Showing posts with label NECC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NECC. Show all posts

Friday, January 29, 2010

Support ISTE Newbie 2010 by Buying a Book

Last year because of the efforts of many of you, Beth Still, and VoiceThread I was able to attend the NECC/ ISTE conference for the first time. It was an awesome learning experience that I would have missed out on if Beth Still had not organized the fundraising effort. One of her co-conspirators (and I mean that in the nicest way) in organizing the effort was Jason Shrage who is a social studies teacher in New York. Jason has never been to ISTE/ NECC and, like me, his district can't or won't foot the bill. Therefore, Beth organized ISTE Newbie 2010 to send Jason to the ISTE conference in Denver. The fundraising has gone well so far the goal is in sight, but they could use a little more help in getting there. This is where you and I come in.

From now through Sunday night I'll donate any and all comissions generated through my Amazon Affiliate account. I'll also match all book revenues. I typically receive 6% of revenue generated through the Amazon links or widgets that I use. For example if someone buys a $20 book, I earn $1.20. This applies to everything sold through the Amazon widgets and links. So if you were thinking of buying a new book, DVD, netbook, or anything else Amazon sells and you would like to help out the ISTE 2010 Newbie this weekend is a great time to do it. Buy something for yourself, like Larry Ferlazzo'sBuilding Parent Engagement in Schools,and help out a good cause at the same time. (Just make sure you click one of the links or widgets here first).

Here are some more places to read out the ISTE 2010 Newbie.
Jeff Utecht's The Thinking Stick
Beth Still's blog

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Interview With Beth Still About ISTE Newbie 2010

As many of you know, last year I was fortunate enough to attend NECC 2009 through the donations of many of you, VoiceThread, and the hard work of Beth Still. You can read about last year's project and my experiences here, here, and here. Last year, the fund-raising began in April. The fund-raising for the 2010 ISTE Newbie Project has begun already. In the video below Beth and I talk about the ISTE 2010 Newbie Project, the purpose, and the fundraising.

These are the links mentioned in the video:
Beth Still - Nebraska Change Agent
Jason Shrage - Oswego 98

Friday, October 16, 2009

ISTE 2010 Keynote Suggestions Wanted

Last year, thanks to the generosity of many of you and the hard work of Beth Still, I was able to attend NECC/ ISTE 09. Malcolm Gladwell was the keynote speaker for the conference. For 2010, ISTE is crowd-sourcing the selection of the conference keynote speaker. There is a three phase process being used to select the keynote topic and keynote speaker. Phase one is currently underway. In phase one you can suggest topics and vote on the suggestions. Click here to suggest topics and vote.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Support the Next NECC/ISTE Newbie

It's long overdue that I post something about Beth Still's NECC/ISTE Newbie Project. As many of you will recall, this year I was able to attend NECC/ISTE through the generous donations made by many of you to the fundraising effort Beth created. For 2010 Beth is organizing another fundraising effort. This time it is to send another first-timer to the NECC/ ISTE conference in Denver. Beth selected Jason Schrage to be 2010's newbie. Jason was one of Beth's co-consipirators (I mean that in the nicest way) in the organization of the Newbie Project that allowed me to go to NECC/ISTE in Washington, DC. Jason is a middle school teacher in western New York.

Please visit Beth's blog to read all about Jason and the fundraising efforts for the 2010 NECC/ISTE Newbie Project.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Friend Feed in Education

Friend Feed is a microblogging platform that for some reason hasn't gained traction in the edublogging community the way that Twitter has. That's a shame because Friend Feed has some great features that make a superior communication tool compared to Twitter. I talked to a few people at NECC about the lack of Friend Feed adoption in the edublogging community. From those conversations it seems that people just aren't aware of what Friend Feed offers.

Here are some of the key features that Friend Feed offers.
1. More than 140 characters. There is a good argument for Twitter's character restriction making you choose your words carefully, but sometimes you just need more room in order to complete a conversation.
2. Commenting and "like" system. Similar to Facebook's commenting and "like" system, Friend Feed's system allows users to comment on any of your posts. This makes it much easier to hold and track a conversation. With real-time updates, whenever someone comments on any of your posts, that post rises back to the top of your stream so that you can see it without having to search for it.
3. Room/ Group creation. Friend Feed allows you to create as many rooms (also referred to as groups) as you like. The purpose of creating a room is to have a place to hold a conversation around a specific topic or event. For example I created a room for NECC 2009. I've also created a room for people to share thoughts and resources about technology in education. Rooms can be private (you control who can join, view, and comment), semi-private (only you can post new items, but anyone can comment), or public (anyone can join, view, and post). Setting up a room is very easy, just go to your homepage select "browse/ edit groups" and create your new group.
4. Embeddable widgets. Friend Feed offers a good selection of widgets that you can embed into your blog or website. You can embed your main Friend Feed stream or you can embed the stream of updates from a group. In the right hand side bar I've embedded the widget for updates from the Free Tech 4 Teachers group. If you're a Friend Feed user, you can go an comment in it right now.

Applications for Education
The option to create a private Friend Feed room could be a great way to create a back channel for your classroom or for any workshops that you may lead. You could also create a private Friend Feed room for your students to use as brainstorming area or a book discussion forum. Because Friend Feed's commenting and "liking" system is similar to Facebook's, most middle school and high school students should quickly figure out how to use it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

One Last Video Interview from NECC 2009

This is the last of the official ISTE, NECC 2009 video interviews that I did during the week. There are other video interviews that I did and I'll be sure to Tweet those when they're available.

In this video Steve Muth from VoiceThread and I were interviewed about the NECC Newbie Project and about how we see VoiceThread being used in academic settings.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Question Most Commonly Asked of Me at NECC

This is the last morning of NECC 2009. Since Saturday the one question that I've been most frequently asked is, "how are you finding so many things to blog about?" In the video below, filmed in the NECC Blogger's Cafe, I give the answer that I've been giving most frequently.

Here are the three real-time search engines mentioned in the video:

Monday, June 29, 2009

My Interview With ISTE Connects TV

Earlier today I did an interview with Joe Corbett from ISTE for ISTE Connects which was streamed streamed throughout the conference and around the web. If you missed it, you can watch it below. If you're reading this in RSS you may need to click through to view the video.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Find My Notes - Join the NECC Conversation

A couple of people have asked me where I'm posting notes and links from NECC 2009. I set up a page for my notes and links from this trip. You can find that Drop here. The page is set for public access so please feel free to add your comments and or ask questions.

I have also set up a Friend Feed group for conversations about NECC 09. You can find and join that group here. Again, the group is open to anyone so please feel free to join in the conversation whether. If you've never tried Friend Feed, now might be the time. The group feature makes it possible to have threaded conversations about a particular topic/ event without having to sift through a stream of unrelated content.

If you don't want to join Friend Feed, you can still see all of the notes and conversations about NECC 09 on this blog in the widget I've installed in the right hand column of the blog. The feed is just below the Google Friends display.

Reflections on EduBloggerCon - Part II

Yesterday, I posted some of my preliminary reflections on EduBloggerCon 2009. Those reflections were posted just before I went to an outstanding conversation session hosted by Jeff Utecht. The conversation was started with the questions "Is blogging dead or dying?" and "Where does Twitter fit in?" The conversation included topics such as real-time search (my two cent contribution), Jeff's idea that Twitter makes the life-cycle of a conversation shorter, how to get people started and interested in blogging/ Twitter/ FriendFeed. I believe it was Scott McLeod who brought the conversation back to the "trenches" so to speak when he said something to the effect of "for most educators, posting on the web is still a new thing." He put this comment in the context of his Castle book club in which he has members who are reluctant to post a comment to an online group for which they signed up.

Scott's point reminded us all that it is easy to get caught up in the pageviews, retweets, and other statistics of blogging, but there is still a huge population of people that doesn't know what is going on in the world of educational technology. The challenge then is to answer the question, "how do we get teachers interested in staying current in best practice technology integration?" My simple answer to this to show teachers some specific tools that can help them engage students in their classrooms. And when they ask, "how do you find all this?" (and they always do ask me) show a couple of blogs like Larry Ferlazzo's and introduce them to RSS readers.

Jeff Utecht (on left) and David Warlick during the conversation about the future of edublogging.

A couple of people have asked me where I'm posting notes and links from NECC 2009. I set up a page for my notes and links from this trip. You can find that Drop here. I have also set up a Friend Feed group for conversations about NECC 09. You can find and join that group here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Week in Review - Most Popular Items

I would be remiss if I didn’t start this week’s week-in-review post by thanking everyone that donated to the NECC Newbie project coordinated by Beth Still. A huge thank you goes out to VoiceThread who chose to donate to $700 to send me to NECC rather than spending the money on exhibiting at NECC. If you’re not familiar with VoiceThread I highly recommend that you check it out. You can read some of my posts about it here, here, and here. As you read this I am in Washington, DC getting ready for EdubloggerCon tomorrow and NECC which starts on Sunday. Without all of your donations, your Tweets, and your social bookmarks I wouldn’t be here in DC right now.

Here are the seven most popular items of the last week:
1. 30+ Alternatives to YouTube
2. Five Ways to Visually Explore Wikipedia
3. Learning Beyond the Classroom
4. Ten by Ten - Visual Links to the World News
5. TubeChop - Clip a Section of a YouTube Video
6. Zoho Challenge - Conduct Tests Online
7. Netbook vs. Cheap Notebook Decision

If you’re a new subscriber this week, welcome. I hope you continue to find this blog useful. If you have any questions about this blog or anything that appears on this blog, please contact me at richardbyrne (at)

Thank you to all of the long-time subscribers who have contributed to the growth of this blog. Without all of your comments, Tweets, and mentions it would still be just myself and my mother reading this every week.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Twitter Search in Plain English from Common Craft

Here is another great production from Common Craft. Twitter Search in Plain English reviews what Twitter is and what Twitter search (and real-time search in general) can offer you that static searches cannot.

On a related note, Common Craft is hosting a meet-up at NECC later this month. I plan to attend and hope to see many of you there too. You can get the details about the meet-up here.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you: - Your Private Microblogging Community
OneRiot Now Offers Real-Time Search Results
Seven Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Great Professional Development Opportunity is offering a great professional learning opportunity this summer. is hosting an all-expenses paid Teacher Innovator Summer Camp in Portland, Oregon. In addition to having all expenses paid, will also give you a $2000 stipend. Twenty educators will be chosen for this opportunity. To qualify for this opportunity you must be a K-8 classroom teacher. Applications for this opportunity are due by June 24, 2009. Apply here and good luck. (I'm jealous, I teach grades 9-12 so I'm not eligible).

For those of you that are attending NECC later this month, is hosting a breakfast presentation on Tuesday, June 30th. At the breakfast Scott McLeod will be hosting a discussion about technology, school change, and the challenges of informal leadership. I have registered to attend and I hope to see many of you there too. You can register for the breakfast here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

You Did It! I'll Be a NECC Newbie

Thank you to everyone that donated to the NECC Newbie project created by Beth Still to send me to NECC 2009 in Washington, DC. Yesterday, while I was on a "computer break" a very large donation was made by the kind folks at VoiceThread. That donation represented almost 50% of the goal of $1500. But, it wasn't just VoiceThread that made reaching this goal possible, it was everyone who donated, Tweeted about the project, and blogged about the project that made it possible for me to attend NECC. The full list of public donors can be seen here.

As I mentioned above, I was on a "computer break" yesterday afternoon and evening so it wasn't until this morning that I learned that the goal had been met. Needless to say, I was very excited to read on Beth's blog that the goal had been met. Thank you to all of the folks that Tweeted their congratulations yesterday. I'm sorry that I wasn't online to respond to each of you as the Tweets came in.

Later today I will have more to share about the NECC Newbie project and my NECC plans, but for now I just want to say thank you everyone and I hope to meet many of you at NECC.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I Could Be the NECC Newbie

NECC (National Educational Computing Conference) is a conference that I have considered attending for the last couple of years, but due to the cost I have not yet been able to attend (without giving specifics, my earnings are less than Maine's statewide average). This year was shaping up to be no exception to that rule until I received an email last night from Beth Still. Beth is a social studies teacher in Nebraska and a part of my PLN or you could say that I'm a part of her PLN through Twitter and Facebook. Last night Beth emailed me with an opportunity that I couldn't refuse.

Beth has organized an idea to send a newbie to NECC this year. Through the contacts in her PLN Beth is trying to raise $1500 to send me to NECC. In consultation with another member of her PLN, Jason Shrage, she chose me to be the newbie for this social media experiment. The short version of the story is Beth wanted to give someone who had never been to NECC the chance to go. Beth also wanted to test the power of a PLN and social media. Read the full story on Beth Still's blog. It is also on Beth's blog that you can make a donation.

On a more personal note, this is one of the nicest things that anyone has ever done for me in my adult life. When I read Beth's email last night I was utterly speechless (that doesn't often happen). My mother raised a boy who has trouble accepting gifts without being able to reciprocate. Therefore, when I'm at NECC I will, of course, blog and Tweet about my experience. And I hope to be able to share some video of my experience along with a video of Beth and I meeting for the first time.