All across Manitoba on Friday, teachers came together in about 28 different Special Area Groups for an full day of professional development workshops. I was invited by EBIT (Educators of Business and Information Technology) to do a presentation. Mine was the host school and the organizer of the conference is a friend so I said yes.
The idea was to a have more of a conversation than a presentation, where everyone came with a lesson plan they thought they might like to rework to take advantage of the affordances offered by social media and the suite of free tools available online. I shared a number of examples of how I had done this with some of my own lessons.
About 45 minutes into the workshop people started warming up and we had some good discussion. I tried to keep the focus more on pedagogy than tools but that can be hard in a session like this. Judging from the feedback afterward I think folks walked away happy for having been there. I created a wiki as a reference point for the folks that were there.
One of the examples that captured people's imagination was the mapping project my son is working on. It's not done yet, so I guess I'm outing him early. Many people seemed tickled at the idea that they could leave him an encouraging comment on his Google Map where he's bringing together text, images, and video to give an overview of the book Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker. Remember, what he's got there right now is mostly a partial rough draft, he should have it done in about another 7-10 days. In the meantime, feel free to leave some positive comments or suggestions for him on his map. ;-)
Audio (1 hr 41 min 25 sec)
Fast forward through the boring bits.