Monday, July 2, 2007

NECC last concurrent session

For the last concurrent session I went to "Creating Student Video Portfolios with iMovie". The presenters were showing putting together students work using the iLife suite. What they were doing could also be recreated in Windows Movie Maker using those tools as well (although the movie file they provided was in QuickTime so it had to be converted to be used there). They had very specific directions and was actually also a good session on using the iMovie software. We imported photos, added titles and audio, split the audio files, created stills from the video, extended the length of a photo clip, added transitions and credits and then exported the movie. At the end you had a movie of a student's work. The benefit of this is that you could off load this every year and then have a CD or DVD to give to the student of his work for the year. Another benefit is to have his/her voice recorded on the movie giving a little insight to what work he/she was doing or why he/she chose to put this work in the portfolio. There were some technical problems with the computers (most people had an older version of iMovie which was giving some problems and several of us, including me, had Windows instead of Mac) but in the end it was easy to see how you could make a final product

Wednesday NECC Session 2

I skipped the 10:30 - 11:30 concurrent session and spent time in the exhibit hall. I saw a few different presentations including Adobe, Inspiration, and Discovery Network. For the next session I went to one called "What's Hot for Tots? The Best Web Sites for PK-2". If you are looking for web sites to use with the early childhood crowd, this was the place. For the full hour the presenter went through all kinds of websites with all kinds of spotlights on different functions. The address for her notes (including all the sites) is (the page that comes up is to download a pdf file. If you click on the download link and then wait a moment, the file will appear so you can click on it and save/open it). There were really too many sites to list them all, but her main points were that most of these sites had a clean interface, no places to click off and get into trouble, they did things while the software was loading, and many of them were spoken words or music - no need to read the pages for the emerging reading crowd! She took each of the 6 new NETS standards (which were re-introduced at the NECC two days earlier) and presented sites that fit into each of the standards. If you need even more resources, you can go to her webpage:

Wednesday NECC Session 1

Wednesday morning I got into the first workshop of the day (8:30AM) with 2 minutes to spare. The traffic had been crazy coming in that morning and I was lucky to get a seat in the workshop. It was in the back leaning up against a table but at least I had a place to put my laptop. This workshop was called Drupal: Content Management or the Web 2.0 World. The address for the information is: This session was all about Drupal which is an open source content management suite which you can edit to your specs. I know very little about Drupal so it was an interesting session. You can tie this front end into a back end database like PHP or MySQL to house all your data. Basically, the presenter showed his site that was set up with a wiki, podcast, and blogging components already installed and working and then showed the Drupal interface as it comes to you (if you click on the link for the information you will be at a wiki site from the interface). We walked through some of the installation issues and then discussed a couple of sites of interest. Apparently there is a version of Drupal created for education that has several of the usual components already installed and configured. If interested, check out the site This site gives you the ability to play with open source software without worrying about breaking things. Every two hours the software gets refreshed and all the work is wiped out. So, no worries about breaking anything. Of course, keep good notes because in two hours the software gets refreshed and all the work gets wiped out.