monday to Ensure that All Students Are Learning?
- Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is Like Differentiated Instruction (DI) on Steroids!
- Screencasts and Portfolios with Camtasia
- Online Teaching/Online Learning: Skills for the 21st Century Educator
- ZENworks Desktop Management to the new ZENworks Configuration Management
- ZENworks Imaging and How to Reduce the Number of Required Workstation Images
- Designing a District-wide Portal and Intranet Using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
- Gaining Control Over Your Network: Deploying Microsoft System Center to Increate IT Efficiency
- Content, Creativity, and Collaboration: Web 2.0 in the Classroom
- Introduction to Moodle
- Deeper into Moodle
- REMC: Building a Learning Gateway – How Portals are Changing the 21st Century Learning Experience
The Registration Booklet has descriptions for all of these sessions, beginning on page 8. Check them out and consider attending one or two of them!
Probably the best thing that ever finds its way to my school mailbox in January is the MACUL Conference Registration Book. I (Andy Losik, elementary Infotech teacher, Hamilton) usually spend a couple of hours or so poring over the session offerings and a few themes jumped out at me.This will be my 5th MACUL conference in 6 years and at each one I have seen some definite trends or themes emerge. One year, it seemed that nearly every session I attended had something to do with handhelds. Another year seemed to really focus on podcasting. It could be that I just chose those sessions as one that really interested me, but nonetheless I set out this year looking for what new themes and trends would pop out as most prevalent.Web 2.0 is something we expend a lot of energy learning, understanding, and trying to find ways to integrate. According to this year’s booklet, one could spend the entire conference in sessions dedicated to this “new” phase of the Internet. It just happens that the session I will be presenting this year (sometime on Friday) should fit in well. My session, “WEBkids 2.0: Online Read/Write Resources for our Youngest Learners” will focus on using Web 2.0 in the lower elementary grades. Other similar sessions will focus on video sharing with SchoolTube, TeacherTube, and others. Fellow MACUL Blogger Melissa White from Ingham ISD and Carolyn McCarthy from Shiawassee RESD promise “A Techgadget Web 2.0 Shootout” during their Thursday session. There is a “Smart Board and Web 2.0″ session scheduled. There are several on videoconferencing and even those often maligned social networks as well as others on ways to successfully integrate these new tools. It is easy to see that Web 2.0 will be a major theme of this year’s conference.NETS and METS look to be other topics receiving a lot of attention and we aren’t talking about Vince Carter and Pedro Martinez (basketball/baseball references: sorry). Finding ways to meet the National Educational Technology Standards and Michigan Educational Technology Standards should be a hot topic as conference attendees share successes and commiserate their frustrations.Beyond these couple of hot-button topics, this year’s conference looks to offer at least a little bit about everything even handhelds and podcasts, the hot-button topics of the past. It won’t take much to fill up your Thursday and Friday with great sessions. This doesn’t even include all the exhibit hall will have to show us.Less than 2 months! I better get cranking on finishing my presentation.