I went to the CESI conference on Saturday. It was great. I met Catherine Cronin who had taught me in the IT department at NUI Galway. She did a great presentation on social networking.
I must admit, I didn't know what to expect upon arrival. I thought I was going to arrive in and there would be a disjoint between teachers and technologists. I was happily surprised to find many people on the same wavelength.
I thought the main theme was 'technology is coming, you cannot let it pass you by, the kids will use it even if you do not condone it in your classroom'. There was a lot of guidance given to teachers with regard to digital citizenship which is becoming increasingly important with photos and videos being uploaded and tagged immediately. This could impact your career in later life if these photos are still on the internet and they remain searchable.
Stephen Howell, IT Tallaght, gave the keynote (Steve Wheeler missed the beginning of the CESI conference and as a result Stephen stepped in in his place). It was very interesting. He spoke about using 'Scratch' a program that is developed by MIT that enable people to program without having the programming language. He was very interesting. I found his site: http://scratch.saorog.com/ This is great, he has already hacked is way into using the camera from the kinect, although a little pricey at €150 approx.http://info.scratch.mit.edu/Scratch_1.4_Download
Claire McInerney, was the next piece that I attended, she was showing 'An Introduction to Scratch'. This was mostly covered by Stephen Howell and I had completed the sheet that was given out in a few minutes.
I attended Patrick Felicia's talk on 'Game Based Learning in Irish Education: A Case Study'. It was very interesting and he showed the results of the study and the disparity between age groups and the perception of improving social skills.
Myself and Catherine joined the queue for the lunch time buffet and ate together. It was great to catch up and find out how the IT department was getting on. She's doing great research into social networking and in her talk after lunch gave a great insight into digital citizenship. The presentation was on "Social Networking with our Students: Considering digital identity, authenticity and privacy". She had both the 2nd year IT students interact with 4th year LIT students. The NUIG students seemed more reluctant to use Twitter with the LIT students because they simply didn't know them. As with all years in University, I think you gain more sense later on. The 4th years in LIT got the ball rolling and there was a past pupil at the conference talk. The important thing to note was that you can be a multiple person online, you can have many personas that you adopt in different environments, one of the twitter account that your lecturer is in and another for your friends. Many accounts for the different sides of the same personality.http://catherinecronin.wordpress.com/https://plus.google.com/u/0/109255566939470729953/posts
Patrick Felicia's workshop "Teaching with Games: understanding games and their educational potential" was excellent. He used a simple program (similar to scratch) to make pac man. He used 'Game Maker' as the game maker and it was great. I swapped in and out the images and all of a sudden I made pacman.http://patrickfelicia.wordpress.com/
3D eLearning www.3delearning.com
Steve Wheeler gave the capstone and it was very interesting. He spoke of the different courses people take now and the different ways that students will learn. He even used the famous Bob Dylan quote 'Times they are a changing'. He spoke of twitter and all the other types of social networks that are taking up so much air time. Digital literacies, applying the literacy from the print world into digital. Just like driving in the US, you can come to a crossroads and people go in sequence. You can still drive, just like you do at home but you need to apply the skills elsewhere. Bloom's Taxonomy appeared, it's now become Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom to transformation. Knowing that, knowing how, knowing why.We can't bombard students, goal is deeper learning, creativity and problem solving abilities. A final word, never give up on your students, become a part of their success stories.He tweeted that evening a few recipes for later!http://www.elearninglearning.com/
Steve Wheeler's blog
I'll add more after I find my notes!