Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Proposed Fall Conference Sessions

I’m going to be traveling more than normal this fall for conferences in Oklahoma, Hong Kong and Hangzhou, China, Kansas, Maine, and Illinois. While I’ve shared a large number of keynotes and conference presentations in the past several years, I definitely have some favorite topics to share when I’m invited to make suggestions to conference organizers. In the case of the ACTEM conference in Maine in October, my 9 year old daughter (Sarah) will be traveling and presenting with me, so we’re hoping to share the following session together for the first time. This will build on our NECC09 session, “The Power of Our Family Learning Blog,” into which Sarah skyped to participate.

Crafting Your Digital Footprint
9 year old Sarah will demonstrate the ways she is crafting her own digital footprint online in this session. Creating videos and publishing her own online cooking show, sharing VoiceThread digital stories, and writing on her family learning blog are some of the ways she is publishing and interacting with others online with support and oversight from parents and other educators. Sarah will also discuss and demonstrate the use of Skype and iChat as videoconferencing tools to connect with family members at a distance as well as other experts. Come learn and get ideas for how you, your children, and your students can craft your/their digital footprints and take assertive control of the search results when names are “Googled” by prospective or current employers, schools, and others.

For the other conferences, sessions I share will vary depending on audience and organizer preferences. These are the sessions I’m expecting to share at some point this fall at these conferences– of these, both “WordPress Saves Lives – Learn How” and “Collaboratively Sharing Student Work with VoiceThread!” are new sessions / remixes of previous sessions to which I’m particularly looking forward!

CCC in the 21C: Create, Communicate, Collaborate (keynote)
U.S. educators in the early twenty-first century face formidable challenges, but are blessed with access to unprecedented tools and opportunities for blended (digital / face-to-face) learning. As teachers we must help our students master content area knowledge and skills, but also develop important 21st century literacy skills not measured on traditional, multiple-choice examinations. How can we effectively enable students and teachers meet mandated learning requirements and simultaneously encourage the development of 21st century skills? A focus on the three C’s of 21st century learning offers a compelling way forward: focusing on creating, communicating, and collaborating within a context of project based learning. Let’s explore practical ways students and teachers are using digital tools to create, communicate and collaborate together, reaching new heights of student achievement and documentable learning.

Digital Magic Tricks
Often the most valuable learning outcome of a professional conference is a single website, collaboration idea, or software application which can transformatively help students and teachers more effectively demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills included in the curriculum. This presentation focuses on a diverse array of web 2.0 tools teachers and librarians can use to enhance classroom websites, collaborative projects, and multimedia reports created by students individually or in distributed teams. The ability to embed content permits educators to create multimedia- rich webpages on their school website integrating images, voice recordings, videos, and animations. Web tools which provide these functionalities will be demonstrated and explored in this session, as well as other web tools which can enhance research-based methods of providing recognition and feedback for students. These include methods for moderating social networking interactions among students as well as other educational constituents (including parents) and expanding the menu of collaborative knowledge product possibilities for students including interactive digital timelines, collaboratively authored digital stories, and synchronous presentation environments for sharing and teaching by students.

WordPress Saves Lives – Learn How
WordPress is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) and blogging platform which powers many dynamic, engaging websites today. Whether you are a classroom teacher, a librarian, a school administrator, an instructional technology specialist or an IT technician, you should know about WordPress and the powerful as well as moderated / safe ways it can be used to publish interactive content online. In this session we’ll explore the basics of WordPress as well as the extensible features it offers with custom themes and plug-ins. Help end the online suffering which continues thanks to websites created with Microsoft Frontpage in the late 1990s! Learn about WordPress, use it, and share its power with others!

Collaboratively Sharing Student Work with VoiceThread!
Student work should be shared beyond the traditional four walls of the classroom. Student motivation can increase when the audience changes, and students can learn valuable collaboration as well as digital citizenship skills in the process. In this session, participants will learn to weave digital photos, audio recordings, and constructive feedback (using text, audio and video) with a partner classroom focusing on a student project of their choice. is the primary tool participants will use to collaboratively share student work

Powerful Ingredients for Blended Learning
Good teaching is similar in many ways to good cooking. Recipes are helpful, but master cooks often modify those to meet different needs and situations. The same is true for teachers. If we extend this analogy of cooking to teaching and learning in a web 2.0 world, what are the best “ingredients” to use as we help both teachers and students learn to be more effective, safe, and powerful communicators in our flat world? As we blend learning by providing digital opportunities to interact with content and individuals along with face-to-face, synchronous interaction, we can increase student engagement as well as student achievement. In this working session we will focus on several key ingredients identified in the forthcoming book Powerful Ingredients: Social Bookmarking, Collaborative Document Writing, Synchronous Conferencing, Online Photo Sharing, Minimal Click Digital Storytelling, Podcasting, Feed Readers / Information Portals, Online Video Sharing, Blogging, and Mobile Ingredients. A framework for redefining “computer literacy” beyond its traditional focus on productivity software tools will be proposed and explored in this session, including for levels of educator engagement with powerful ingredients. Let’s learn to cook up some gourmet learning with some powerful (and free) web 2.0 tools!

Intro to Educational Podcasting
Podcasting involves the online publication of digital files (audio, video, or other formats) within a channel to which others can subscribe and obtain updates. In this session we’ll learn how to utilize free podcatching software (including iTunes) to download and subscribe to podcasts, as well as how to use free software (Audacity) to create and publish audio podcasts on your classroom or personal website. These podcasts can include recorded teacher-lectures, student projects, student-created news programs, or almost anything else. Synchronizing audio podcast recordings to PowerPoint slides will also be demonstrated using the free website SlideShare. No previous experience with podcasting or audio recording is required for this session!

K-12 Online Conference – Free Professional Development on Web 2.0 Technologies
The K-12 Online Conference offers a fantastic, free opportunity for educators around the world to learn together about innovative and effective ways web 2.0 (read/write web) technologies are and can be used to engage students as well as improve opportunities for learning. Each October, over 40 free presentations created by teachers around the world are posted on the website. Thousands of educators from around the world have participated in the conference since 2006. A series of live events as well as asynchronous interaction options are available during and after the conference. Learn how you can participate, AND earn professional development credit.

It also looks like I may be able to present in November at a Google Teacher Workshop organized as part of the 2009 Virtual School Symposium in Austin, Texas. After becoming a Google Certified Teacher this past July, I’m very keen to help present “official” Google Teacher Workshops. To my knowledge, we haven’t had any of these in the midwest (Dakotas / Nebraska / Kansas / Oklahoma / Missouri / Texas) and it would be great to offer some! “Google Teacher Workshops” are not exactly the same as the GTA, since they are not offered inside Google office spaces and participants can’t become officially “Google Teacher Certified” by attending them, but the content and information shared at these events is very similar to the GTA and the workshops are all led by GCTs (Google Certified Teachers.)

Google Certified Teacher

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