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NECC Reflections

Now that NECC is over, at least for me, here are some thoughts and observations:

First the complaints…

  • What is with the wireless access? I can hardly ever get connected.
  • Some of the rooms were way too small. I know you can’t guess as to which sessions will be popular, but some of the rooms simply should not have been used. I mean, my living room is bigger than some of these rooms.

OK, now that that’s over, here are some good things and things that I need to move on…

  • I’m really anxious about getting people involved with Moodle and/or TypePad. There’s so many people doing great things…I know that the teachers in Berrien County, who are very forward-thinking, who could take some of this information and run, run, run.
  • Having gone through a session in May and now putting my ear to the ground here at NECC I see that open source software should be very attractive to schools. As money becomes even more of an issue, districts need to realize that open source is a way that they can provide software (the stuff that actually allows productivity) to all the hardware schools have.
  • Bernie Dodge unveiled his new tool called QuestGarden which enables WebQuests to be created online and shared with the community. That’s important, because the shared WQs can be copied, modified, and re-posted as a new WQ completely applicable to the editing teacher. Now we have to rewrite our Creating WebQuests online class.
  • We really need to promote the use of Tech4Learning’s software for web page and multimedia creation, image editing, etc. It’s really good software. Too bad it’s not open source, but people have to make a living I guess. 😉
  • And what about Instant Messaging? Is it too much? How can we use it to connect to appropriate experts outside of the classroom? Between IM, blogs, Moodle, videoconferencing (nods to Janine) what we really need to encourage are the communication, connections, and community building that should be beginning to happen in schools. Janine offered a class this summer entitled something along the line of Creating Community Connections with Videoconferencing, or something like that. That’s the kind of class we need to offer for using all possible tools to do so. Unfortunately her session was cancelled…why? If we get to the bottom of that, then perhaps we can figure out what we can do to encourage it.

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