Hello. I’m currently blogging this onboard a plane roughly 33,000 feet above somewhere between Kansas and California. I’m on my way to the NCSS conference in San Diego and thought I would use this time to type a blog post and then post it when I arrive at my hotel this evening. I haven’t been posting or podcasting as often over the past couple of months but I’m still here and don’t plan on podfading. Life has just been crazy busy but a great crazy busy. We have a new addition in our household and we’ve been welcoming her to our family. I’ve also been busy with different activities tied to the Missouri Teacher of the Year honor. Only a couple of months in I can tell this will be an amazing year and one that I want to capture and share with pictures, audio, video and blog posts as often as possible. I’m keeping a separate blog – www.missouriteacher.blogspot.com – to record each activity and I’m a little behind right now and trying to catch up to keep it updated.
By the way I’m flying to San Diego on Midwest Airlines and I have to give them a big shout out. I don’t travel a ton but Midwest is by far my favorite airline – large and comfortable seats with warm chocolate chip cookies on each flight! Check it out if you have a chance.
I’ll be presenting three sessions at NCSS this year. Last year I attended NCSS in Washington DC and did not present a session. Our district sent a group of teachers to DC last year because we are currently revising some of our social studies curriculum and I was not positive that I would be attending until after the deadline for submitting a proposal.
My first session is on Friday from 3:45 till 4:45 (SD Convention Center 30A) and the title of my presentation is “Podcasts and Blogs – Teaching History with Web 2.0”. I will be giving an overview of the ways we use Web 2.0 in my classroom – blogs, podcasts, digital video, studycasts, online assessment, etc. It has become on primary session when I give a presentation on how I incorporate technology with my own students on a regular basis. If you are a regular reader or listener of Speaking of History please stop by and say hello if you are at NCSS.
The second session I will be helping with is on Saturday from 2:45 till 3:45 (SD Convention Center 30C). This session is entitled “A Whirlwind of Possibilities : Technology for Social Studies Teachers” and I’m presenting with Christy Keeler of the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Christy is really the main presenter and I will be there to answer some questions at the end of the presentation. Christy and I collaborated on an article about using technology in the social studies classroom and this is a presentation modeled after that article. Christy is doing some amazing things with her social studies methods students at UNLV and showing them the potential of incorporating technology in our content area. We need a lot more social studies methods teachers like Christy demonstrating and modeling these techniques with our new teachers.
My third session will be a workshop taking place from 8:00 till 10:00 on Sunday morning (SD Convention Center 30B) entitled “Teaching and Learning with Ken Burns’ The War : The Power of Story”. I am working with a great group of individuals on this session: Donelle Blubaugh – PBS, Anne Harrington – WETA and Monica Mohindra – Library of Congress Veterans History Project. We will be doing a presentation on how teachers can incorporate the resources from the recent PBS documentary on World War II. Beyond using the video in your classroom, we will also demonstrate the incredible resources available on the site as they relate to incorporating a oral history project with your students and the media elements (pictures, audio, video) that available for student use from the official PBS web site.
I’m really looking forward to the next couple of days in San Diego. I find all of the discussions beyond the sessions to be as helpful as the sessions themselves. Some of my most productive ideas from conferences have resulted from impromptu chats with a stranger you meet sitting next to you at a session or at lunch. It will also be nice to escape a little midwest winter weather as well – Kansas City is forecasted to have a little wintery blast on Friday night.
Some of you may have attended NECC in San Diego in the summer of 2006 as I did with some teachers from the Liberty School District. There are some great historical side trips you can take and I would strongly urge attendees to take some time off during the conference to visit the USS Midway while in San Diego. I took a tour and did a podcast from the USS Midway during NECC 2006 and it was a moving experience to just be on such a historic World War II ship. It is a short walk from the convention center where NCSS is being held – several blocks – and well worth it. There are also some other historic ships in the same area and I hope to possibly tour one of them on this trip to San Diego.
As always, I will try to podcast and blog as often as possible during the conference. Looking over the conference program there are some great sessions on using technology in the social studies classroom. If you are attending NCSS please let me know what sessions you attended or plan to attend along with your comments. I would love to discover what experiences other people had at NCSS 2007. See you soon – my chocolate chip cookies are here!