Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Adobe Flash Workshop with Joe Dockery

This is my last workshop before heading to North Carolina tomorrw. There always seems to be so much to learn and not enough time. I think that is what keeps me coming back to these conferences. It just takes one new nugget of great information and I want to keep learning more. It reminds me of golf. It just takes one great hole, and I want to keep playing more.

I have attended workshops by Joe Dockery before. I took the Flash class tonight. He has a great way of facilitating his classes. He allows students to work at their own pace and yet require certain assignments be completed by a specific date. I liked the way he has the students start off with drawing skills before really getting into Flash skills. He always has great resources for teachers. I had time to look at Adobe Flash CS4 and explore some of the differences between CS4 and CS2 (which is the version I am currently teaching). Students really like working with Flash. He had some great student project ideas.

I posted a lot of the new websites I learned about at this conference to my delicious account and included a link on the right.


Met with one of the developers of Kaltura. Kaltura allows users to interact and collaborate in rich-media, for example, their video platform supports group-video making and peer production of rich-media. The main components of Kaltura's online video platform are based on open-source software, enabling any site to add advanced video and rich-media capabilities, and share content across the Kaltura Network of re-mixable content based on creative commons licensing. Best of all, Kaltura is integrating with Moodle in three steps. First, they are creating a Resource module that will most likely include remixing video. Second, they are creating an Assignments module. Assignments module will allow students to edit various video (through Moodle) and turn in their results. Kaltura states that they do for video what wikipeadia does for text. Their third step will be working with html coding. As an instructor of video production, this opens up various opportunities including the opporutnity to assignment homwork. Students would not need special software to edit a video - it will all be online.

Second Life

Wow - what a flat world it truly is. When you can meet people from all over the world and never leave your house. Explored different islands, tried different keyboard activities, received Linden $$, learned how to buy things (that cost money and that are free) and met a lot of people interested in technology and education from around the world including a professor of nursing. He uses second life with nursing students. They have avatar patients with certain syptoms, students decide on a treatment path and dicuss diagonis. This whole concept intrigues me.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I've Got Moodle - Now What?

Took some time in the morning to explore the exhibits. Wow - 18,000 people, 500 exhibitors - pretty overwhelming!

Spent the afternoon and into the evening learning more about Moodle. Learned more examples of what you can do with glossaries and groups. Learned the best way to "get rid of" the News item, is to move it. Then the zero topic will disappear. Took a closer look at how to make Moodle look less like Moodle.

If you have Ajax turned on (must be turned on by administrator), you can actually drop and drag your sections and blocks. This is a lot more efficient then using the arrows. Looked at some open source video conversion programs that look pretty good. Will have to spend more time testing them out.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Opening Keynote

Keynote this year was Malcolm Gladwell. He wrote Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers. He said that success was not tied to how smart you were. He said success was tied to three things. 1. Effort based on attitude, 2. Compensation (how much you have to compensate growing up, i.e. dyslexia), 3. Immediate feedback. He said it doesn't really matter where you learn - what is more important is how you learn.

Heard tonight that there were about 18,000 people here this year for the conference. That's a lot of people!

Google Learning Institute

Wow! A full day of Google. Knew a lot of it, but also learned some new things. Some of the things I learned included My Library. I learned you can create personalized libraries on Google Book Search. You can label, review, rate, and of course, full-text search, a customized selection of books.

I learned you can create personalized, annotated, customized maps using Google Maps. You can add placemarks, lines, shapes, add descriptive text (including html), embed photos, videos and share your map with others. Custom searching got me to thinking about embedding a custom search in Moodle.

If you are trying to find a meeting place between friends, enter your addresses and the type of place you want to meet at the following website: a.placebetween.us. You can enter where you are coming from and where you would like to meet.

See Delicious NECC 2009 links on the right.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Newseum Afternoon

Took the Metro Red Line, transferred to the Yellow Line and made my way to the Newseum. Beautiful day. Interesting museum. I saw a 4D movie that was a time travel adventure. Also had an awesome view of the capital from the top of the Museum building. I think I will always associate this trip with the headlines of Michael Jackson.

I think about the whole field of journalism and how it has changed and is continuing to change at such a rapid rate. It seems almost every day a newspaper company is printing their last edition. And yet, I feel more informed than ever before. If I have a medical concern I can do my homework before going to a doctor and not have to rely on his information only.

Also stumbled upon a Barbeque Competition on Pennsylvania Avenue. Nothing like the Oscar Mayer hot dog car in the middle of it all. Check out the slideshow from the day.

Use Your Noodle: Avanced Moodle!

Interested in Mahara, DimDim & Moodle combination. We touched on that a little bit. Explored the quiz module in depth. Looked at adding a role called question creator to allow students to create quiz questions. Discussed Moodle Speaks and Audio Recorder Activity module. Also want to pursue the Book module which allows you to create books from html code.

Also looked at Kaltura open source. Dragmath seems to be the Moodle math plug that most math teachers use. Administrator also needs to turn on the text notation filter for Dragmath to work. Discussed Lesson and Workshop modules. Met a fellow Missoulian who is a leader in advanced technology design and integration. What a small world!

See Delicious NECC 2009 links on the right.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Arrived Washington, D.C.

Flew United via Denver and arrived National in D.C. on time -4:30 p.m. Walked around D.C. until around 7:00 p.m. - right before a large rain and hail storm. Gearing up for Moodle hands-on workshop tomorrow - 8:30 a.m. called Use Your Noodle: Advanced Moodle!