The National Education Computing Conference (NECC) has just ended. More than 17,000 educators and vendors were in attendance in the city "that loves you back" -- Philadelphia, PA.
What's hot? -- Blogging is hot, but Podcasting is all the rage http://center.uoregon.edu/ISTE/NECC2005/glance/blogging.php.
Virtually non-existent this time last year, podcasting may be the single most talked about application of technology for education this week. Some say you might think of podcasting as "TiVo" for the iPod, although an iPod is not necessary to participate. Also called "Audio-blogging," all the content can be listened to (and, some are supported with visuals) via the Internet, however, the iPod (or most any MP3 player) is a very powerful factor in this equation. Powerful, because the content becomes portable. By downloading the content, you can listen whenever it is most convenient, and go back and listen again and again. And, now with podcasting being supported through iTunes 4.9, downloading is SUPER easy -- click and subscribe!
It's not hard to determine that today's kids are great consumers of all things "portable." Cell phones in kids pockets today are more common than YoYos were in the '50s. A quick look at students at my high school, either before or after school, and you will see earbuds dangling out of one ear, and a cell phone attached to the other. If both ears are "budded" the cell phone is being used to text message. Talk about hyper-communicating!
What else is cool?
Wikis... something to further explore for the hyper-communicator. Wiki-pedia is growing in popularity, and today is listed as #37 in the top 100 visited English language websites [http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/top_sites?ts_mode=lang〈=en]
Blogging is great for sharing ideas and thoughts, and posting comments, but wikis allow all contributors to edit the content. Think of the collaboration you could establish with your kids!! The fact that virually the whole world can access, and EDIT the content as well, makes this truly authentic learning.
Visit the NECC website and explore how educators are sharing the "Voices of Students" --- http://center.uoregon.edu/ISTE/NECC2005/