Kyle and Dom set out to attend the annual Computer Using Educators (CUE) confernce in Palm Springs. We arrived in Palm Springs late due to the flight in San Francisco being delayed for a mechanical problem. It's 7AM... We're on the runway... the plane is starting to pick up speed... and the pilot shuts it down. He takes us back to the gate.... we stay on the plane until 8AM and then they decide to let us off. We finally take off for Palm Springs at 10AM.
We get to Palm Springs, and everything goes OK, we get a cool little blue Hyundai with a sun roof. We get over to the Convention Center and this place is HUGE!
Getting involved in the sessions.... Went and saw Alan November during the afternoon. Alan was awesome as always and we told him that he was the one that got us $225,000. He thought we were kidding, but once he figured out we were telling him the truth, he jokingly asked for a cut.
Friday: March 10, 2006
In the General Session: Awards given... Some pretty inspirational folks using technology to enhance teaching and student learning. Keynote given by Robert X. Cringely from PBS, InfoWorld, etc. Great talk and gave us some more ideas to get the Global Communications Pathway moving forward. (Sorry for the blurry pic from the camera phone!)
Kyle tried to get into Hall Davidson's session, but it was packed and decided to go over to the Open Source Pavillion to see Chris Walsh's session on Blogging and Podcasting. Most of the blog tools Chris showed are things we are already doing with this blog and others, but the podcasting tools I knew about, but had never had the chance to put into action, we have some plans to use podcasting as a staff development delivery tools. Cool Content Management System (CMS) tools as well. We have been playing with some of these things, I guess we need to settle on a structure, get it all set and move forward.
Dom spent the mid-morning session getting some great ideas on Electronic Portfolios. We are looking at using this extensively with the students in the Global Communications program and this will probably be the first staff development podcast we will get out to the staff.
Both Dom and Kyle spent the two afternoon sessions in the Apple Training Center. In the first session we got the low down on their server products ...YAWN, but necessary to implement the programs we have planned. The second Apple training session was on Podcasting and how to create podcasts using 'GarageBand.' The Apple trainer, who probably drinks a triple shot cappuccino, a 'Red Bull' and a 'Full Throttle' prior to doing his session, was very informative and went through the entire process of creating a podcast.
Friday Afternoon - The CUE Ball
Now, I know what you are thinking, a 'ball' at a conference filled with EdTech Geeks... Those thoughts were running through our minds as well. But we decided to show up for the same reason people slow down to see a wreck on the highway. When we got there, four guys in the band and the lead vocalist is Mike Lawrence, the Executive Director of CUE. These guys ROCKED! Going from Cheap Trick, George Thorogood and the Destroyers and finally to James Brown, the band had some great range. We also got to rub elbows with Jim Daly, the publisher of 'Edutopia,' the magazine that is put out by the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF).
Saturday: March 11, 2006
By the time we get through the first session on Saturday morning, there is only so much more you can try to fit into your brain to bring back to school. Both Dom and Kyle went in and out of a few sessions during the middle of the day. The student technology showcase in the main lobby had some interesting projects including a 10 minute film made by students at a continutation school in Southern California. The film is a horror film where students that do not complete their homework have their brains turn into mush. Dom was especially impressed with some of the special effects that the students included in the film. We made a run through the vendors and saw a few cool things and decided that was enough! Plus, there was snow on the hill outside of the convention center.... check it out!
The conference content was great, the presenters were great, we are coming back with plenty of things to use at Capuchino. Biggest negative... the wireless access in the convention center was HORRIBLE! Most of the time you couldn't get a wireless connection, something that you would expect at an EdTech Conference these days.