Conference Presentations and the Good Old Days of Web 2.0


Looking over materials for two presentations I have coming up this week.

Monday I'll be doing a full day workshop at Passaic County Community College. Morning session on authentic assessment leading into the afternoon workshop on ePortfolios.

This is part of a Summer Faculty Institute done through a Title V (Improving the Pipeline for Latinos in Education) grant. They rotate where the institute is held (last year it was NJCU) but the audience is actually faculty from several NJ colleges. I have done workshops for them the past 2 years (so I guess the reviews were good).

That's over at 3 PM, then I rush home to catch my ride to the airport to head out to Anaheim, California to EduComm.

Never been to that conference before. It's tied into InfoComm (which is very vendor and equipment oriented) but has a K-12 and Higher Ed track. Their description is-

Now in its fourth year, EduComm is the only national technology management conference focused on the integration of audio-visual and information technology to enhance the classroom experience. It's the one place where AV connects with IT while you connect with leaders in the field, as well as with your own colleagues and peers. And, new this year, Web 2.0. Find out how Web-based software - wikis, blogging, online collaboration tools and more - is changing the face of education.

The AV & IT doesn't get me very excited. Tools don't interest me as much as the ways to use them. The Web 2.0 might be interesting, if it's more than introductory level. Doesn't Web 2.0 seem old already?

My presentation is an ending session (never a good slot, as people rush off to the airport). It's called "Human Networking: A University, High School, Industry Partnership" and it's in the Higher Ed track (though it fits K-12 just as well).

I'll be talking about Science Park High School (the science magnet school that I'm working with now) which has grades 7-12 and focuses the students who plan to enter STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) academic paths.

SPHS is the product of a pretty unique partnership between Newark Public Schools, University Heights Science Park and three public research universities: New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), The University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ (UMDNJ), Rutgers University at Newark, and Essex County College.

In the planning of the high school, all the schools were to collaborate with the students and teachers of SPHS. Some students take chemistry at NJIT, some take biology at ECC etc. But so far, NJIT is the first to step up and place 2 staffers (myself & an IT networking person) at the school full time. I just started in late April, so it has been very much a learning time for me. The network person starts in July and we have a list of projects for the summer so that we are at full speed in September.

The school also collaborates with the private industry tenants of Science Park who recognize the competitive business advantage of being physically adjacent to the universities with whom they have established cooperative research, licensing and development agreements.

My presentation is essentially a case study about NJIT's vision of a high school and university collaboration in science and technology and how it might affect the pedagogy of both schools, and how this model can be replicated by other institutions.

Keynotes at the conference include: the busy David Pogue, who I've seen several times, usually funny, busy with new gadgets and sometimes singing a parody or two - Wesley Fryer, whose blog speedofcreativity.org is on my Bloglines list and who is a rep from the K-12 world, and Alan Kay.

And then there's Anaheim. Been to Disneyland before - it seemed so small since I had been to DisneyWorld first, but I hear their California Adventure park is good. And then I should make a trip to see the Angels play the Astros to log another MLB stadium to my life list. Even though I don't have my sons to bring anymore, I'll still buy a mini-bat for the collection. One day the grandkids can play with them while Grandpa recalls the good old days of Web 2.0.

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