The K12Online Conference closed last week. Prior to the start of the conference I setup a RSS feed for the conference blog through Google Reader and also a subscription to the audio only podcasts through iTunes.
The first week's two strands, Getting Started and Prove it, each had 10 presentations scheduled. Only 1 was cancelled, and it seems that I didn't get the audio podcast of 4 sessions. It appears that one of the four was a wiki-based presentation w/o audio. I'll have to download the other 3 individually from the presentation's blog post link.
So...I have listened to 15 podcasts from the first week. And relistened to 6 that I found interesting. I have had time to view/listen to the video for only 2 of the 6 and explore the resources that presentors made available.
"Free Tools for Universal Design for Learning in Literacy" by Jennifer Kraft was the first presentation I found valuable in the Getting Started strand. Ms Kraft has organized resources in support of literacy using Glogster. E-books, concept mapping and research tools I am familiar with and use myself, however, I had not heard of most of the tools in the text-to-speech, text-to-MP3, or speech-to-text categories. In fact I would have associated these resources as assistive technology, mainly for use by students with physical disabilities. The presentation explains the many different tools and applications that can be used to help students with reading difficulties participate and learn in class in spite of their problem. Ms Kraft opened my eyes about these free and online tools and how effectively they can be used. The cost for me will be the time spent learning how to use them. As an aside I also found Glogster a great tool in itself that I'd also like to explore.
Another presentation in the Getting Started strand that I really enjoyed was "What Did You Do in School Yesterday, Today, and Three Years Ago" by H. Songhai. Mr Songhai discusses how to make educational use of the many digital handhelds that today's young people can't seem to live without, i.e. cell-phones, mp3 players, digital cameras, etc. His presentation explains how students can document and archive what they do and learn. My first thought was remembering how I worked with students gathering material for a portfolio showcasing their high school career. It included mainly print media with perhaps some pics or photos or artwork included. Portfolio 2.0 has arrived!
More to come...