Tuesday, January 31, 2006

MS Educational Computing Assn Conference, Entry #2

Second day at the conference site, yet today was preconference day. The actual conference doesn't kick off until tomorrow, Tuesday. Activities in which we engaged today included getting the hands-on labs ready for the workshops that began in the evening.

Tonight's first workshop, "iLife '06," was led by Dr. Carl Owens (Apple Distinguished Educator and Professor of Teacher Education and Director of the Instructional Resources Center at Tennessee Tech University). As usual, Dr. Owens did a fabulous job showing attendees the new features of iLife. He gave them a thorough understanding of how to leverage the power of iLife to maximize their teaching. The workshop ran from 6:15 - 7:45 PM.

Then came the really exciting workshop!

From 8:00 - 9:30 PM, ADE (Apple Distinguished Educator) Julene Reed, from Memphis, TN, and I conducted a hands-on workshop titled Podcasting: From Start to Finish in 90 Minutes! What a fabulous time we all had with approximately 20 brave souls who, even though they had had a full day already, came in to learn how to make their own podcasts in such a short time!

We had the most outstanding group of educators who, no matter what the obstacle, would not give up. Each on of them teamed up with another workshop participant, then the two of them used GarageBand (from iLife '06) to create their first podcast. The great news is that all teams finished on time and then we played all the new podcasts for the entire group. Applause rang out across the amphitheater as they celebrated their newfound success.

I am so thrilled for these friends. I wish I could let you hear their first efforts, but I'll have to get their permission first. So, stay tuned.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Mississippi Educational Computing Association (MECA) Conference

Today (actually, it was yesterday, since it's already past midnight here), I drove just over 3 hours to get to Jackson, MS, where the annual MS Educational Computing Association (MECA) Conference will be held this week. The actual conference doesn't begin until Tuesday; however, I joined with several Apple employees and a group of Apple Distinguished Educators this afternoon so we could unpack and install a lab full of Macintosh Powerbooks and iBooks to be used in hands-on sessions at the conference.

The Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE) who came early to help set up are Dr. Carl Owens, Professor of Educational Technology from Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN, and Anthony Robinson, Technology Director for the Putnam County (TN) School District. Both Carl and Anthony have come to the MECA Conference for six sequential years and we are thrilled to have them back this year. Joining us tomorrow will be another ADE, Julene Reed, Director of Academic Technologies at St. George's Independent Schools in Collierville, TN -- a suburb of Memphis.

Thanks to the Apple team: Adair, Jennifer, Gary, Neill, and Linda for helping to make this the most exciting MECA Conference ever!

Also, thanks to one very special "outsider" who showed up, rather unexpectedly, to offer help. That outsider was my oldest brother, James "Andy" Anderson, from Crystal Lake, IL. But, he was actually in Jackson during the MECA Conference, so he came on over to help. There is some question as to how much help he really was, but ... oh well, I suppose it was pretty good to have him there, after all. Truly, all members of the team enjoyed Andy and expressed their appreciation for his arduous labors. Nobody thanked him, though, for his nearly-endless stream of lame jokes! :-)

After an afternoon of hard work to get the lab set up for tomorrow, we all went out for some good ole' Mississippi Bar-B-Q at a very popular restaurant, Red, Hot, 'n Blue. Man, that was some really good eatin'

I hope you will listen to my audioblog posted tonight, as well. All comments and/or questions are welcome!
this is an audio post - click to play