Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Would You Like Video Chat with That Game Today?

Woo woo, ya'll. Bundled into my "videoconferencing" Google News Alert package in my email this morning was this story about Sony registering a patent for incorporating Collaboration Properties' videoconferencing technology for use in future versions of its Playstation product. What will this do to for the technology, one wonders? One more collaboration tool for teachers to monitor (and most likely prohibit) in schools?

Sorry about that conjecture: I'm in a mood. In my defense it must be stated that my mood has been informed by my recent interview with Ian Jukes in my Snacks4theBrain! podcast. Look for that in a blogpost today or tomorrow and listen to it if you can make time and are interested in the future of learning and teaching.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Double-Dutch Done!

Okayalrighty! Joan Roehre's IVC Showcase session was really really fun. She had every bit as many interesting and interested people in her session as I did in mine yesterday. The difference, and I MUST remember this for future sessions and workshops of my own, is that she got the folks up and moving with music. K2K Connections and Collaborations: Get Your Project and Partner Here! featured everybody's favorite erstwhile cheesehead delivering a very brief intro to classroom to classroom collaborative projects, then getting folks up to face off "Speed-Dating" style, in two lines down the middle aisle. When I started the music, attendees had 3 minutes (or so) to exchange the information cards Joan had provided and discuss what they might be able to do with their respective schools and classrooms to establish IVC interactions of mutual benefit. It was veryveryvery cool, watching enthusiastic educators meeting and sharing under pressure! This was such an exciting procedure that I really hope it gets replicated in a concurrent workshop (hence larger room, hence more time to do it) next year!!!

Of course, Joan picked my own song, "Fly Raven Fly" from my Alaska Songs CD to use for the first background song, which surprised and pleased me, basically a gopher-guy for this session. A big handful of attendees stayed for chat after the session, and I got to meet a fellow named Aaron from Michigan who has worked extensively with my friend and colleague Glenn McCombs at the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach. Joan distributed copies of Janine Lim's guide to classroom videoconferencing to all the folks there.

I'm off to LA to visit my dear friend James Morrison, of 24 fame, for a couple days tomorrow morning. This has been great! Let's Skype sometime!!! My username is, cleverly, "scottmerrick" and I'd be pleased to chat with ya.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

WooWoo--Call that done!

As my lovely wife is wont to say, "stick a fork in me--I'm done!"

Joan and I had a great session of the first annual Desktop IVC "Birds of a Feather" group. Scheduled 'way'way'way in the south forty of the massive SDCC, and at the same time as the "Ice Cream Social" elsewhere, we happily satisfied ourselves with Quality, not Quantity. Nearly everyone in the room was a repeat offender in workshops of mine, and we were graced with the presence of Ms. Multitask herself, Janine Lim. She was blogging the session as it was going on so I certainly hope she said kind things. LOL, (LaughOutLoud) for the IM impaired amongst us.

We had a GREAT talk, shared iVisit (talking with "Goliath," the education director), Sightspeed, and the fabulous new Polycom Communicator, visited the Knowledge Center Illinois browser-based solution, talked a bunch about the challenges inherent in using iChat in a school/district, shared stories--along with a great DVD movie that I hope Joan puts on her own blog, all about a classroom mentoring via desktop IVC. Joan shared a movie everyone who reads this needs to look for and rent/buy: The Lost Skeleton of Cadavera. Favorite quote from the short segment we watched? "I'm a scientist--I don't believe in anything." Not NEARLY as funny out of context.

Thanks to our attendees, all of 'em and thanks to Janine, who's here despite the fact that she has to leave early for her tenth wedding anniversary Friday!!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Hello, NECC Attendees!

Welcome to my Desktop IVC blog, which will sit up on the screen during our little get-together Wednesday at 5:15 in room 28C -- it's a long walk but I hope it'll be worth it as we chat about the state of the technology and what it might mean to us as educators and to our students as, well, students. I'm thinking increased collaborations classroom to classroom.

My fellow presenter didn't get her name on the sign outside the door, but please come by if for no other reason than to meet my friend and co-presenter Joan Roehre, educator extraordinaire from Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Pics to come soon!