Thing 13 – Attend a “21st Century” Conference (in your PJ’s!)

Over the past four years K-12 Online Conference has presented about 40 conference sessions and keynote presentations in four themed strands post online.  The conference are posted over a two week period each year.

The K-12 Conference is a free, volunteer-run, international, online event for educators around the globe.  Presenters are selected by a panel of distinguished technology educators from the U.S. and several other nations.  The purpose of the conference is to advance the use of leading-edge educational technology in the cause of high-quality K-12 teaching and learning, worldwide.  The first K-12 online conference was conducted in 2006, the theme was unleashing the potential, it drew more than 50,000 attendees (Paul, 2000).

The session which I viewed was presented during the 2008 conference, the title is “I Like Delicious Things.”  The presentation looked at how tagging and the subsequent creation of folkonomies are changing the ways we think about information.  Chris Betcher from Sydney, Australia starts with obvious tagging systems used on sites like Flickr and Delicious.  He also examines how tagging enables information to be classified, sorted and managed in ways that make it more accessible, easier to manage and more self-aware.  Mr. Betcher also explores how tags can be aggregated across large collections of information to provide a snapshot into the overall Zeitgeist of collective thinking (Betcher, 2008).

The presentation was filled with a lot of worth while information, and gave me a clearer understanding of the tagging system, as well as a working perception of the term floksonomy.  The presentation’s discussions taught me that tagging did not only apply to the listing and identification of images on Flickr, it showed us how you can also use this system for tag websites; and, that the term folksnomy refers to how tag terms or names are categorized (classified or grouped).

The K-12 Online Conferences were filled with valuable 21st Century leading-edge educational technology topics and presentation discussions that I feel will give my colleagues an opportunity to engage in personalized professional development, and help them to fulfill the State’s Mandatory Hundred hours  professional development requirements.

Since one of my goals this school year is to teach my students how to upload and tag pictures we take for our projects to the Flickr website.  I plan on using the K-12 Online presentation to help present these tag skills to my students.

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