Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Going to be a keynote

Sitting on a United Skywest Filght to Chicago and the having a working layover of 5 hours until a flight to Allentown Pa has finally given me time to write a little. I have been hard at work over the last 6 weeks trying to get the school year done and complete a Keynote Address for the CIU20 in Pennsylvania.

Exciting and scary at the same time. The amount of year end tasks that pile up like a bad disorganized wood pile. Oddly enough I just pushed them aside and got down to business writing a Keynote.

This was the difficult part. When it come to the pedagogical applications of using technology in the classroom I can crank off an hour without thinking. Good thing for me the nice people in Pennsylvania want 4 of those sessions.

I will show how to start using the tools of the trade. How to set up blogs and wiki’s to hook student engagement and harness the social networking jugernaught already in their classroom.

I will give a couple of sessions on E-portfolios and Unprojects. These are my favorite subjects and I will show my audience large or small the benefits of “Releasing the Hounds”.

The Keynote is based on Marshall Mchlluans “The Medium is the Message”. Mchluhan was a brilliant Canadian academic that took the communication world by storm in the late 1960’s and 70’s. His fame really occurred when he started talking about the changes that television was making in the world. His statement ”The Medium is the Message” talks about 2 things Medium and Message.

A medium is anything that we create from inventions to innovations. TV was a radically new beast at the end of the 60’s and was rapidly shrinking the world. A medium is also an extension of ourselves. Like a hammer in our hand or a wheel under our feet. Technology is a medium. Mchluhan had no idea about the internet but everything he described about television can be applied to the Internet and how it has revolutionized communication.

Mchluhan’s message is the change brought about by the medium. “McLuhan tells us that a "message" is, "the change of scale or pace or pattern" that a new invention or innovation "introduces into human affairs."

Never having done a keynote before I started creating the slides that would take this Mchluhan idea and make it relevant to education. I made the slides alright. All 100 of them. Whether this is too many or if I am going to run out of time is not known at this moment. I have practiced for the past 3 days and am under the 60 minutes given to me.

On the upside Darren came by and showed me some of the great bells and whistles include in Keynote software. My presentations look sharper and more appealing.. Taking this new found information I reworked the other 4 presentations from K12 last year to make them more eye appealing.

I was going to ustream the keynote but it is too much of a risk. I do not want to blow up this Macbook and have the presentation fall apart around me. I will be recording the audio and then making a slidecast of the presentation. Uploading the 100 slides to slideshare should be interesting.

Time for a break before landing in Chicago.


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