Thursday, November 22, 2012

Connect 4 Learning: NYSCATE 2012

We just finished attending three days at the NYSCATE 2012 Connect 4 Learning conference in Rochester. The New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education (NYSCATE) assembled another stellar roster of speakers covering technology and learning. We met a lot of impressive educators who shared their expertise and resources.

It was great finally to meet in person many of the respected professionals we've admired via Twitter. The Social Media Kiosk offered a welcoming forum (and coffee!) for exchanging ideas. Cheers to @TomWhitby, @JimTiffinJr, @JenLaubscher, and @AdamBellow for their insights and friendly conversation. We are excited to follow the progress of Tom Whitby's #edchat radio broadcasts, with downloadable podcasts and expanding participation. Adam Bellow's keynote and session of web tools also proved why he's a down-to-earth master of his craft.

Source: ASIDE, 2012
The conference offered many subtle touches that encouraged collegiality and partnership during the well-paced days. Appy Hour presented a nicely self-initiated venue for trading favorite iPad tips. Collectable pieces of flair for each person's lanyard also perfectly mimicked the triumph of badging in the progressive classroom.

One clear message from all of the NYSCATE sessions was the relevance of social networks, BYOD, and mobile learning. These practices are no longer "emerging" but rather essential to contemporary learning.

Many thanks to the generous crowd who attended our two Monday sessions: D-LIT: Design, Literacy, Info & Tech and 10 Ways Twitter Makes Us Better Teachers. All of the resources and links highlighted in our workshops are available via the two links. We look forward to tweeting with our new friends and our expanding PLN of collaborators.

Our favorite hour was spent in the jam-packed Cascade room with Carol LaRow, who enlightened us to Google's dynamic special features. With humor and clear enjoyment, Carol opened our eyes to the amazing shortcuts and research options hidden within Google's search portfolio.

Source: Dinosaur BBQ
Finally, if you're ever at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, watch the ball game at Legends but stroll three blocks for lunch at Dinosaur BBQ. The pulled pork and fried green tomatoes are worth the walk.

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