Monday, November 17, 2008

NCSS 2008 Presentation Summary

This is my third year of attendance at the NCSS annual conference and I was quite happy to have the opportunity to present with my good friend and colleague, Chuck Taft. Our presentation was titled, "21st Century Tools in the Social Studies Classroom" and it is archived and posted online here (a shout out goes to Chuck for his excellent work on building out this resource). Our goal was to build a 60 minute presentation in which we would share as many practical lessons and projects with the participants. We shared a historical simulation of the Lewis and Clark expedition, our Washington DC Travelogue, interactive campaign 2008 cartoon timelines, virtual press conferences with George Washington, and many other samples that are posted at the example page of our presentation website. Chuck and I were pleased that we had so many people attend our session, but honestly, I think the experience of collaborating with one another during the construction of this presentation was the real value to each of us professionally. A highlight of the presentation itself for me was the skype conversation with our student radio show team members, Natalie and Annie. Natalie and Annie did a wonderful job of giving a project overview and relaying their enthusiasm for the Gator Radio Experience to our session participants.

Chuck and I really tried to present in a way that involved as many participants inside and outside of the physical space as possible. We created a back channel chatroom space for remote and physical participants to use to interact with each other. The presentation was ustreamed out on the Internet and we had several folks listen in remotely to contribute content (thanks, Pipes!!) The back channel chat was really interesting and is something that I think has real value for use in presentations like this going forward. It was great having everyone in the chat interacting with one another, dropping links, answering questions, etc. The back channel leveraged the collective knowledge of all of the session participants (remote and physical alike) in a way that simply is not possible using traditional methods. Click here to view the chat transcript from our session.

Props to the folks at NCSS, the Houston Convention Center, and the good folks at ABC-CLIO for providing a highly robust wireless Internet connection at the conference this year.

Thanks to everyone who participated and contributed to our presentation yesterday. Chuck and I appreciate it greatly!

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