NERC sessions…

Last week I had three sessions approved for the Northeast Region Council on the Social Studies Conference (NERC).  One of them I have done a few times before, the last time at Edscape in October.

“Going live”–Clinic-2 hours

How do you get your classroom to “go live” for parents, your community, and audiences across the world? This session demonstrates how to livestream your classroom and interact with the audience.   Participants will create a website that they can use to broadcast or record their class activities and presentations, and be introduced to free websites to broadcast, record, and archive their videos. From webcams, live streaming sites, live blogs, microphones, mixers, wires and gizmos, to prepping your kids beforehand!!  Of course,  we will also “Go Live” at the end of the session to allow everyone to demonstrate and feel the powerful impact of “Going Live.”

I am pretty excited about it because “going live” is something I am pretty passionate about and I believe I really figured out how to make the session more powerful after my Edscape session.  My sessions used to span how to go from never going live, to going live with all the bells and whistles.  I realized that 75% of what I talked about…while it might have been interesting!…would take years of work to get to, and just focusing on getting started, activities the kids do, and how to get them prepped and started will be immensely more valuable and more than enough for anyone to process.

The second session I was approved for is absolutely my favorite thing I have ever presented at any conference…problem is it’s a bit hippie and at techie conferences it draws a small crowd.  It has been interesting doing it for a small crowd.  When I have done it for 40 people it is very much my show…but doing it for four people has taught me how to make it more interactive and conversational and I am looking forward to making changes for NERC.

Body Talk–Interpreting Non-Verbal Communication in the Classroom–Session-1 hour

If you can effectively read and interpret the nonverbal communication of students, and
manage how students perceive you, you will enjoy greater success than teachers who lack this skill.

Do you know what your body is telling your students?
Do you know what students are telling you with their bodies?

A conversession centered around all of those non-verbal cues that we send and receive.  Let’s examine images, video, and maybe if we are a daring audience, do a bit of role playing and assist one another to become more in tune with what our bodies are telling students, and more in tune with what students are telling us with their bodies.

The first day of the three day conference are full day workshops.  I decided to take the plunge and attempt one.  I know I can do one hour, but 7 is quite an adventure.  Last year my kids went to the conference and did 1:1 hallway sessions on getting started with Twitter.  I learned a lot from watching them.  I found that it took them at least 45 minutes with each person to get them started and explain how to use it.  At least 60 minutes for someone who is a bit tech phobic.  More importantly I watched as people they helped in the AM, came back with questions in the PM, or folks that they helped in the PM came back the next day with questions they needed answered.  So I designed a Social Media 101 session that would allow time to learn things, play with things, and “come back” for questions.

Social Media 101-Full Day 9:00-4:00

You’ve heard about twitter, blogging, podcasting, putting videos up on youtube, and social bookmarking but you just don’t get the what all the hype is about or haven’t had the time to learn how to use them!  Come listen to what the hype is all about and get a chance to use all of these tools.  This session will demonstrate the power of social media by allowing participants to make and use accounts for various social media sites and interact with people from across the world.  This session explains how to use these tools for personal use, and in a variety of activities with kids.

The very rough schedule might look something like this:

9:00       Twitter
10:00    Diigo/Google +/Linkedin
11:00     Blogs
12:00     Lunch
1:00       Ustream and Coverit Live/Today’s Meet
2:00       Time to personalize and play with new social media accounts…questions?
3:30       Misc Smackdown–Podcasts/Screencasts/Youtube/Flickr/Pinterest/Wikis
4:00       Namaste

My goal is to start off each hour with two skype calls with an adult and a student talking about the power of each type of social media and how they use it in their lives.  Then finish off the hour with a skype call so that the participants can now ask questions about the tool after using it for an hour. The beauty of this is that I will have kids up the following two days helping at the conference.  They will have a Social Media 101 crash course table set-up so that anyone at the conference, but especially folks who attended my session on the first day will be able to continuously come back and ask questions.  One of the prerequisites for the session is that they check in with the kids at least once on the 2nd and 3rd day so that they can take a look at their twitter account and give them tips.  O…did I mention I am going to team-up with my 14 year old daughter for this session!

The skills and tools explored in the sessions will be presented in a manner not reinforce current educational methods…but in a manner that will hopefully allow participants to disrupt the system ; p


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