Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Steve Dembo - Extreme Makeover: Education Edition

I have been looking forward to attending at least one of Steve Dembo's (aka Teach42) sessions at GaETC 2008, both because he's in my PLN and I have heard great things about his past presentations. I introduced myself before he started, which was odd in itself. I mean how many times do you go up to someone and say, "Hi, I'm cobannon from Plurk"? Thankfully, he recognized the name.

His session was titled "Extreme Makeover: Education Edition" and before the session began he gave me a quick overview of what he would be doing and told me that I didn't need to be in it, that I probably knew everything because this was going to be geared for the Web 2.0 newbie. That was exactly what I needed though - an approach to introducing teachers in my district to Web 2.0 tools. He further described his presentation as non-linear and that this was would be his first time doing a session like this. That alone intrigued me.

As he began, I felt a little like an audience member of a game show. He chose a newbie out of the audience and sat her at his computer. Then he brought up a game show grid, like something you'd see on Jeopardy or "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?", and had her pick a category of interest. Each category was then linked to a particular Web 2.0 site that he had his volunteer, Fiona, sign up for and use. During the presentation the rest of the audience got involved by yelling out the names of categories they wanted to Fiona to explore.

In the end, I did learn of a few sites that I had not seen before, but more importantly, Steve gave us all ideas about how to incorporate these sites into classroom instruction, which to me was the most valuable piece. Had his session lasted two or even three hours, I think we could have kept on using a variety of volunteers. I plan to set aside some time (hopefully soon) to exploring some of the ones that were featured.

For a complete accounting of his session, I live Plurked it. Steve said that he'll upload his presentation including the links to the sites he used to his blog.

Photo Source: Gamerscore on Flickr
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