Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Morgan's Wonderland: An Amusement Park for Special Needs Children



Today, we loaded up everyone and headed to Morgan's Wonderland.  It is an Amusement Park for Special Needs kids in San Antonio, TX that just recently opened on April 11, 2010.  I had seen some references to it opening a few months ago, and seeing as we visit San Antonio quite often to visit our grandsons, we decided to try it this time while we were here.

In a recent post about I wrote about our 17 year-old autistic daughter Alyssa and her iPad.  Both being teachers and the parent of an autistic child, we are very interested in issues and opportunities we can provide for Alyssa. So, we loaded everyone, and I mean everyone up in two cars and headed there. Four teachers, me, my wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, our 19 year-old daughter and three grandsons, all three and under.

Cindy, Alyssa & I at the front entrance of Morgan's Wonderland

The park, being relatively new, is very clean and looks great.  As soon as you check in, everyone in your party gets a wristband with a GPS tracking device which works with several location stations throughout the park to help you locate everyone in your party.  We tried it several times and it was pretty convenient to see where everyone was just a few minutes ago. 

You can see as soon as you arrive that the park is different from most other theme parks.  Today, there were very few people there.  I'm sure that there are days when there are more people in attendance, but today, it seemed like at times we were the only ones there.  They have a group of very nice volunteers in addition to people who get paid to work there.  Everyone was VERY NICE and helpful.

EXAMPLES: 
  • While we were on the carousel, they didn't seem to mind if you wanted to take a few extra seconds to take a picture of your child.  That was nice.

The Sensory Village, which is a must, had quite a few people there to help explain what everything was and how it worked.  Once again very nice.


When you come, don't expect thrill seeker's rides, remember, this amusement park is designed for kids with special needs.  But they have a train, a carousel and some cars, which are all handicap accessible.  So, this was pretty cool.  Our daughter, Alyssa, as well as our three grandsons, all seemed to have a wonderful time!

video
Alyssa ridding one of the Exorcizor horses. She liked it!

Recommendation:  If you're going to be in San Antonio, TX and you have some time, go!  You will be glad that you did!  I would think if you live close to San Antonio, this would be a great place to take your class if you are involved with special education kids.  They really seem to have their interests in mind.

There are a lot of adaptive attractions for kids to try.  The two videos were taken in the Sensory Village on the Exorcizer Horses and in front of the green screen where you can view yourself on TV!

video
Shannon singing The Pizza Hut Song with Alyssa

Resources:
Morgan's Wonderland Website
Morgan's Wonderland on Facebook
Morgan's Wonderland on Twitter

Monday, July 26, 2010

7 Days To A Better Edublog - Final Blog Post and Reflections















Note: I'm participating in a mini-course on writing a better Edublog.  7 Days To A Better Edublog offered by Stephanie Standifer who blogs at The Change Agency.


Well, it has been an interesting week.  It started in Austin, TX where I was participating in a 4-day Summer Science Institute where we weren't given internet access by The University of Texas for our laptops.  Fortunately, there was a computer lab set up and for two of the four days, my sessions were in the computer lab!  I swear, I really did pay attention to the presenter, well most of the time with a little time for keeping up with the mini-course!


The week has ended in San Antonio, TX where I am spending a few days before heading down to Brownsville, TX for a family wedding.  


I want to make sure to the thank Stephanie Sandifer for offering this mini-course.  I feel that all of the participants have taken something away which will hopefully encourage them to continue their own blogging adventure.

So what have I learned?
  • Well, I've learned that I can write a half way coherent blog post with some time constraints.  
  • That I do enjoy reading and commenting on other Edublogger's blog posts.
  • That I do enjoy publishing an interesting post.
  • That I think I can contribute, at least in part to the Edublogosphere with some meaningful posts on interesting issues.
What would I do different next time?
  • I think that next time, I would try not to schedule a virtual mini-course at the same time that I'm attending a physical 4-day conference!  There were, especially at the outset, where I felt I didn't have the opportunity to spend as much time as I would have liked to.
  • I would try to stick to a schedule where I could devote at least a 2 hour block of time to read, comment and write my blog post for the day.
  • Take an hour each morning to read the previous days blog entries by each of the participants.  Although I tried during the course of this mini-course to read and comment on most everyone's blog, there are some that I know that I missed.
The Challenge?

So, I wanted to ad one more block to my reflections post and challenge myself with everyone else to keep up what they have started.

While reading Stephanie's post, Setting Up A Blog Schedule, she made a good point about a "Weekly Links Post".  That's a really good idea.  Not only can you keep blogging this way, but I'm always trying to remember where I put a link to a good resource or web application that I ran across.  This would be a good place.

Stephanie also suggests a "Current Events Post".  This would probably be the easiest post for most Edubloggers to write.  There are so many good resources out there that we find out about this would be a great place to write about them.  I know that I get most of my good ideas from Twitter Tweets from my PLN.  I think that it is not out of the realm of possibility of scheduling and completing a Current Events Post on a weekly basis.

Spreading The Word!

This is an area where I am very passionate about.  How do we encourage educators new to the Edublogoshpere to develop their interest and more importantly, develop their own dynamic PLN?  I've wondered, especially during the course of this mini-course, just exactly where my place in Edublogosphere actually is?

I think one of the best things that I can do is several fold:


  • Continue to write (blog) about developing your own PLN.
  • Continuously sharing resources for Newbies.
  • Seek out opportunities to Spread The Word and show Newbies how valuable and worthwhile a PLN can be.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

7 Days To A Better Edublog - Participant's Daily Blogs















Note: I'm participating in a mini-course on writing a better Edublog.  7 Days To A Better Edublog offered by Stephanie Standifer who blogs at The Change Agency. Following is a link to ALL of the posts by the course participants, so far.

Day 1 
David Russell
Elaine Willis
John Peters
Dave Lehnis
Janis Williams
Vicky Sedgwick

Day 2
Top 5 Sites for Great Science To Share With Students - Jay Swan
Bulletn Board Ideas- Elaine Willis
#edTech - Back To School iPhone? - Brad Flickinger
Day 2 Assignment: List Posts - John Peters
Preparing for 21CLEXPO - David Russell
7 Days To a Better Edublog: Day 2 List Posts - Sindy
6 Impossible Things - Christine Voigt
Classroom Management Ideas Worth Thinking Of - Dave Lehnis
Getting My Head On Straight - Louise Maine
Summer A Time For Learning - Vicky Sedgwick
7 Internet Tools I Would Hate To Loose - Jeff Mason
Day 2 - Michael Barbour

Day 3
What Did You Do With Your Summer Vacation? - John Peters
Differentiation Across Three Biology Classes (Question A) - Jay Swan
Daniel Pink In Aspen - David Russel
Students And Blogging - Robin Gerzema
Let's Talk Management at THS - Dave Lehnis
Laptops, and eBooks, and Students, Oh My! - Christine Voigt
Should Students Allowed To Blog? - Jeff Mason
Exploding Head #1 - Vicky Sedgewik
Comic Books In The School Library! - Elaine Ellis
Worst Online Learning Law In America? Really?? - Michael Barbour
Assessment - Louise Main

Day 4
Student Collaboration - Elaine Ellis
Fire Ant Video - John Peters
Looking To The Future Of Technology In The Classroom - David Russell
Genius - Louise Main
The Finest AP Level Biology Videos - Jay Swan
Building Digital Citizens - Vicky Sedgwick
Video: Learner Centered E-Teaching - A Discussion - Michael Barbour
The Future is Phonics - Sindy
Students And Blogging - Part 2 - Robin Gerzema

Day 5
Top 5 Sites For Great Science To Share With Students - Jay Swan
Comic Books In The School Library! - Elaine Ellis
$35 Tablet Computer - Vicky Sedgwick
Student Cell Phone Use In The Classroom - Robin Gerzema
The Boot Campaign - John Peters
Day 5 Current Events Post - Michael Barbour

Day 6
Newsletter August 2010 - Elaine Willis
7 Days To A Better Edublog - Participant's Daily Blogs - John Peters
Best TED Talks On Global Problems - Louise Maine
About Me and Disclosure - Vicki Sedgwick
Virtual School Meanderings - Michael Barbour

Day 7
7 Days To a Better Edublog Mini-Course Reflection- Robin Gerzema
Final Blog Post and Reflection - John Peters
7 Days To a Better Edublog - Day 7 - Michael Barbour
Reflections on 7 Days To a Better Edublog - Vicky Sedgwick

NOTE:  Just some information on how I determined what to put with respect to the Participant's Blog Posts for the 7 Days To A Better Edublog mini-course.  I went to the comments where all of us in the mini-course have posted our comments and blog posts.  From there, I went to each blog and pasted a link from each person's blog.  


If I did not post a blog post that you would like to see here please let me know.  It was probably difficult for me to find your post if you didn't link to it in your comment.  If you will email me with the hyperlink to your post I will gladly include it here.  It's not my intention to leave anything out, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility.  If I did, please accept my apology, it was not intentional.

The Boot Campaign - 7 Days to a Better Edublog - Day 5: Curent Events


Get Your Boots On!

I came across this video while watching the news Friday afternoon.  It's a story about a group of ladies who are making a statement.  A statement of support of our American Troops and a fashion statement as well.

In partnership with the U.S.O. the five ladies who started this campaign, are donating $45.00 from the $129.00 price of the cost of each pair of military boots purchased.


Boot Campaign from Travis Television on Vimeo.

The Boot Campaign has gained nationwide attention:
The Boot Campaign is a grassroots initiative started by five women from Texas known as the Boot Girls. In partnership with the USO, the Boot Campaign is a new way Americans can show their support for our active duty service members and veterans. This grassroots campaign has captured the attention of American celebrities and civilians – from professional athletes, politicians, country music stars and more – and is quickly gaining momentum. Money raised will support troops and veterans through the work of the USO and the Lone Survivor Foundation.

The Boot Campaign provides Americans with a tangible way to give back to our troops by buying a pair of combat boots and proudly wearing or displaying them. So “Get Your Boots On” to help show appreciation of our military heroes who serve and sacrifice everyday for our nation!
Note: I'm participating in a mini-course on writing a better Edublog.  7 Days To A Better Edublog offered by Stephanie Standifer who blogs at The Change Agency. It should prove to be an interesting week.
Resources:
The Boot Campaign Source Video - Fox News
The Boot Campaign - Website

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fire Ant Raft Video

So, I thought that I would at least be topical for today.  I'm  at a conference this week at The University of Texas.  Today, the topic is Fire Ants and this video was shown.  Interesting.  Thank goodness they don't live where I live!





Resources:
K 12 Health Sciences Summer Institute - MD Anderson

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

MD Anderson Environmental Health Sciences Summer Institute July 19-22, 2010

To say this summer has been somewhat hectic would be an understatement! I've traveled to Austin and San Antonio TX twice so far this summer. There was also a week-long trip to Denver, Colorado to attend ISTE 2010. Still, we have make a trip way down into the valley of  Brownsville, TX next week to attend a family wedding.

Wow!  As I look at my calendar I just realized that in just 24 days, teachers report back to school for the new school year!  Where has the summer gone?

One of the things I have really been looking forward to this summer was traveling to The University of Texas and attending the MD Anderson K12 Environmental Health Sciences Summer Institute.  This institute is open to all Texas teachers who have an interest in science. 

One of the neat things is that the institute itself is FREE to the  teachers that are attending. I filled out a short application during the spring and was notified be email that I was accepted!  There are also some small travel grants to help defray the cost of traveling to Austin, TX and to help pay for the cost of your hotel room.  Pretty neat if you're on a budget or if  funds for professional development are sparse in your school district! 

I'm listing the sessions that I attended during the week.  While I was talking to the Institute's Director, I was told that they have different sessions each year and that the most popular ones, based on the teacher's evaluations are repeated in succeeding  years.  So, one could attend one year and then come back in another year and have completly different sessions!

Dr. Robin Fuchs-Young, Ph.D. is the Director of The Community Outreach and Education Program, with MD Anderson, which sponsors this institute.  Robin also taught the Day 1 Session, SCREAM: Cancer And The Environment along with Dr. David Mitchell, that I attended and enjoyed very much.  Dr. Fuchs-Young did a rather nice job of presenting the material and was very interesting and passionate about her field of study, especially in the area of Breast Cancer Research.

The Summer Science Institute is funded by various grants and is available to any Texas Teacher at this time.  I did hear that they are working on securing additional funding to allow Louisiana Teachers to attend in the future.

If you are a teacher in the state of Texas and would like to attend a really worthwhile conference that is well run, has some interesting topics and presenters, you should consider applying to attend the next Environmental Health Sciences Summer Institute. By the way,  they have great food at the Thompson Center Cafe called Under The Oaks, breakfast and lunch are included!

I think that I am going to try to come again, if they will have me!

Resources:
K 12 Environmental Health Sciences Summer Institute
What Did You Do With Your Summer Vacation? - My Blog Post for 7 Days To A Better Edublog Mini-Course

What Did You Do With Your Summer Vacation? 7 Days to a Better Edublog - Day 3: Discussion Question Posts

What Did You Do With Your Summer Vacation?


As a teacher, one of my favorite times of the year is summer vacation!  Not just because I don't have to go to school every day, but it gives me the opportunity to attend interesting, and sometimes fun conferences and professional development opportunities.

This summer I traveled to ISTE 2010 in  Denver Colorado the last week in June. This is the favorite conference that I've ever attended.  I've been to two, NECC 2008 in San Antonio, TX as well as this year in Denver.  If you are into technology, getting in touch with your PLN in person, Edublogging, 21st Century Technologies, this is a must for you!

Last week, for 2 days,  our School District offered some addtional Apple Macintosh advanced level training.

This week I'm at The University of Texas attending The MD Anderson Environmental Summer Science Institute 2010.

While writing this blog post here is the question that came to me and I thought I would put it out there and ask anyone interested in responding to it is:

  1. What Did You Do with YOUR Summer Vacation?
  2. Have you attended any interesting or worthwhile summer professional devleopment?
  3. What was your best summer profesional development or conference you attended this year?


Note: I'm participating in a mini-course on writing a better Edublog.  7 Days To A Better Edublog offered by Stephanie Standifer who blogs at The Change Agency. It should prove to be an interesting week. 

I am also at the University of Texas attending the MD Anderson Summer Science Institute through Thursday and trying to find the time to adequately work on both will be a challenge. So, this is the first installment for the mini-course.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 2 Assignmenmt - List Posts

Well, I like the subject for today's post, list posts.  Recently I have written several posts which are basically lists:

Both of these blog posts, although dealing with different subject, have as a basis, a list.

What's My Line? Er....PLN Is a collection of the Edubloggers whom I read on a regular basis, and why. One of the reasons that we are all taking this mini-course is to try to improve upon what we are blogging about, right?  What better way to learn than seeing what other successful Edubloggers are writing about.


A Collection of ISTE 2010 Reflections I attended ISTE 2010 in Denver, Colorado during the last week in June and was able to reconnect and have some face-to-face time with some new friends and old.

Day 2 Assignment: Reflection Question
You can respond to the question in the comments section below, on your own blog, or in both places. Responding to the question is optional — it is provided only for generating more thought about your blogging.
What kinds of lists might be appropriate and relevant to your blog’s audience?

I think that you can make a list post out of almost anything that you can think of. List of your favorite lesson plans, websites that you would like for students to focus on for their research are good ways of using lists.  There are probably as many possibilities are there are lists!

Monday, July 19, 2010

7 Days to a Better Edublog - Day 1 Blog Layout & Design for Readability



Note: I'm participating in a mini-course on writing a better Edublog.  7 Days To A Better Edublog offered by Stephanie Standifer who blogs at The Change Agency. It should prove to be an interesting week. 

I am also at the University of Texas attending the MD Anderson Summer Science Institute through Thursday and trying to find the time to adequately work on both will be a challenge. So, this is the first installment for the mini-course.

Summary - Changes to my blog

I am always, or so it seems, looking for new and interesting layouts for my blog.  Recently I changed the entire "Template" to a new one offered in Blogger.  The new template did in fact offer a much cleaner look and feel to my blog. 

Sidebar Items and Widgets

I constantly see interesting new sidebar items or widgets on other Edublogs and I think to myself that it would be fun to include a specific one to my blog.  So, in Blogger it is relatively easy to add a new one.  Many times however, I find that after I install one, it's not what I had hoped for and try to move it or remove it completely. 

I have seen some blogs that use way too many widgets in my opinion.  What would be a good balance? I think that's the question that you would constantly be trying to answer in order for your blog to evolve.

In addition to recently changing the template of my blog, I have also removed many sidebar items and widget.  Some were out of date and some just failed to work anymore.

Assignment for the day:

1. Who is the audience for your blog?

Really, my blog is for myself.  I do sometimes share new blog posts by Twitter to my PLN, so I guess that my "audience" would be other like-minded Edu-Geeks!

2. What special needs might they have with respect to the layout and design of your blog to ensure an optimal learner/reader experience?

I feel that the one thing that drives me crazy when I read another blog is when I find out that the links that were supplied under "Resources or Related Articles" won't work.I like the example on Jeff Utecth's blog The Thinking Stick where he uses lots of "white space". 

Resources:
7 Days to a Better Edublog - Day 1 Blog Layout & Design for Readability
Tammy Worcesters Blogging Basics and Beyond - ISTE Vision 2010 Video

The Best Kept Secrets of Highly Successful Edu-Bloggers Part 1 - By Karenne Sylvester

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Collection of ISTE 2010 Reflections


I thought after reading so many wonderful reflections of ISTE 2010 in Denver, that I would try to put them together in one place.  If you would like for me to add your blog post, please leave a comment or Tweet me on Twitter and I will add it here.

17,500 Plus Attend ISTE 2010 in Denver

Other Edublogs on ISTE 2010:
Reflections on ISTE10 - Paula Naugle
My ISTE Reflections - Chris Lehmann
ISTE Reflections - Jeff Utecht
Is ISTE Like Disneyland? - David Warlick
Yet Another ISTE Reflection from the Radical Center - David Warlick
Wisdom of the Crowd: Reflections of ISTE 2010 - Angela Maiers
Final Reflections From Denver and ISTE 10 - Steven Anderson
ISTE10, Social Media & Relationships - Steven Anderson
The Podcast: ISTE 2010 The Final Brain Dump - Bud The Teacher
ISTE 2010 - Daily Links 07/02/2010 - Stephanie Standifer
ISTE 2010 - Some Early Takes On the Opening Keynote (And on Conference Attendee's Behavior - Scot McLeod
Different Strokes for Different Folks - LBC vs. EBC - Darren Draper
My ISTE - Dean Shareski
Fun Twitter Stories From ISTE - John Peters
ISTE Unplugged Events - Kim Caise
My ISTE Journey - Beth Still
How Can It Be Better - Beth Still
A HUGE Thank You from Myself And The ISTE10 Newbie - Beth Still
My ISTE Reflections - Chris Lehmann
ISTE 10, So Now What - The Nerdy Teacher
Report from Edubloggercon at ISTE10: Tools & Trends - Betty Ray
ISTE10 - iLearn Technology
Policy and iPads: A Few ISTE10 Impressions - Doug Johnson, Blue Skunk Blog
ISTE10 Conference Reflection: Leadership & Cheese Cubes -Gwyneth  Jones
ISTE Reflections - Library Ramblings
ISTE10: What Did You Learn About Helping Students - Lisa Thumann
ISTE10 Saturday - Tim Childers
It's Just The Beginning - Kyle Pace
ISTE10 Birds of a Feather Session Great People, Great Ideas, Great Apps Shared - Judith Epcke
My ISTE Highlights -  Joyce Valenza

ISTE Video Links:
From a Distance ISTE Looks Almost As Good -  Joyce Valenza
ISTE Vision 2010 - Lots of Videos of selected ISTE 2010 Presentations

ISTE Presenter Notes:
ISTE 2010 Presenter Notes Website

ISTE 2010 Magazine:
Iste Daily Reader
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, July 9, 2010

Teacher Tuesday vs. Follow Friday


I have always wondered about Follow Friday and the #FF hashtag on Twitter.  Today, for the first time I posted some links to some of my favorite Edubloggers to follow today, Friday.  While I was researching what Follow Friday was all about I ran across Teacher Tuesday which is the same thing but with a teacher twist.

So, now for the question for everyone to consider.  What doe you think about Teacher Tuesday?  I don't know, maybe it will catch on and we can start a new trend? So far, I've only found 1 reference to it, listed below by Anyia from Mozna, Italy.

I think that next week I'll use the hashtag #TeacherTuesday and list some of my favorite teachers for people to follow. What do you think? Does anyone want to join in?

Note: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - I have posted several #TeacherTuesday posts of fellow Edubloggers that I follow.  It seems that others are starting to get on board!  One word of caution, please do not try to use the hashtag #TT.  I guarantee  you will not be happy with what you see!

Resources:
Teacher Tuesday - The English Teacher
Teacher Tuesday - Edublogs

#teachertuesday


Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Alyssa, Her iPad and Special Education iPad Apps

Alyssa Enjoying her iPad

One Educational Technology area that is important to both my wife Cindy (@TeachHrfrd) and I are Educational and specifically Special Education applications for the iPad. Our Daughter Alyssa, 17, is Autistic, Developmentally Delayed and is also Non-Verbal. Although I wanted to buy one when the iPad was first released by Apple, we waited.

Alyssa goes to Hereford High School with us. We have a really good Special Education program and one of the things the kids do every day for a few hours is work. They all have jobs and get paid for it!

Alyssa's first job was working in the cafeteria at one of the elementary schools. She did this until her loud noises that she makes became an issue for the Cafeteria Manager because they were quite loud and I guess it scared some of the elementary children. Now she can't help it that she likes being around small children and gets excited and becomes noisy and loud, she just loves little kids! Anyway, after she was fired from working at the cafeteria, her new job was to shred papers, something that she really enjoys and walking around the campus with her aide Bonnie and picking up trash.

So, Alyssa is gainfully employed by the School District during the school year making minimum wage! Well other than a few trips to Walmart to buy Cheetos, Easy Mac and socks, anything on a hanger and especially anything on a hanger with a tag, we really hadn't spent any of her earnings. Cindy decided that it would be a good time to get an iPad but for Alyssa instead of me and using her money!

Since we bought the iPad we have downloaded quite a few applications for Alyssa and are constantly looking for app that she would enjoy and use. Alyssa previously had an iPod Touch and has used my iPhone to watch some of her favorite TV shows so, she is familiar with how the touch screen interface works. The iPad works the same way and as a result she is pretty proficient moving from app to app.

She enjoys viewing videos which are excellent on the iPad. When she isn't watching Barney or Clifford The Big Red Dog, she likes to see her family pictures using the photo app. I use a Macbook pro and have the iLife Suite to organize our pictures into albums so Alyssa can choose which album she wants to look at. She enjoys pictures of herself, pictures of her brother and two sisters and her three nephews. Our biggest problem with this is when she comes across a family video in church and starts to view that. When this happens, both Cindy and I see who can be the first one to turn the volume down!

Having Alyssa around can be at times, quite challenging, as with any child with her disabilities are. She has some very interesting and weird things that she does from time to time. Most of them are pretty funny, some not so funny and some we wonder if she is trying to make contact with the Mother Ship to get instructions from her home planet!

Cindy wrote humorous Facebook post about Alyssa to share with our friends recently:
Alyssa b4 Noon

Would any of my friends like to know what it is like having Alyssa "in the house" Well, I started taking pictures this morning while she went about her daily activities.

So the day begins with getting the newspaper. We noticed she usually picks it up, goes to the corner of the yard and "taps" the paper there, then comes inside and immediately throws the plastic bag the paper comes in into the trash, wadding it up as small as she can.

Next, she takes the paper out back where we usually read it, and gets a cup of coffee for Dad. If I am up, she'll get me one, but tends to put stuff in it. I say stuff because although I like cream in my coffee, she'll pretty much put any powder substance in it (flour, sugar, splenda, atkins protein powder, etc.). She might attempt to make waffles, but I had to throw out the waffle iron because a few days ago, she made waffles....sugar waffles!! The house smelled like a bakery for a long time.

She went to the garage and helped herself to some milk, directly from the carton since she was taught this shortcut by her brother and has never forgotten it. She watched some of Clifford the Big Red Dog, but then realized the laundry needed to get done.

In the laundry room, she washed a load of clothes. She used the entire bottle of detergent, the remainder of the fabric softener, and of course a bottle of bleach! So helpful, Libbie is going to love her new jeans.

With the laundry done, Alyssa has decided she would like to ride the motorcycle. She applied sunscreen to her face, and some paper, and the counter top. Since Dad was mowing the lawn, it is a good time to eat, so she used her picture symbol book (PECS) to tell me "I Want Hot Dog". But the fridge with the hot dogs is locked now (due to the milk episode), so she just gets a bun.


Hooray, now Shannon came over.
Shannon won't sing the Pizza Hut song anymore
"Gonna clean Shannon's car, maybe then she'll sing the pizza hut song"

Alyssa cleaned her car with the spray bottle. Maybe Shannon will sing the Pizza Hut song, which Alyssa LOVES.

Bummer, Shannon said "NO" on the singing. Still, Alyssa loves to hear Shannon say "No Pizza Hut," so she cracks up. Now she uses pictures to say, I want movie. Good idea Alyssa, maybe we will go to the movie after we clean up all your messes. It is going to take a while to get the soap out of the washing machine.

AND IT IS NOT EVEN NOON YET!

While we were in Denver at the ISTE 2010 conference we met David Ligon, EdTech Leader, who blogs at iEAR.org who came to ISTE with the purpose of researching iPad/iPod applications for Special Ed students. He wrote a nice blog post iPad/iPhone Touch/iPhone Apps for SPED/Special Needs on his blog. Cindy and David had quite an interesting impromptu session in the Social Butterfly Lounge about available applications for students with special needs.

Cindy & David Ligon discussing iPad apps at ISTE 2010


David did a very nice job with his list of SPED/Special Education applications on his blog, so I encourage you to go over to his blog and look at them.

Now, my wife is one of the best educators that I know. During my first year of teaching I rode with her and another amazing educator Dana Friel who is also a Computer Education teacher in the same department along with Cindy, the 45 miles (one-way) from Amarillo to Hereford every day and learned a lot from the two of them about teaching. So, when I have a question about anything about education, Cindy is the first one I bounce an idea off of.

Cindy works with more special ed students than I and as a result, has used the iPad in her classroom more extensively than I since we bought it a few months ago. Her knowledge of worthwhile SpecEd apps is pretty good and it was fun to watch the interaction between her and David. I put my two-cents in every once in a while but I am a rank amateur and the odd man out with two great educators like these!

I wrote about my iPad experiences at ISTE 2010 and at Edubloggercon in an earlier post called What's My Line? Er...PLN where I sat in on a session with David Warlick called "Are iPdas a 1:1 Solution?" Afterward I had a 10 minute conversation with David on whether or not the iPad was going to be a "game-changer" in educataion and it was fantastic. I think that we both agree that it will be but the iPad's place is still being defined.

So, as you can see, we are very interested in how our daughter will use her iPad, what new and worthwhile applications we can find for her to use is something we are always trying to discover.

I will continue to add Resources for new iPad/iPod Touch applications to this post as hopefully, people make comments and give me some fantastic ideas from my PLN.

App Update: July 7, 2010
I just found out that the Amazon Kindle app is available for the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone and will work across all of your mobile devices. Now while Alyssa doesn't read books a lot, I will put on her iPad for the times when I get to "borrow" her iPad.

Resources for this post:
iPad/iPhone Touch/iPhone Apps for SPED/Special Needs - David Ligon - EdTech Leader iEAR.org
Top iPhone/iPad Apps for kids - First in Education
iPhone iPad and iPod Touch Apps in (Special) Education - Eric Sallers
iPad Apps for Kids with Special Needs - Easy Stand Blog
Free iPhone/ iPod/ Touch iPad Special Education Apps - Special Education ManoMon Blog
Apps for Education - ConnSSENSE Bulletin
iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch Apps for Special Education - ATMac Tidbits
App Friday: Madera & Figaro Save The Day - Moms With Apps
Apps For Children With Special Needs - About.com
iPads in the Classroom Can You See it? - Antwon Lincoln, Classroom 2.0 Ning
Related Articles:
iPad - Special Education Today
iPad As A Mobile Classroom and the Newest Tool for Special Education Teachers - The Other Mac Blog
iPads For Our Room - Teaching Learners With Multiple Special Needs
iPad, iTouch,
The Big Buzz at ISTE This Year ... Another "R" - David Warlick

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Looking for Forensic Science Resources


So Cindy my wife, @TeachHrfrd is teaching a Forensics Science class this year. She and Bryan Hedrick, a really good Law Enforcement CT&E Teacher will be team-teaching this class for the first time at our high school this year. It should be a very interesting class. Both of the teachers are enjoyed by our students, their classes are almost always overflowing, and quite a few of our senior students are fighting just to get in to Mrs. Peters & Mr. Hedrick's classes. When the school opened it up for students 97 signed up for just 1 class!

One of Cindy's main focus while attending ISTE 2010 this year was to gather resources that they may use in class. They will be attending a cool conference in Forensics in Huntsville, TX the 2nd week in August, right before school starts. But as many of us do during the summer, they are trying to look around for what others think might be a "Best Practice" in Forensics. So if any of you out their in my PLN have such a course at your school, are aware of any good Forensics resources or websites that might contain lessons or lesson plans, please make a comment, share a link or offer whatever you think might be useful.

Anything you have to offer would be greatly appreciated. I will add the links that I find and those that people leave me in the resources below.

Follow-up Note: Thanks to everyone in my PLN who contributed to this article. Thanks for the many tweets, re-tweets for information, and links that you sent. @TeachHrfrd sends her thanks as well.

Schools Forensic Websites:
The Crime Lab: Staples High School Forensics
New Rochelle High School Forensic Science Page
Forensics Page - Hunter College High School
Wyoming High School Forensics Association
Schenley High School Forensic Science


Lesson Plans on Forensics:
Forensics Syllabus - The Crime Lag
Forensics Illustrated: Step Under The Tape - Hoagie
3 CSI Folders on Curriki
Fingerprinting, DNA & Stuff on Curriki
Forensic Science Lesson Plans - The Science Spot
Teachers First Lesson Plans
Its A Mystery Lesson Planning - Education World
Was it Murder or an Accident
Forensic Science - Discovery Education
Who Killed the Iceman, The Real Eve, Underwater Forensics - Discovery Education
Lesson Plans - Forensic Science
Lesson Plans - Home School 4 U
Lesson Plans - The Commission on Forensic Education
Great Forensic Science & Educational Resources - All About Forensic Science

Activites:
The Mystery Spot - Access Excellence - The National Health Museum
The Virtual Autopsy
The Secrets of the Dead - PBS
Visible Proof - Forensic Views of the Body

Blogs & Other Stories About Forensics:
High School Forensics Class Makes Chemistry Fun - Dr. Ann Marie Helmenstien
Students Get a Lesson in Forensic Science - Salisbury Post
A Hit In School - The New York Times


Web Resources:
FBI Youth - FBI for students
Forensics Resources On The Web
Zeno's Forensics Site
Reddy's Forensics Page
Forensics Evidence.com
International Association for Craniofacial Identification
Forensic Art
Kruglick's Forensics Resource & Criminal Law Search Site
Yahoo Directory of Forensic Science Resources
Google Web Directory of Forensic Science
Forensic Hub
Forensic Science Related Resources - PBS Teachers


Career In Forensics Websites:
Advice About A Career in Forensic Science - Dale Nute, Florida State University
Students Get a Lesson in Forensic Science - Salisbury Post
Forensic Science Technicians - Career Zone

Forensic Vendors:
Forensics 101
Forensics Science Education Consulting
Vandalia Science Education Kits
Teacher's Manual - Forensic In School

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Developing Your Personal Learning Network or PLN





One of the best things about learning something new is getting to to know other people. People with similar interests and ideas abound and they are out there in the Edublogosphere. That's sort of what a Personal Learning Network is all about. A PLN is a social network which allows you to see what other colleagues, family or friends think, know or share about a particular topic.

Wikipedia defines a PLN as:


Personal Learning Networks consist of the people a learner interacts with and derives knowledge from in a Personal Learning Environment. An important part of this concept is the theory of connectivism developed by George Siemens and Stephen Downes. Learners create connections and develop a network that contributes to their professional development and knowledge.[1] The learner does not have to know these people personally or ever meet them in person.

Obviously most of the interaction within any PLN is online using many different Social Networking applications. Some of the most popular are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or one of the many Ning groups like The Educators Network or Classroom 2.0.

Twitter is a Microblogging application which lets you say what you want in 140 characters or less. Twitter is quick and easy to learn and it is one application that many people use in addition to or instead of writing a blog. Twitter is one of my favorite applications to stay connected with my PLN.

So why would you want to develop a Personal Learning Network? Remember the old adage that "2 Heads Are Better Than 1"? This is truly the case when you have an active and sometimes dynamic PLN. You may have a PLN of hundreds of people that you follow that share their discoveries on a variety of topics that you may find interesting, worthwhile or educational.

Professional Development is probably the reason that I, and many that I follow, participate in an active PLN. Being able to see what other like-minded educators find interesting and either blog about or re-tweet on Twitter is as easy as looking at your Twitter application on your computer or mobile device such as an iPhone.

How do you get started with a new PLN?
Getting started is very easy. You are probably already reading a few blogs or following some people on Twitter. If you're not you should be? When you have time, look at your Twitter application and see what the recent post from those whom you are following have posted. Many times there will be an interesting link to another persons tweet, blog post or website. That's pretty easy right?

Do you have a Online Personal Learning Network?
If not, then I suggest the following:




  1. Develop your own Personal Learning Network




    1. Join twitter and find some peers to follow




    2. Read articles, blog posts




    3. Reflect on ideas through comments, changing strategies, comments in Newsletters




    4. Email, twitter to staff




    5. Google “Personal Learning Networks” + Administrators




    6. Encourage Staff to do the same
    Source: Parentella - Share What Happened at School Today
What should you expect from your PLN?
As I noted above, you should expect to see what others feel are interesting or worthwhile to tweet or post themselves. This is a great way to passively get started seeing what is coming across on Twitter that you might be interested in.

Many times it is something that you know absolutely nothing about or maybe it is something that may make you think "Hey, I have been wanting to learn more about that!" Personally, I like to read tweets that have an interesting or thought provoking statement followed by a link that I can choose to follow and read more, if I want to.

How can you participate in a PLN?
As you can see, you can sit on the sidelines and just see what everyone else is saying. However, can you do more? Of course you can. One of the easiest ways for you to participate is for you to Re-Rweet an interesting Twitter Tweet that one of your Tweeps (Twitter Peeps) has Tweeted! It really is as easy as this, nothing more. This allows those people that follow you to see that you felt that this was interesting enough for you to share with your followers.


Do you have a a responsibility to give back to your PLN?
No! Absolutely not! But it's more fun, interactive and worthwhile, in my opinion if you do. Now I am probably the world's worst for sitting on the sidelines and taking a whole lot more from my PLN than I give back. During a normal school day, as a teacher, I really don't have the time to compose a blog post or a thoughtful comment to what I have read, but I do think you should do more.

Making a comment, albeit a short one, lets a blogger know that you came, saw and either liked or didn't like what they said.

Re-tweeting on Twitter does the same thing. It shows the person you thought enough of their tweet to share it with others.

After you get comfortable with your PLN you might consider writing you own blog on a topic of your choosing. You never know where it might lead you, but it's an adventure you should embark upon!


Expose yourself. This is where it can get a little scary, because the next steps require you to begin to expose yourself and your thinking. You can do a tremendous amount of learning without going any further, but there is so much more available if you share your ideas with the people who are now following you. Begin by tweeting the links to tools and sites that you find in your daily work as an educator. If you read a good article, copy the link and send it out. If you use a tool effectively, tweet about it. "Used Wallwisher with 8th grade today. Loved it." You will develop the habit of including your PLN in your thinking. The wonderful part about having only 140 characters is that there isn't much room to make a fool of yourself. And if you do, as I have, it passes quickly and no one remembers.
Hadley Ferguson - ISTE Feature - Join The Flock


A PLN for Educators - The Edublogosphere
Darren Draper in his blog Drape's Takes wrote What is the Edublogosphere in an August 2008 post that I came across while researching this post. This is what he says:

The Wikipedia community provides a decent enough definition of the term blogosphere:
Blogosphere is a collective term encompassing all blogs and their interconnections. It is the perception that blogs exist together as a connected community (or as a collection of connected communities) or as a social network.
That said, I still can't wrap my head around this one:
  • What is the “edublogosphere”?

I realize that the answer to this question may appear obvious on the surface, but deep within lies a beast yet to be fully discovered. These few questions illustrate what I mean.
  • Is the edublogosphere a social network?
  • Is the edublogosphere a social network for every member that hopes to participate?
  • Do members of the edublogosphere form a community or simply a network of learners? Perhaps the term community of practice is more fitting or even pseudo-community: a stage in which many of us may find ourselves?
  • Is the edublogosphere really a sub-division of the blogosphere itself or merely a concoction of those that claim to be a part of it?
  • Isn't every blog post educational in at least some sense?
  • How does one join the edublogosphere? Are there dues to be paid and other rites of passage? I don't remember formally joining but I'm pretty sure I'm a member of it.
  • Are members of the edublogopshere inherently friends or does the golden rule really not apply here?
As always, Darren has a great take on the Edublogosphere and other topics as well. He would be a good Edublogger to follow.
So why should Educators develop their own PLN
Well that is a pretty easy question to answer. Why not? Do you have the opportunity to meet with other educators from around your state, your country and even around the world on an ongoing basis? Well you do if you have a PLN! It's probably one of the easiest way for you to gain new ideas and insights that will help you in your class.

Does every teacher get the opportunity to attend every conference that they would like to? Of course not. Due to cuts in available funding in all aspects of education, travel budgets and far off conferences are difficult to justify to some administrators.



Sue Waters writes in her post about A Twitterholic's guide to Tweets, Hashtags and All Things Twitter:

And for those of you who have heard of twitter and have dismissed it thinking ‘”Twitter is for people with too much time on their hands” — think again :)   Educators are connecting with each other on Twitter and using it like a big teachers lunch room that’s open 24/7 whenever they need help, assistance or just want to connect with others.


YouTube Video: Twitter in Plain English - Commoncraft Show




I am very fortunate to work for a wonderful school district and have a great CT&E Director, IT Director, Principal, and Superintendent that have given me the opportunity to pursue my passion for educational technology. (Here is my shameless plug to start my campaign to get them to send me to ISTE 2011 in Philly next year). I consider myself very blessed and fortunate to have been able to attend many state and international EdTech conferences such as TCEA and ISTE. This is where I have been able to make face-to-face connections to many of those people in my own PLN. As I write this post we just recently returned from ISTE 2010 in Denver, Colorado with 17,500 of my closest like-minded Adorkable Edugeeks!

Parentella writes about her impression of her PLN face-to-face meetings at ISTE 2010 in as well. What a great statement about why a PLN is worthwhile!

I am a parent. To watch all these amazing professionals be so entrenched in the Education of our children is heartwarming and inspiring. Plus, they are all so loving, giving, caring, that I walked away with both a Personal Learning Network and a Professional Learning Network.
I know that they will be there to help me, guide me, and discover solutions to problems by pointing me in the right direction. You can’t ask for more than that. I came back home just overwhelmed by all the love and support for our work. I am humbled by it and I will continue to strive to earn it.
Wow, what a powerful statement about her PLN.



So should you venture into the Edublogoshpere and start your own PLN. If you do, I promise you, you won't regret it!


Picture from Edubloggercon, Saturday, June 26, 2010. Yes I'm in there with other Edubloggers.

Resources:
What's my line?...Er PLN - John Peters blog post
Developing Your Own PLN - My Wikispace page
 A Twitterholic's guide to Tweets, Hashtags and All Things Twitter - Sue Waters
6 Resources For Using Twitter In Education - Dr. Leigh Zeitz
Twitter Handbook For Teachers - Thomas Lasic
Building a PLN for Education -Special Education MangoMon Blog
10 Ways You Can Use Twitter Lists - Sarah Evans
Kevin Honeycutt's Interview with Cyndi Danner-Kuhn, Why Build A PLN - Quicktime Movie
Sitting Next To The Smart Kids - Upside Down Education
PLN: Another Definition - Parentella
5 Reasons why Educators should network - Converge Magazine
5 Rules for Professional Social Networking Success - Mashable Business by Dan Klamm
How Has Your Professional Learning Network Changed You? -The Power of Educational Technology by Liz B. Davis
Developing Your Personal Learning Network - Literacy is Priceless Blog
What is the Edublogosphere - Drape's Takes by Darren Draper
Join the FLock - ISTE Website - by Hadley Ferguson

Kevin Honeycutt & Cindi Kuhn - Why Build a PLN
video

ISTE 2010 Keynote Address

I read the following blog post by Ann Leaness titled "Backchannel or Baschannel" about the Opening Keynote address by Jean-Fran├žois Rischard. Ann provided a very nice look at her thoughts concerning the keynote which has generated some interesting comments. Some that were critical of those who were tweeting during the keynote. Here was my comment to the post:

As one who was at the Blogger’s Cafe and on Twitter, reading mostly, during the presentation, I think that many of us were expecting something else. You did a nice job of being kind to Mr. Rischard and his presentation to the ISTE 2010 crowd.

Having seen several ISTE, and other Keynotes, that have been fantastic, I feel this presentation missed the mark, and the audience. Sure we are a group of educators and technology geeks who have come to expect more, especially when we attend a conference with the prestige of ISTE.

My thoughts during the presentation was this, who the heck at ISTE booked Mr. Rischard to deliver the opening keynote address? With the extensive vetting process given to presenters and everything else at ISTE what happened? A good keynote address should set the tone for a conference, energize and inspire conference goers. This was not the case.

I do take serious issue with Mr. Rischard’s One World Government world view and some of the suggestions he made. Only in the last 10 minutes or so of his presentation did he attempt to try to tie his presentation to education.

As to the nature of the tweets themselves, I see nothing wrong by expressing your ideas, even if sometimes they are negatively directed at something, as some others have commented upon here.

I think this presentation would have be better received from another audience rather than a group of fantastic technology educators in the United States who were looking for a big bang to kick of their ITSE 2010 experience.



Thursday, July 1, 2010

What's My Line? Er....PLN?

Sitting in the post-ISTE 2010 afterglow I received a direct message from my Financial Adviser asking what the heck ISTE 2010 was all about. He had been following my Twitter feed and went to the ISTE hashtag, thought it sounded interesting and wanted some more information. Well today we got together to talk about the week in Denver, what my wife Cindy and I had seen, done and learned and the idea for this blog post was born. Josh wanted to know who I follow in my PLN. Just because he's a darn good financial adviser, a friend and also a fellow technology geek as well, he wanted to see what I thought would be a worthwhile read for him venturing into the Edublogosphere. So, I made a list of my favorite blogs. Here we go.

I choose to present this in an alphabetical format so as not to appear to have a "Top 100 List" or anything of the sort. It is definitely not my intention to try to rank fellow educators or decide who is the best read, I'll leave that to others. Rather, this will be who I read and maybe why.

Alphabetical Listing of EduBlogs:


Steven Anderson - Web 2.0 Classroom
I met Steven for the first time in Denver this week. He taught me 4 Square. Fantastic insight and a great blogger on education. Steve is also a HUGE NASCAR fan, as I am. We had a nice long conversation about Jimmie Johnson's win on Sunday at Loudon! I know lots of folks don't think racing is cool but it was fun to find a fellow teacher NASCAR fan! Steven's Blog Post about his ISTE PLN it is a very good read.

Kim Caise - Kim's Ventures in Educational Technology
Kim is always in Elluminate, or it seems like she is, on Saturday mornings for the Classroom 2.0 Live professional development facilitating sessions with Steve Hargadon, et al. Kim was one of the people I really wanted to meet at ISTE 2010. I was sitting in the Blogger's Cafe and noticed she had just tweeted and was also there. I asked Sue Waters if she knew Kim and she said yes and would I like for her to introduce me to her, which she did. I found out Kim lives in San Antonio, a city I go to often to see my grandsons. Hopefully on some future trip we can have lunch on the Riverwalk!

Vicki Davis - Cool Cat Teacher Blog
One of my heroes! The 2nd person I started reading in 2007. What she and Julie Lindsay have done with The Flat Classroom Project is amazing. When I first started reading in the "Edublogosphere" I learned a tremendous amount from Vicki she was very kind and invited me to participate remotely in some sessions she was presenting in Elluminate and CoverItLive. She's really an amazing Edublogger.

Darren Draper - Drape's Takes
Just great ideas and a really nice guy. Wonderful to have a conversation with.

Brad Flickinger - School Technology Solutions - Website
I met Brad for the 1st time while we were both "lost" trying to find Edubloggercon Saturday morning. First, we couldn't find a door that was unlocked, then we roamed the cavernous bowels of the Colorado Convention Center together until we found Steve Hargadon and the Four Seasons Ballroom. I thought I was looking for a hotel, not a ballroom with the same name! Brad facilitated some sessions I sat in on and I was blown away. Exceptional. Someone I want to read more from in the future!

Wesley Fryer - Moving At The Speed Of Creativity
Wes is the 1st Edublogger I met at a Moodle Moot in Oklahoma in 2007. Great posts. One of the best writers I know. Great Keynote speaker, someone I'll go listen to every opportunity I get. Very good ideas, plus Wes is a genuinely nice guy!

Peggy George - My Web 2.0 Adventures
Peggy also co-hosts many of the Saturday morning Classroom 2.0 Live Elluminate sessions with Kim Caise and Steve Hargadon that I participate in. I was actually just talking to someone in the Blogger's Cafe and looked down at her name tag and it was Peggy! When she realized who I was we both said almost in unison "I know who you are!"

Steve Hargadon - Infinite Thinking
The founder of Classroom 2.o, leader of Edubloggercon. Steve is an absolutely fantastic organizer, full of wonderful ideas. Steve consults with Elluminate and travels extensively, or so it seems. I noticed that he is heading to Brisbane, Australia, Shanghai, China and Nova Scotia in the coming months, I wonder if he would consider taking me along to carry his bags and set up his equipment?

Kristin Hokanson - The Connected Classroom
Great ideas and a very nice lady. She will be on the ISTE 2011 Committee in Philly next year. She spent a lot of her time in Denver "shadowing" the current committee members, but I did get to say hello to her a few times.

Kevin Honeycutt - Essdack
One of the most wonderful guys around. He is as much of a coffee-holic as I am! He gave me his 2nd cup of coffee Saturday morning at Edubloggercon, when I couldn't find the coffee shop at 7:00 AM. Then I returned the favor just in time! Funny, excellent ideas and just plain fun to talk to. Kevin is always on the move! Here's a photo of him with David Warlick who said:

Only photo taken of Kevin Honeycutt that isn't blurred. Notice I'm having to hold him still! http://yfrog.com/emuuzrj


Bud Hunt - Bud The Teacher
I got to get to know Bud for the first time at ISTE 2010. One word description: Awesome!

Chris Lehmann - Practical Theory A View From The Classroom
A Principal I would love to work for. The SLA Academy in Philly is his school.

Alan Levine - CogDogBlog

Julie Lindsay - E-Learning Journeys
On my list of heroes Julie is hero #1A right along side of Vicki Davis. An unbelievable educator. She has recently taught in Qatar and now in China. I got to visit with this week a wee bit and meet her daughter. The ISTE session: 7 Ways to Flatten Your Classroom was one of the highlights of the week for me.
7 Ways to Flatten Your Classroom - ISTE Video on Demand

Angela Maiers - Angela Maiers Educational Services
An absolute dynamo in the Edublogger World. One of the most friendly ladies I've ever met. Willing to do anything to help you or you students learn about technology.

Ewan Macintosh - Edublogs
Ewan didn't make it to Denver. I did get to know him in San Antonio at NECC 2008. He is one of Europe's leading Educational Technology experts.

Scott Mcleod - Dangerously Irrelevant
One of the most interesting and thought provoking Edublogs out there. Also Scott is extremely interesting to listen to in person.

Karen Montgomery - Thinking Machine
Some really good stuff here.

Will Richardson - Weblogg-ed
I didn't see Will at ISTE 2010. After reading his blog I found out that he was a Vendor for much of the conference. His post: ISTE 2010: Easy...Not Free is interesting. I'm thinking about a blog post about the pros & cons of the ISTE Exhibit floor as well.

Stephanie Sandifer - Change Agency
Another one of the truly nice people in the Edublogosphere! I have learned a lot from Stephanie. If you every have a question, she will have the answer!

Thomas Scheeler - From Room 36

Dean Shareski - Ideas and Thoughts
One of the Heavyweights in Educational Technology. Dean was awarded the 2010 ISTE Award for Outstanding Leadership in Technology and Education. I saw him a few times at ISTE but he was deep in conversation and I didn't want to butt in.

Beth Still - Nebraska Change Agent - Classroom 2.0
Beth was (is) featured both online on the ISTE Website in the daily ISTE 2010 magazine while we were in Denver. Beth was another one of the people I really wanted to meet in Denver and I did have a short, get-to-know-you conversation with her.

Marco Torres - Marco Torres Website
Just absolutely amazing student work. Keynote speaker that is amazing. If you ever get to hear him present it is inspirational.

Jeff Utecht - The Thinking Stick
Jeff is one of the most prolific Edublogger out there! Currently he is teaching in Bangkok, Thailand. Jeff is a presenter and consultant. He is widely respected in the Edublogger community. Plus a very nice guy as well. I haven't read Jeff's book, Reach: Building Communities and Networks for Professional Development, yet but I'm going to try to get a copy and read it. Having talked to Jeff it's probably very dynamic!

David Warlick - 2 Cents Worth
One of the most sought after professional development speakers who is in high demand. David has presented at both at NECC and ISTE and he presented a few sessions in Denver. We both sat in on the same session "Are iPdas a 1:1 Solution?" Afterward we had a 10 minute conversation on whether or not the iPad was going to be a "game-changer" in educataion and it was fantastic.

Sue Waters - Sue Water's Blog
All I can say about Sue is Wow! I finally got to meet her in Denver this week.

One of the buzzword questions we seem to always here is this: What were your 3 best Take-Aways from ISTE 2010?

Well my #1 Take-Away is always the people I meet and the connections I make. In addition to ISTE 2010, NECC 2008, several TCEA (Texas Computer Educators Association) Conferences and a host of smaller professional development conferences, I've really been fortunate to meet and get to know many, if not most of the people on this list in my Personal Learning Network. For me that has been really fun and educational.

Now the challenge given to us by Vicki Davis in the 7 Ways to Flatten Your Classroom session was to "DO SOMETHING"! Do something with your students that you learned during your time in Denver. Which is my #2 Take-Away.

What was my #3 Take-Away? Well that will have to wait for a future post!

Resources:
7 Lists of people who Tweeted about ISTE
Edublogging: My Favorites - My blog post from July 2008
Views of EdTech: Trump Talks - Michael Trump

ISTE Videos
ISTE 2010 Video on Demand
EdTech ISTE 2010 Videos

EduTecher's 10 Web Tools - Iste Presentation