Web 2.0 Conference Reflections: CR20Sac2009

If you are considering attending one of the Classroom 2.0 workshops in your area, this post will give you an idea about what it is like.

The first of the 2-day conference began with introductions and a few rules of the loosely structured format. Steve shared the "rule of two feet," commenting that anyone could get up and leave if this wasn't what they were looking for. The first day was interesting, but it was the afternoon session and the entire next day that really took off.

Here are a few notes about the sessions:


Friday's Sessions...

Google Maps/Earth: Joe Wood presented on creating tours using Google Maps and Google Earth. I've heard him present it first at the ILC, and several times since. I seem to get something new from it every time. (Besides the fact that his birthplace seems to change every time he presents. LOL) He speaks with enthusiasm and a confidence that makes you want to bust out the laptop and give it a try. And I have. (More about my park-hoppin' Google tour in another post.)

Backchanneling: Interesting thoughts were shared by Zack Dowell on this topic. Back-channeling involves having "sidebar" electronic conversations during a presentation or conference. I get in trouble for that during Professional Development meetings all the time. Apparently, some see it as good practice. Cool! Zack had us join in on a live back-channel discussion using Today's Meet.

Storage: One of the participants told us about adrive. 50 gigabytes of storage backup goodness! And free too!

Saturday's Sessions...


If Friday was a good cup of drip coffee, then Saturday would have to have been a iced venti double Americano. I couldn't get enough.


Blogging: Larry Ferlazzo and Alice Mercer did a fabulous presentation! They shared tips, tools, and examples of their innovative teaching practices. Check out Larry's blog here. Man, can he blog! He not only manages to add blog content daily, but he often has several posts per day. Alice's blog is here. Alice is a computer lab instructor, talented presenter, and blogging queen. She is a wealth of information.

Speed Demos: The lightning round speed demos were faced-paced. I heard about slideshare, scribd, delicious, diigo, and jing, to name a few. Even though I am familiar with these tools, it is fun to see how teachers use them for learning. Steve shared that even though he is not a huge Twitter fan, he organizes his seven Twitter accounts using Netvibes. (Yes, I said 7.) What a great way to organize that!

Here are 3 Things I Learned about Myself from this Conference:


I love the format of the organic conference.


It is more fluid, allowing for diversions and restructuring of ideas.

It is collaborative, allowing for brainstorming and trouble-shooting.

It is more intimate, allowing for deeper conversations.

I value networking.


Anytime the focus of the sessions turned to social networking, I was all over it. I am active on at least 5 Nings, and 2 other social networks. I value people.

Participants took over the agenda by volunteering to share ideas, present, or ask questions. This opened doors for networking at the breaks, and even to this day in subsequent online communication. Larry Ferlazzo shared links with me with samples of student work, to answer some questions I had thrown out. Alice Mercer invited me to get the word out in our efforts to plan follow-up meetings in Sacramento. Several teachers gave me suggestions for a virtual open house project I'm tackling. The discussions continue in a forum post on CR20, offering great feedback. Zack Dowell asked me to be the K-12 Liaison for a Web 2.0 conference coming up next fall, at Folsom Lake College. Networking can not only bring greater results, it has the potential to help us become better people. I've always preferred the team teaching model. Vince Lombardi said it well:
“Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” - Vince Lombardi

I need to take bigger action steps. Change is a good thing.


We can only grow when we take risks to put ourselves out there and try something new. Change is a good thing. If we are feeling uncomfortable, it is a healthy place to be. Growth will be inevitable.

Many thanks to Steve Hargadon, of Classroom 2.0 and Melissa Green, of Sac City College, who hosted the event.

If you are in the area and would like to attend a workshop, check out the schedule here. The next CR2.0 Conference will be in Summerdale, PA. Register here.

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Tags: CR20Sac2009, conferences, lifelong_learning, professional_development, web2.0

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