Running a Conference on Tech Across the Curriculum

On Saturday, my Western Massachusetts Writing Project is hosting a half-day conference at my school on using technology across the curriculum. Our hope to is have conversations and hands-on activities around the topic of integrating technology and writing into the various content areas (math, science, social studies, etc.) The model for this event was inspired by a similar conference put on by Bonnie and the Hudson Valley Writing Project last year (I had the pleasure of being the keynote — see the article that Bonnie wrote for the National Writing Project).

We have about 25 people signed up (we had set a limit at 30) and we are all feeling a bit antsy, I think, about the event. (The technology better work! he says with anxiety) I was lucky to have my friend, Mike Flynn (the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year) sign on as keynote speaker, and he will be talking about video production in the elementary classroom.

Our other sessions are:

  • Connecting with the World: where we will be exploring the benefits and possibilities of social networking for teachers and students. The hands-on activity will include joining Classroom 2.0 and beginning some interactions with other teachers on the vast and growing network (7000 members!).
  • Audiocasting in the Classroom: where we will be listening at and looking into the use of audio recording and podcasting in the classroom. The hands-on work will be a group Day in a Sentence podcast (be sure to listen for it) and then we are either going to show them Audacity or the online podcasting site called Odeo Studio. Our intention had been to use PodcastPeople, but we just found out you know have to pay for its services (bad bad bad).
  • Digital Storytelling Across the Curriculum: where we will try to show some examples of digital stories and then move into using VoiceThread to post to a thread that I created and then, hopefully, have them create their own threads. I also have PhotoaStory on our laptops, so we can shift to that, too, if necessary.

Our new WMWP Technology Team has been using a Ning site to do some planning for this event and they are a great group of teachers who are interested, but not all quite experienced, in the use of technology in the classroom. I think this will be as much a learning event for us as for our participants. And isn’t that what makes a conference so interesting? (I hope so)

If you want to look at our Technology Across the Conference weblog, where we will launch our workshops, you can do so by going here: Any feedback or suggestion from you is most welcome.

In fact, it would be very cool if some folks went to our Conference Blog and left a comment for folks coming in on Saturday. Maybe a welcome to the Web 2.0 World or a piece of advice on how you use technology or links to cool sites or just about anything. If you do so, please leave where in the world you are located, so they can see the connections that are possible.

(consider this part of the 31 Day Comment Challenge’s task of turning over a blog to readers through the use of comments — please use my conference blog to do so.)


Peace (in connections),

  1. Kevin, the conference blog looks amazing! I think your participants are going to have a great time diving into the different activities you have planned. Nothing better than hands on to really get into these tools. I’m looking forward to hearing how the the day goes.

  2. Hi Claire and Chris
    I agree that hands-on is the best, and then the worry is: I sure as heck hopes all of the technology works!! We do have some offline backup plans, however.
    I will try to post out later about how the sessions go for us.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Kevin:

    Glad to see that you guys will try the Studio. We’ve had some technical issues that we continue to work on and our plan is to integrate the studio functionality with our new site at Feel free to drop me a note today if you have any questions. I can also arrange for you to get an “upload” account if you don’t have one so that you can also show that function (use a tool like audacity or wavepad to mix an mp3 and then upload it). Let me know if I can help.


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