Tag Archives: keynote

PUWT 2008 – Keynote: Tammy Worcester

Sitting in the front again, or at least the 3rd row.


She has a website, of course. :)

Today: Copy/Paste from web.  Our day: Copy from encyclopedia.  Not much different, really, but how can we change assignments so students can learn from them?

Mentioning David Warlick & using a “Building Block” model.

Making glyphs – using data to create personalized graphics – with younger kids.

Now she’s talking about using PowerPoint in unorthodox ways.  Not so keen on PowerPoint myself, but it’s on most computers so there’s a low cost of entry to use it.  Makes sense as a graphics program, especially if you want simplicity.

Back to the glyphs, in this case a pizza.  Mentioning Mac & Windows commands.  She’s continuously demonstrating why she’s a good choice for today’s keynote.  They’re all little things, but they add up.

Moving on – Google Notebook to save resources as we research.  More than just bookmarks, it saves selected text & photos as well!  Want to share?  Publish it as a web page!

Google Docs now.  I Looove Google’s survey feature.  It’s how I do art class sign-ups in my multiple buildings.  She’s talking about having students editing a spreadsheet simultaniously from multiple computers.  Data updates automatically.

Whee!  She’s now using tinyurl.com so those of us with laptops can play with her survey right now.  I’ve been doing the exact same thing.

“Get your cell phones out.”  Looks like we’ll be using PollEverywhere.com.  I remember Hall Davidson doing this as well.  It’s still fun.

Acrostic – key word spelled out vertically, each letter in the word reperesents a fact about that word.  Again, building it in PowerPoint.

Making postcards with PowerPoint that contain facts about the places (or anything else) and citations for where they got the photos.  The limited space makes them think hard about what information should be included.  Print 2 slides/page and get the perfect post card size.

Pyramid Report: triangle filld with facts.  Short one on top and facts get longer as you scroll down.  Delete the triangle before printing.  Then fold it into a “hat” and do “Hats off to __________.”  This idea just got her applause.

Build a Healthy Body – 2 PowerPoint slides cut apart and glued ogether to make a simple person.  Applause again.

Just noticed she’s running Windows XP in a window on her Mac.

Making photos greyscale in PowerPoint to make them look more “classy.”

ABC Biography – Acrostic on sterroids.  Using the whole alphabet to give facts about a person’s life.  A covers the beginning, Z covers the end, and so on.  … “X” is a little tricky.  May want to give some leeway.

Who (or what, or where) Am I? – photo slowly revealed along with text clues.  Don’t chop up the photo, just cover it with rectangles.

MICCA Keynote Day 2: FableVision

When I saw that FableVision was the keynote for today, I admit I was a little worried – but only as much as I’m always worried when I see a presentation by someone running a commercial business.  I suppose the idea that a company involved in education is more interested in the business than the education runs deep in me.  Goodness knows, I’ve had my share of bad experiences in this area…

But every now and then, I find a glaring exception.  The DEN, usually, is one.  FableVision is another.  We’re a good way into their presentation so far and they’ve barely even mentioned a product that they sell.  (I think I caught a few references, but they weren’t shameless plugs like I make.)  Rather, they’re talking about using a child’s interests to help them get excited about learning.  It started with a story about the twin brother of one of the founders getting in trouble in math class because he was drawing in class.

As you might imagine, I loved the story.

Raffle time.  Think I’ll end this post here and stop by their booth later.

Now, they’re talking about games in education.  Not much research supporting their importance, but a lot of anecdotal stories and Maryland is apparently at the forefront of the research supporting the idea of good games getting kids into learning.

Ok, now they’re talking about a product, although it’s not being released yet.  I think they spent enough time making the case for keeping the students’ interest to spend some time talking about their bread-and-butter.  (But that’s just my opinion.)

Labyrinth is a math game (mostly) for middle school students that uses a lot of comic book style storytelling to get the kids interested. It’s being privately beta tested at the moment, but the ThinkPort.org booth in the hallway was offering a way to sign up for a chance to try it out.

There are no instructions, leaving the kids to figure out the mechanics.  Makes me think of MYST, a game series that sucked away countless hours of my life in college.

There’s even a way for students to communicate with each other using the “Tasty Pet Communicator ” (the name fits the plot, trust me), although according to the ThinkPort booth there are enough admin rights for teachers to make that communication safe.

“The people who learn the most from educational software are the people who make educational software.”  He told us that quote was a secret.  Gee, I hope no one blogs it…

That was a segway to talking about Scratch and other programs that help students make their own games – products that FableVision doesn’t make.  Encouraging students to compete against them in game development, or trying to encourage students to become future FableVision employees?  You decide.