Wednesday, June 29, 2005

NECC05 Conference

I can finally relax. All of my presentations are over. I did a hands-on workshop for NECC on Sunday. Then, I met with the site leaders of the TaskStream REFLECT Initiative research project on Monday. It was a great day. All the time we spent focusing on the planning for this workshop was well worth the effort. We were able to facilitate a lot of discussion among the participants, and to lay out the research plan, and the various components of the professional development (the regional workshops, the online professional development, the onsite visits, etc.). After this meeting, I was more excited about the project. I also realized how much work was ahead of me. This will be much more intense than my PT3 grant. And I thought I was retiring!

The National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) is just like "old home week" or "same time, next year" - my annual renewal with my technology-in-education buddies. It is fun to reconnect, to announce my retirement, and to celebrate with 15,000+ people! I also did a presentation yesterday called, "Enhancing Student Voices in ePortfolios through Blogging and Digital Storytelling." The desciption of the session was:
Are your e-portfolios standardized checklists of skills or constructivist stories of learning? Learn about open-source or free strategies that increase student voice in learner-centered e-portfolios.
The overwhelmingly positive reaction from participants who were there has been very gratifying. I had one of those "Aha!" experiences when I realized at the end of my presentation, the link between my "Choices" digital story and my message about ePortfolios. When I quote Robert Frost's poem (and my last titles were: Go where no one else has gone... and leave a trail), I urged the participants to take the road "less traveled by" with ePortfolios. Make them digital stories of deep learning, not standardized checklists of skills!

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