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Tuesday, 6 July 2010

ISTE: After the Conference

ISTE always leaves me with a ton of new ideas crashing around inside my head. This year was no exception.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

Google came out on top for me this year. Google Lit trips, whether those already created or those we create ourselves, will provide an important next step in using Google Maps  and Earth to enhance our book studies and digital story telling across subjects. I didn't know you could embed text in Google Earth Place-marks! Just imagine the things you can add to your stories and tours with such an option. Voki and Blabberize narrators come to mind immediately. Here is a link for Google Earth for Educators for further exploration.

Google Search Stories was a new one for me. I have to wonder why I haven't come across it before. What a novel way to tell a story using Google Search!

I lined up for and was lucky to enough to get into the Google Wave BYOL Session, without a ticket (Yes it is possible and I did it a few times for different sessions, during the conference.). I learned a bit more about using bots with Wave for translations and other purposes. This is great as  I am hoping to use Wave as a collaborative platform this coming year with grades 6-8, but only after carefully planning out the structure.

Other things that got my mind revving were GPS and Google Forms for storytelling (choose your own adventure types, scavenger hunts). Now I have never used GPS before and have decided to face my fear and give it a whirl, but I have used Google Forms a lot, never however, in the ways the Google people where demonstrating. By adding pages you can incorporate many different routes within the same form for your students to follow. This is very cool indeed!

One of my fellow Poster Presenters reminded me about Webspiration, a great online idea mapper which allows for uploading media and collaboration, questioning, comments and chat. After a bit of digging around I realised I actually had an account with Webspiration!  I am now ready to say goodbye to my other mind mapping apps and welcome  Webspiration with open arms. Thank You Kevin from New Zealand!

There are too many sessions that I would have like to have attended, most clashed with other things I had to do. I haven't really mentioned Keynotes or Poster sessions which were equally as powerful as the other sessions I attended. Really a team approach is necessary for optimization of the ISTE experience, but the amount of learning and number of connections that are created for even one person at this conference, are guaranteed to stir the educational pot and get things moving at any school.
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