I am back in my hotel room after a long day 1. Overall…I have very much enjoyed myself. The best thing about these conferences is the networking. Because this is year 1 of this particular conference it is even easier to network because attendees only number about 300.
The kick-off keynote was fantastic. Dr. Daggett made some predictions that I am not entirely in agreement with, however, he is a very dynamic speaker and his talk should be a call to arms for every American citizen. If we want to compete in the 21st century we must change the way we do education business immediately.
The first session was in regards to audio and its use in educational websites. The one take away that stuck with me was a concept called "dual encoding." Dual encoding allows a student to reduce cognitive load during learning by sharing the learning load between multiple modes (ex. vision and hearing.) The example used in the session was the difference between a printed graph and a written description and a printed graph and a spoken description. The argument is that a student will experience less cognitive load which will result in better learning in the second case.
The second keynote of the day was a BOMB. I will save final judgement for after I re-listen to the talk via the podcast. My gut reaction, however, was that Dr. Dave Greenfield was totally unprepared, he had no less than 3 typos in his presentation, and his overall thesis statement (if there was one at all) was that the Internet is inherently bad and it is creatign a bunch of addicts (you fill in the specific addiction.) Dr. Dave, talks like yours today make all of our jobs much harder. I wish he would have put forth at least one piece of hard evidence to support his wild opinions. Again, I will listen to the talk again and update you.
The last session was by John Raymond from Power IT. John discussed the use of web-based applications in a K12 environment. The talk was small but good. Power IT makes a content management system product that seems interesting but I am somewhat hesitant to endrose the product because it is entirely custom built (although it is PHP and MySQL based.) Who will support it when John is gone?
Day one was fun…again I bery much enjoyed the networking. Lookign forward to day 2!