MACUL: There and back again
It’s all over. MACUL 2006 is finished, the teachers have all gone home, and I’m feeling energized. I got a lot of great ideas that I can’t wait to share with everyone, but more importantly I got a lot of great input and had a chance to reflect about my very first presentation.
Overall, the presentation went well. The room was packed, which was a bit unexpected for 8:30 in the morning the day after the conference-planned party. I got a chance to meet some of the readers of the site, and chat about another conference opportunity coming up in May where I’ll have a chance to get really technical (I’ll save that for later). Mostly the presentation went well in that the PowerPoint wasn’t too long or disengaging. I threw a few jokes in, but they weren’t as well received as I had hoped (guess my humor is better saved for 6th graders). I did get a little bogged down in overviewing tools that I’ve used in the past, and didn’t focus on this site as much as I had wanted. I think I dissapointed a few people in the session too for not treating them to more websites, lesson ideas, and software for the classroom, but I really wanted to show everyone there how to use the site, and why I think it would be worth their while, then let them discover all of the resources we’ve shared here so far.
I also think that in my haste to make a clear point I may have slighted both commercial enterprises in educational technology and under emphasized the importance of post-secondary educators and those educators that have left the classroom. I was trying to make the point that a lot of classroom teachers enjoy talking with other teachers to find out what’s useful and don’t always have the time to bone up on their theory. Theory, especially in educational technology is highly important as we seek to show that our efforts are based in research and good scientific thought, but sometimes the pursuit of theory can lead a lot of ed tech professionals so far out of the classroom that they have some difficulty relating to what’s actually happening in classrooms versus what they think should be happening. Thankfully, I haven’t met a single one of those educators at MACUL, as everyone there, including professors, seem to be focused on the classroom. That and there are some really good commercially available tools out there for educators, but let’s face it, most of us don’t have the cash to implement a lot of commercial software or products, hence my desire to push free, open-source, and easily reproduceable ideas, programs, and lessons.
For those in attendance at my Friday session, below is the link to my PowerPoint presentation. Enjoy!