Wednesday, December 10, 2008

MICCA 2007

I had the good fortune to attend the MICCA conference in Baltimore, Maryland in April 2007. I knew from the keynote and conference speakers that this conference was going to be packed with information that I could directly use in my professional life. The keynote speakers included Hall Davidson from the Discovery Educator Network and David Warlick, a 30 year educator and head of The Landmark Project. David Warlick presented ideas that made me completely rethink the relationship of technology in the classroom. He stressed the importance of how educators need to change the way they are teaching to keep up with the ever-changing digital information age. “In a world of rapid change,” Mr. Warlick said, “the best thing we can do is to teach kids how to teach themselves.” What does that mean exactly? With the use of of sites such as Pageflakes, subscriptions to RSS feeds will provide current information coming across your Pageflakes account with the sites that you have bookmarked. This will allow you to “make your own personal learning network”. Subscriptions to newspapers can become absolete as you now receive all the information you are interested in via RSS. This way the information finds you instead of you spending time finding the information.
In addition to Warlick and Davidson, Will Richardson was one of the featured conference speakers and gave talks on such topics as: RSS, the Read/Write Web, Podcasting, Screencasting, Blogging, etc. In March I had purchased Richardson’s book Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms and read it cover to cover within a few days. I learned more from his book that I had in countless workshops and in-services over the last 10 years. It was filled with practical information so I could literally sit in front of the computer and try out new things as I read the book. Because of this, I was very excited to see Will Richardson in person as I walked through the door of the convention center at MICCA. Like a true dedicated fan, I introduced myself and then proceeded to wonder why I didn’t bring a copy of his book to be autographed. I attended Richardson’s session on RSS and learned about a fun website called, which allows you to keep your bookmarked favorite websites online. The benefit of keeping them posted to is that you don’t need to be on the computer that you have bookmarked the site to in order to access it. By assigning tags to all of your bookmarks, you can list the sites by category for easy viewing. Since the site is available to the public, other can view your favorites, this creating a “social network”. will give the number of people who also bookmarked that same site under the link. By clicking on that number, the user can then see who the other people are who also bookmarked the same site. If you are interested, you can then view their bookmarked sites, which let you find interesting websites that are tagged under the same category of interest as you. After the conference was over, I immediately signed up for a account and have been addicted ever since. I didn’t realize finding information on the web could be so much fun! Check out my delicious account!

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