Reflections on Tuesday at NYSCATE

Conferences can be fun, educational, and tiring. When I woke up Tuesday morning at NYSCATE, all of this was in play. My session, Video in the Classroom to Captivate and Motivate (nyscate08g09), was scheduled for the first slot, and I was excited about it. I thought that after that, I could cruise through the last couple of sessions, maybe stay for the closing keynote, or get a head start on going home.

The great news was that as the morning and afternoon progressed, things just got better and better, and I left only after the last words of the conference were spoken…

My session went well – I’m a huge proponent of using video in the classroom, and was glad to share some of the things we do in our district with others. I think it was received well – there were many more things I wanted to share, but one hour goes by so fast!

The session on the XO laptop, Little Green Monsters (nyscate08h08) presented by Brian Smith, Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez was eye opening. I’ve known about and followed the XO for a long time now, but listening to them made me start to understand what it’s about. Pete Reilly summed it up best on his blog – check out his thoughts (and my comments there).

Next up was the session on Web 2.0 Open Source Server Based Apps (nyscate08i05) by my friend Steve O’Connor. I met Steve last year by coincidence at NYSCATE as he and I presented in the same room. Steve has the angle on where we will be going in Ed Tech – we want to use the neat Web 2.0 apps, but are concerned about safety/security/privacy. His take on this is right on the money, I believe. Check out his blog and session wiki page for more info.

Lastly was the closing keynote by Gary Stager titled, The Best Educational Ideas in the World. I’ve heard Gary on many occasions, but his presentation was so engaging and right on, that it did not matter how tired I felt – I left wanting more. I strongly recommend anyone who was not able to hear this talk, go listen to the podcast.

The theme of NYSCATE 2008 was Discovering Your Digital Destination – and for me the pathway was opened. A BIG thank you to all of the people who helped make the conference a huge success!

Image courtesy of leshoward on Flickr.