I'm in Denver!

8/08/2007 04:30:00 pm

I've been invited to Denver to do a couple of days of workshops with a group of teachers in the Adams County School District #14. I'm leading the workshops over the next two days.

Following my experiences at BLC with chatcasting I'm going to try to leverage what I've learned and weave it into the talks I'm giving. I'd like to see if we can push the envelope of what was done at BLC. You're all invited to participate. Here's what I'm thinking:

Chatcasting: Extending Professional Development Through Time and Space

Every session will be chatcasted in skype. I'm going to be teaching folks to chatcast as the intro to the 2 days I'll be working with them. Terry Freedman has agreed to act as one of the "Captains" of this venture. (Thanks Terry!) If you join us, you can be a Captain too. The Captain's Job is to welcome people into the chat and act as "rudder" to keep them focused on what's going on in the presentation. Since you won't be there live, asking participants things like: "What's he saying now?" is a good way to keep them focused on the content of the presentation and to provide opportunities to challenge or elaborate on the ideas I'll be sharing. I hope to see folks playing with the ideas and pushing back a little.

The plan is to take the chatcast and dump it into a wiki. I'll send them away at the end of the day with homework:

    i Reread the chatcast.

    ii Insert questions you still have about the content.

    iii Reorganize it in any way you like, or create lists, to highlight the "big ideas" and what the "take aways" were. i.e. What was learned? What do you want to know more about?

If you're available it would be a great way to concretely illustrate how easily these tools can bring the world into the classroom.

I think the main power inherent in web 2.0 tools is the ability they give us to play fast and loose with time and space. I'm hoping this will provide a means by which the conversations we start tomorrow will extend beyond Friday and perhaps spill over into a few classrooms here in Denver.

A Bit More About The Mechanics

TwitterCamp will be running on a projector off at the side of the room. (I've already tested it out. It'll work this time.) I hope to shout out to my twitter network and have them shout back. This will model some of my ideas about using twitter in the classroom.

You only need skype to make this work. Have your twitter window open if you like but the main stage will be on skype.

If you plan to join us (at about 9:30am North American Mountain Time) search Terry Freedman on skype and request to be a contact. He'll add you into the group chat.

I'll be teaching other people in the room how to do the same so that we distribute the load across more than one person and they will teach someone and so on. Hopefully, we can sustain the methodology in future sessions independently although you're welcome to join any of those as well.

Again, you will be the "rudder" through the first chat (with any other edubloggers that join us) and I will use your "conduct" as a model for how the participants should do it themselves in the later sessions. That is, if you want to come along for the ride. ;-)

You can see the agenda on the wiki. I'll be adding to it tonight and over the next two days.

So, what do you think? Any takers? ;-)

David Jakes, the creator of the chatcast phenonmenon, confirmed he will be live in the chat tomorrow morning. This party is starting to shape up. ;-)

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  1. This is a really interesting way to engage participants in a mixed reality showcase/ workshop. Thank you. I am hunting for ideas and Sue Waters pointed me to this post!

  2. I can't tell you how valuable these presentations have been. There has definitely been gaps in everything we have seen lately regarding HOW technology will be useful for my students other than something new and different so therefore engaging. Also, there have been very few resources geared to high school math. I could do lots with elementary school, which I don't teach. I finally feel like everything is clicking. I am very interested in exploring more of the k12 online conference and trying to reach and connect with every student that I teach. I can't wait.

  3. Darren,

    So well done. I took away massive amounts of knowledge. I have deeper respect for you as a teacher and learner after seeing you work with colleagues. Hope we can have you back!


  4. Hey Darren,
    Great job with the Skypecast. I was wondering have you thought about setting up a ustream.tv feed for viewers? I tried one for David Warlick's presentation in Maine http://tinyurl.com/2drj72 but the connection wasn't strong enough.

  5. Anonymous11/8/07 23:00

    @Alex Chatcasting while in session at BLC was the most engaging and educational PD experience I've ever had. As David Jakes says: "Chatcasting rocks!" It should be a part of all PD experiences. I tried to take it to the "next level" by havingt it archived on a wiki and using it as a prompt for further reflection. It looks like that's exactly what's happening ... for those that are participating. Let me know how you use in any PD you do. I'd love to hear how it worked, or didn't. ;-)

    @Stewart Thanks for the feedback! Can't wait to see what you do with "all this stuff" in your class.

    @Joe I am humbled. I felt the same way about you watching you work with your staff. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would relish the opportunity to follow it up.

    @Kern That's a great idea! I remember Robin Good talking about a host of free video streaming tools. Now that would be a way to kick it up another notch! ;-)