I wanted to take a moment to share snippets from my MACUL 2012 experience...
- I only used my iPad for documenting my experience. It was great because I didn't have to lug a full-sized laptop around or try to jam a netbook into my purse (in efforts of consolidating the number of bags I was carrying around). I found it very easy to use in a conference setting and there wasn't anything that I couldn't do or access using it for my conference needs.
- All my pictures were taken on my iPad. Please excuse any grainy-ness :)
- I used the Frametastic app for building the collages to add to my blog.
- I used the note app that was pre-installed on my iPad for taking notes. I would have used Google Docs or Evernote, but I wasn't sure what the wireless connection would be like. There were some times I was glad I wasn't relying on one of those tools for note-taking as I was in some spotty locations for some sessions.
- Besides our Tech & Media Team, there were several other teachers from our district who attended. After talking with several of those teachers, they all found interesting things they use in their classrooms or professional practice. (One of our MS ELA teachers created a Google Doc with all of her notes from MACUL - a great resource!)
Leslie Fisher always puts on an entertaining presentation. Her keynote address was called "Technology Time Machine" and walked through the evolution of technology in her fun-witty manner. She shared many great tools - some of my favorite new tools that I learned about were JetJaw (her survey example can be found here), Wufoo, Small Demons, Proust, and Sifteo.
Breakout Session #1
After session-hopping to find a session that wasn't completely filled and appealed to me, I sat in on a session about professional development, "A Blended Approach to Professional Development: In Person and Online." The presenters shared their recommendations for building a model for professional development that incorporates face to face interaction as well as online.
I attended a session called, "Easy Mobile Web Site and App Creation (no coding required!)". The presenter, Steve Keinath, mostly talked about using Conduit Mobile for building informational apps. He also briefly spoke about AppMakr as another tool for creating apps. I had previously explored Conduit Mobile for creating apps and was a little disappointed at the limited flexibility in creating the app - I was hoping more for actually designing an app from the ground up, not just taking existing information and basically pulling it into one central feed. I did pick up a few hints though and I am sure I will be revisiting Conduit Mobile to explore some of their other features.
I dropped in on Leslie Fisher's "Photoshop Elements 10 and Photo Editing" session. I wasn't in there for the whole session, but picked up on a few tips for things I can do in Photoshop.
I attended Leslie Fisher's session, "The Web 2.0 You Might Not Know About." She shared several tools she had highlighted in her keynote address and share some others that I had not heard of before. One of the tools she shared that I would like to explore further is coveritlive.
Breakout Session #1
The first session I attended on Day 2 was Ron Houtman's, "I Really Want to be Tech Savvy! Tools for Elementary Teachers." I have learned a lot from Ron over the years and in this session he re-introduced me to some tools I had forgotten about (or gave me new ways to use old tools) and shared some tools that I had not heard of before. Probably the tool that I was re-introduced to that Ron gave some interesting and helpful ways to use was IFTTT.
I attended Rushton Hurley's session, "Powerful Professional Development Right Away" (Rushton's resource page can be found here). As I help organize a district-wide technology professional development event for the teachers in my district, I found this session extremely helpful. There were some things that he pointed that we were already doing in our planning process and there were some things I know I will start doing to help making the planning process more streamlined. This was probably the session out of all the ones I attended at MACUL that was my favorite and had a lot of useful information that I could use right away.
Random Things From MACUL
I have been to the Amway several times for conferences and events, but it never ceases to amaze me at how pretty some of the rooms are with their fancy chandaliers.
After Leslie Fisher's Photoshop Elements session, a MACUL volunteer was walking around passing out some MACUL swag. I scored these buttons and promptly put them on my name badge so I looked important and cool.
During a session in the large ballroom watching Leslie Fisher, I noticed that all the chairs were zip-tied to one another. As this ballroom was used for the conference opening and closing keynote, that makes for a lot of zip-ties! Not quite sure why, but I guess they wanted to keep their rows nice and straight...not so nice though when you want to put your feet up in a session that is not completely filled!