As I’d hoped, today proved to be a wonderful day of learning in Missoula, Montana, with educational leaders from around the state. In addition to the crowd we had face-to-face at the University of Montana in Missoula, we had remote attendees connecting via H.323 video from Billings, Kalispell, Helena, and Poplar. Here are a few of the highlights from our day.

First of all, you need to immediately follow Jason Neiffer and Mike Agostinelli, who tweet @techsavvyteach and write the blog, Tech-Savvy Teacher. Jason presented the K12Online09 session, “Probing the Prospects of Paperless Pedagogy.” His personal Twitter account is @neiffer. This was his response to the “Vision for Educational Leadership in 30 Seconds (2011)” challenge today. According to Jason, Digital school leadership is two parts: Expectations and Modeling.

Mr. Kenelty, the 8/9 Principal of Poplar Schools in Montana, shared this 28 second video about educational vision in the 21st century. According to him, vision should drive EVERYTHING at your school.

Today’s workshop was the most positive professional development experience in which I’ve been involved utilizing videoconferencing technologies – Ever. Hats off to all our organizations and tech support folks for pulling everything together. Leaders of Western Montana – Comprehensive System for Professional Development (WMCSPD) did a great job getting our time together planned and coordinated. VisionNet is the Montana-based company which has handled our videoconference bridging, web-streaming, and conference recording – it’s been GREAT. We had a participant today with a sick child at home who actually was able to interactively attend from her house! It was interactive for her thanks to our Twitter backchannel. This was our classroom today at the University of Montana, which utilized four LCD projectors and screens. One was for presenter laptop video, another was for our Twitterfall backchannel (using the hashtag #mtvision) and the other two were for remote video.

Our Missoula Classroom: 4 Screens!

I love the way VisionNet set this up for side-by-side presenter computer content and video. This is a photo of Karen Montgomery telling the story of her 77 year old aunt and her eBook reader over the holidays.

Karen Montgomery presenting over video

Rob Reynolds‘ presentation after lunch, “Using Google Forms for Dynamic Data,” was the most impressive description of utilizing Google Forms with custom javascripts in schools I’ve ever heard. He gave me permission to share the audio recording as an upcoming podcast. What he’s helping his team do at Eureka Public Schools with Google Forms for walkthrough assessments and MANY other needs is fantastic!

If you have a lot of USB devices you need to charge at the same time, like a tub of Flip cameras, you really should check out the MonoPrice 24 port hub. The University of Montana College of Education has one, and it’s a slick way to keep these devices ready for action!

MonoPrice 24 Port Hub

I could share more, but I’ll close with a few photos of the beautiful University of Montana campus. I took this photo with the iOS Pro HDR app, just outside our building today following our workshop.

University of Montana

University of Montana

Any questions about why this state is called “Big Sky Country?!” It’s magnificent. I can’t wait to return here again with my family when we’ll find time to get into the backcountry!

University of Montana

Access all our videos, links, and resources from our workshop this week on wiki.powerfulingredients.com/Home/workshops/techleadership.

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