Monday, April 28, 2008

eSchool News: Overzealous internet filters hinder research in schools

Study: Overzealous filters hinder research
By Corey Murray, Associate Editor, eSchool News
"The internet-content filters most commonly used by schools block needed, legitimate content more often than not, according to a study by a university librarian." Read the rest here.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

more on Podcamp...

In a nutshell, Podcamp NYC 2.0 certainly lived up to it's self-description as an "un-conference", complete with the aforementioned temporary tattoos, live "podsafe" music performances, free high-powered beverages, proliferation of vloggers bearing minicamcorders and mobile cameraphones, and frequent mention of terms such as "bloghaus" and "creative commons". It was casual and relaxed compared to the other education conferences I've attended (and dreaded), with a noticeable lack of polyester and conservativism.

The camp was by no means perfect, with a small number of last minute room changes and cancellations (which we were told to expect) as well as a couple of sessions I attended which seemed to be less about usefulness and more about someone pitching their concept, product or site. This, however, was certainly not the rule, and some sessions worth mentioning include Chris Penn's high energy (especially at 9 am) Intro to Podcasting; Roxanne Darling's (of session on optimizing your video podcast workflow (which, even though I don't consider myself a video newbie, I found VERY helpful); Annie Boccio's seesmic panel on video conversations (I promptly went home that very night and recorded my first seesmic!) and Drew Olanoff's very low-tech and highly entertaining conversation with us about "using social media as a toolkit and not a distraction" (he drove this point home by confiscating everyone's cell phone as they entered the room; he didn't get mine, but the message was no less powerful!).

As far as sessions designed specifically for educators, two standouts were Whitney Hoffman's session (she was one of the organizers), which I regrettably came late to, about using new media strategies to optimize learning, as well as John Herman's session on social media tools such as blogging and social networks (a Ning user like me) successfully with high school students. I had no idea, until the very end of the session, that John was the creator of an interactive web series I sometimes watch on called Gravityland (which I suggest you all watch, too!).

And, of course, besides the sessions there was the lively banter in between with amazing and brilliant people. The bottom line is: if you're an educator and you're reading this blog right now, RUN, don't walk, to the next FREE Podcamp (there's a schedule here). I'm already planning to attend the next one that happens to be within a hundred miles of me!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

PODCAMP NYC review coming soon...

I'm running a little late (having had no sleep for the last two days, thanks to PODCAMP NYC 2.0...well, thanks to myliving so far from Brooklyn, actually) but I'm just posting to remind myself (and my readers) that I hope to post a review of PODCAMP, which so far is better than any educational conference I've EVER attended. Have you ever gone to an educators conference that has live music, temporary tattoos and free Vitamin Energy drinks? I have to go to these things more often!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Four days to PODCAMP NYC!

I’m going to podcamp nyc 2, feb 29 - mar 1, join me
Anyone else here going to Podcamp NYC? Visit their site to see what it's all about.
The short version, though, according tot he organizers: "Podcamp NYC is an “unconference” focused on educating participants on how to use, implement and share any/all new media tools including, podcasts, videocasts, blogs, Second Life, Facebook, and YouTube. The conference is FREE to attend and you’re a “participant” versus an “attendee” at our event."
What I'm particularly excited about is that this year's podcamp has a focus on educators who are attempting to/interested in using more Web 2.0 in their schools, so I'm really looking forward to many of those sessions...just hope I don't get overwhelmed with what I'm sure will be an overabundance of good info!

I was also psyched to see twitterfriends Jennifer and Mark (from The Culinary Media Network and ReMarkable Palate) were doing the dining guide! Mmmm!
I have very non-committal, tentative plans to do some kind of ____-casting (web, pod, dunno) or at least taping at the event, but don't quote me. I may just want to focus on the experience (but then again, I may just feel compelled to share!).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Another question: anyone use SharpSchool?

I've just been asked by my district to undergo training for our newest portal, SharpSchool. It looks like the first portal designed for k-12 I've seen in a while that incorporates many interactive, web 2.0 features. The fact that the demo video took five minutes to load on my computer raised some concerns about how well our computer infrastructure can handle it, but I'm hopeful that will change. Anyone have any experience with it?