Outward bound!

Today, Sunday, I am frantically chasing my disorganized tail trying to pack my essentials (and non-essentials) to head off on a fantastic Study Tour hosted by ACCE. Part of our tour takes us to NZ and San Franciso, ending at the National Education Computing Conference in San Antonio organized by ISTE.

This is an exciting opportunity for me, and I am very grateful to my wonderful school for allowing me to take part in this professional technology tour and event.

Just think – on the tour I will be networking with some fabulous educators from Australia – catching up in person with some of our online leaders, and meeting others from around the country, who are either leading innovation in their schools, or facilitating innovation in some way in their school districts.

Then in San Antonio I will meet so many more of my online contacts, and have the opportunity to learn so much from the various sessions. As part of the tour we have some special opportunities to meet with key people – but more on that later.

But there’s even something more special. As Cathy said “It seems surreal to think Iā€™m on the list for presenting in a panel discussion” – me, way over there in San Antonio. Imagine my excitement about collaborating with Joyce Valenza, Carolyn Foote, Cathy Nelson, Diane M Cordell, and Kim Cofino who will join us remotely. I know there are lots of bright sparks from Australia who regularly go to NECC, and even present sessions. But me? I am just thrilled to have this opportunity to collaborate, share, make connections and build an even stronger professional learning community than I already have.

The Jokaydians are going to get together ‘in world’ – those at NECC will be able to share a bit of the goodness in our favourite online meeting space. We have a strong connection with ISTE, being regular participants in ISTE events to keep the Aussie and US connection strong!

We also have a wonderful story being shared about an Australian Skoolaborate initiative! Westley Field and Lindy McKeown will explain the work they have done in setting up a Teen Second Life project that some of our schools have had the good fortune to join.

I will also be looking forward to meeting up with people who have joined Second Classroom – a very new Ning space supporting educators working in 3D immersive environments. There is such a growth in immersive environments, which is totally amazing and exciting. Whether its Teen Second Life, Quest Atlantis, Open Sim, Twinity or more, we need to share our experiences if we are going to keep pace with the technology opportunities around us. Join Second Classroom and share your questions, experiences, and ideas with us all!

(Psssssss. If you are at NECC, keep an eye out for Dean Groom, who just might have an Open Sim that runs of a thumb drive to share with you!)

The Tour group will be blogging their tour. So you will see a few posts from me about key sights and events. I will also probably use Jottit to help me store information to share. I just love how simple that tool is for recording and sharing without the whole ‘live blogging’ thing.

Image: Petromyzon

12 thoughts on “Outward bound!

  1. Have a wonderful time. We will attend vicariously through your tweets, blog posts, Flickr pics, Second Life and what else, voicethreads? sketchcasts? other cool new tools & gadgets you’ll pick up there, probably.

    I’ve enjoyed the preliminaries and the way you all have shared your preparations with us, time for the main event.

    BTW your mini NZ tour isn’t taking you to Hawke’s Bay by any chance?

  2. Yep, David Webber (uber tech guru at my school) used Chris’ excellent tutorial last week and I do have a flash drive version of Open Sim. As I’ve got 160 9th Grade students, one major issue they have in using TSL at home is bandwidth. Most are on some limited broadband plan so are reluctant or unable to spend lots of time in world in Skoolaborate as they might like. I have a major PBL project in the pipeline for the year group to use Skoolaborate to realise the end product, but using Open Sim to learn to build with no internet connection will allow them to work on their building skills. It also ensures that they can ‘keep’ their work ‘in world’. I’ll use Second Inventory to back up their prims. The next step is to create school wide (960) accounts for Open Sim on the school LAN, hooking it up to the MS LDAP server. Planning for scale is a big problem, so I’m hoping that this 3 step solution – flash drive – LAN – Skoolaborate will be a scaffold that will work. We can then modify the internal school brief as a work unit is Skoolaborate in which all the other partner schools can take part. This will give the internal project a fantastic added dimension. Its not really practical to have 960 accounts being managed in Skoolaborate. You can imagine the prim count when they are learning to build!

    So I hope to share this ‘model’ with people at NECC – collective learning and shared expperience should allow us (well Dave) to create a modded version in which a number of student could work in a LAN setting via a $30 switch and keep it off the network traffic. But thats a bridge to cross later I guess.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone next week. Have a good flight over!


  3. Have a fabulous time and don’t forget to get some factory outlet shopping in where you can. Make sure to try a bbq beef sandwich and you have to try grits for breakfast at least once!

    Looking forward to tweets, pics and meeting up on jokaydia — kick butt girlie!

  4. Have an awesome time! It will go way too quick, so just remember to stop and breathe every now and then and also try to take in as much as you can. Its been a year since I did my trip and I have so many great memories and have made some great friends as a result, as well as learning so much.


  5. We should all plan to eat a meal together–why not breakfast since our session is at an ungodly early hour for summer!! Having een out of school for a few weeks, I’ve lapsed back into being a lazy late riser. This week I begin a training regime of getting up early again so I’ll be ready for next week! Can’t wait to meet up in person! Hey, i want to be on your LibBlogger list I see on the right! Safe travels, Jude, I know you probably need it more than most of us! Traveling can be therapeutic too.

  6. Have a great time Jude.. you deserve it!

    Enjoy all the networking and meeting… I am so jealous!!!… but I know you’ll all fly the jokaydia flag with style at NECC in my absence! šŸ˜‰

  7. You Aussies are amazing, coming so far with such enthusiasm and purpose.

    Can’t wait to meet you all. My NECC will be a people-centered experience. The wisdom of the many.

    Until next week!

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