STEMtech 2010 Monday’s Review

STEMtech logoI attended STEMtech 2010 on Monday 11/1/10 – This is my day in recap about the two concurrent sessions I presented, the concurrent sessions I attended, and the rest of the day.

My day started early in the morning, since I need to check in at registration and the presenter room before my 8 a.m. concurrent session. Luckily I’m able to make a quick 30 min trip to the Swan/Dolphin Resort out at Disney via the 429. After arriving around 7:30 a.m. to check into the conference, check in with the presenter room, and upload my presentations it was time to get setup in my room.

My session on Assistive Technology: Blending Accessibility With Availability to Promote Universal Design turned out to be a good presentation with about 15-20 people in the session. I consider that a good attendance for an 8 a.m. session and got some good feedback from a couple people after the session concluded. It would have been nice to have done the entire summit the day before but I’m sure this is a topic that seems to have little attention, unless you are directly involved with the students it affects.

Check it out on this  blog http://professorjosh.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/stemtech-2010-presentations/

The next 9:15 a.m. session attended was the Technology of Magic – Magic of Technology. I knew I couldn’t stay the entire sessions, since I was participating in the focus group at 10 a.m. in another section of the hotel. What I did see was some card tricks and too much technology attempted that didn’t seem to come off well. I’m not sure what the presentation was all about since I had to leave about 25 minutes early to find the focus group room.

Next up on the agenda was 90 minute focus group by a software company on the implementation and purchasing review process of software at the college. First this was an invited session limited to only a select group of people. We had a focus group 6 people that we were getting paid for through a research company through a sponsors. It was actually a good experience and the conversation seem to go well.

After completing the focus group it was time to find some lunch. It was good that we got some cash because the conference didn’t have any meals included, so it was time to pay Disney prices for food. Off to the ESPN Zone on Disney’s Boardwalk, the BBQ Pork Sandwich was a good choice. With a little bit of free time before the next session, it was time to relax, check email, Twitter, and Facebook.

Next up on the agenda is the Web 2.o Untangled session: I have been to plenty of these types of sessions before but I like to check out what might be new or how other might use these tools in their courses. I’m sure a lot of people already know about http://www.wolframalpha.com/ which takes information from all over the web to answer your questions or provide information needed. Dropbox was another tool that allow you to synchronizes files online and among a number of computers using a My Dropbox Folder www.dropbox.com. This would be a great tool, not only to use for your own personal dropbox but to share among members of a group. Kind of reminds me of google docs but as a actually folder on your computer syncing online. A tool I haven’t really seen before that seemed great for online presentation was www.voicethread.com , which allows uploading PowerPoint & PDF files with the ability to narrate them. What can set this apart is the ability for students to not only comment on the presentation but upload audio comments on certain slides as feedback or questions. This could create a good environment for asynchronous communication for online group presentations. Much more in the presentation but a lot of the other things discussed I might have blogged on or heard before. The presentation from this group should be uploaded soon to http://faculty.mc3.edu/prahmlow/Presentations/index.html

Note to Conference Planners & Swan/Dolphin hotel – improve your wireless internet for conferences, especially in the 21st Century. Plus didn’t help the 3G service in the room were just as spotty, which lead to little tweeting.

Next session was Engage Beginning Computer Programmers with Interactive Concepts, this session really show how you can use the ideas of manipulatives and other activities to engage beginning computer programming students with a Kinaesthetic approach. One of the great site you can take away from this presentation is Computer Science Unplugged http://csunplugged.org/ it’s site with a ton of learning activities to engage computer science students in both K12 and those beginning in college.

Now it’s time for the big show – my second presentation with my colleague Dr. Lisa Macon on Millennials, Social Media, and Education: Connecting with your Students. It’s 4:45 p.m. session – I was really curious on how many people would attend with happy hour but we had a great turnout. This session seemed to be well received and I was really glad we got to run through the presentation at another conference. I would think we had around 30-40 people for this session, just too bad the live tweets didn’t seem to happen because of the poor internet/cell reception in the room. Check it out on this blog http://professorjosh.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/stemtech-2010-presentations/

To end the evening, we checked out the vendor hall – visited a few booths, such as SoftChalk, Intelacom, and Kaltura –  wasn’t impressed with the vedor reception, didn’t see much food for how late the reception was after a full day of conference. I was ready to finally head home after a 12 hour day at STEMtech 2010.

I’ll be back for more innovative session tomorrow – plus it will be nice to just enjoy the conference now my presentation are finished.

The adventure continues…..

 

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