And —- we’re off!


The #ecoo13 committee is happy to announce that registration is now open for the 2013 Conference, “Bring IT, Together”, Wednesday-Friday, October 23-25.  When you’re ready to register, visit the website and click on the orange button to get started.

If you know the ECOO Conference from the past, you’re going to love it going forward.

  • NEW Venue – Scotiabank Convention Centre, Niagara Falls, ON;
  • NEW Partnerships – ECOO and OASBO ICT join efforts to create a better conference;
  • NEW Social Events – Lots of opportunities to make new friends;
  • NEW Presenters – Many new faces will be on the program!

I am very excited as I watch all of the pieces fall into place.

I’m looking forward to hearing Amber MacArthur and Jaime Casap bring their messages through their keynote addresses.

I’m excited to learn about:

  • 3D printers;
  • Minecraft in the Classroom;
  • Early Years computer activities;
  • Where MOOCs fit into Ontario Education;
  • The principles behind Maker Spaces;
  • How classrooms can go paperless;
  • How to run an Internet radio station;
  • oh, the list goes on.  I can’t list them all.

There were so many Ontario Educators that were unable to attend the recent Google Summit in Kitchener.  The conference will rectify that with a full featured Google SPOT Custom Google Apps for Education series of workshops on Wednesday.  I think that it will be really exciting that there is a French or FSL session in every timeslot for our francophone and FSL colleagues.

There’s so much more and a simple blog post just can’t cover it all.

The entire conference is available for preview here.  While you’re at the Lanyrd website, download the app for handy access to all of the conference information.  And, look around.  As people express an interest in attending, they’ll be noted.  You’ll recognize many names and faces and Lanyrd has a feature that lets you indicate that you want to actually meet that person at the conference.

There will be many opportunities to make those connections.  Of course, there are the sessions!  But don’t forget the band/dance and Open Mic on Wednesday, the banquet on Thursday, the photowalk Thursday evening, the fun run on Friday morning, and just the opportunity to sit down and chat/learn with other attendees.

If you’re a Twitter user, make sure you’re following @pmcash and @ecooWeb.  These accounts will be a great source of information between now and October.

#ecoo13 is going to be a great conference.  Make sure that you’re there and please help spread the word about this self-directed professional learning event.

Filling a Dance Card


If you’ve been monitoring the Twitter stream since Sunday evening, you’ll notice that there have been many happy posts from people whose presentation proposals have been accepted for the #ecoo13 conference, BringIT,Together.  Indeed, part of the ECOO 13 Dance Card has been filled.  Here’s how…

Potential presenters were asked to submit their sessions online.  All of the information was collected in a database and there was an overwhelming total of entries exceeding 300.  These needed to all be independently reviewed and such was the task assigned to each member of the committee of 14.  In fact, each submission had at least three reviewers.  That meant that each committee member had 60-65 proposals to review.

All of these reviews were collated and a smaller group of 6 got together in Milton on a Friday night/Saturday morning to revisit each of the proposals, consider the evaluations already submitted, make suggestions and ultimately arrive at the portion of the proposals that would receive an invitation.  At this time, this included English language presentations.  Still to be decided will be the French language presentations and the presentation given by exhibitors.  The committee is excited by the selection of offerings to be delivered in French.

Sadly, not all of the proposals could be accepted.  There’s just so many rooms and timeslots!  The committee is working on a schedule designed to maximize the number of sessions offered.

For program purposes, each of the sessions were tagged by the committee and one of our members created a Wordle to give a sense of the content.

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So, invitations have been extended and, as they’ve been confirmed, they’re added to the #ecoo13 Lanyrd site.  You’re certainly welcome to visit the site and watch as it fills with confirmation from presenters.  While there, if you’re going to join us in Niagara Falls on October 23-25, please indicate so.

If you can’t get enough of this, make sure that you install the Lanyrd  app or follow the site on your smart phone.  (It’s HTML5 enabled)

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Now you’re hopefully excited!

After all, keynote speakers Amber MacArthur and Jaime Casap plus all of these great sessions offered by Ontario educators (and beyond!) promise that #ecoo13 will be a great conference.

The registration process is being tuned and will be available for use by registrants in June.  Stay tuned to social media experts @pmcash and @aforgrave as they provide the latest details via their Twitter accounts, in the Facebook group and the Google Plus Community.  Make friends online now and plan to meet them face to face at the conference.  Got a colleague who needs a little prompting to get a Twitter account?  Perhaps this is the opportunity to sit at their side and get them signed up!

If you’re reading this post and presenting, why not add a comment and let folks know your area of expertise.

Webnation Interview with David Warlick


As noted earlier in this blog, the keynotes at the Western RCAC Symposium 2008 were David Warlick and Amber MacArthur. Both are noted Web 2.0 strategists in their respective fields.

So, what happens when they’re both in the same place at the same time with photojournalist Christopher Dick?

Why, they create an episode for Webnation on CP24.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Preparing for the Western RCAC Symposium 2008


In theory, we start putting together plans and organization for the next year’s Western Regional Computer Advisory Symposium the day after the current year’s event ends.

Despite all of the great plans, things really heat up in the last month before the event.  This year’s is next Thursday on December 11.  Full details can be found here.  As I scroll up and down the workshops which are hand selected, as I tell my superintendent, this is the type of conference that I would go to and attend every one of the sessions.  Unfortunately, attendees have to whittle their choices down to a single morning session and a single afternoon session.

There are a number of things about this event that make it very unique.  First of all, there are no vendor areas.  This is on purpose.  The day isn’t about the latest gadget or software.  It’s all about ideas.  If people leave the event with their head spinning about ways to use technology and techniques, then we’ve achieved our goal.

We do it with the very best of speakers and the very best of initiatives that are happening in Southwestern Ontario.  This year’s event features keynote addresses from David Warlick and Amber MacArthur.  Similar, and yet different, the two of them will bring experienced leadership in a connected world as they both live it and use the tools daily.  Amber’s commandN is a favourite video podcast for me and David’s Class Blogmeister is a favourite resource of mine to recommend to teachers wishing to do safe blogging with students.

David Warlick is unique to us in that he’s only the fourth keynote speaker to come back for a return engagement.  Previous returnees were David Thornburg, Alan November, and David Pogue.

So, it’s the Saturday before the event and I’m scrambling to make sure that we have all of our bases covered.  As a committee, we try our best to use the technology effectively.  Because of our diverse geography, it’s difficult to schedule face to face meetings so we’ve given up trying.  Instead, we use the services of Google Docs to organize the event.  We really have three documents; a planning document, a “minute by minute” timeline, and a tracking of door prizes donated by vendors.  And, what door prizes!  We have awesome support and are so appreciative.

In the middle of my morning planning comes another indication that we’ve chosen our speakers wisely.  I get an email from David indicating that he’s set up a hitchhikr account for the event at:  http://hitchhikr.com/?id=407 with the tag wrcac08.

I’ve already been in contact with Amber and there may be an opportunity for some commandN footage.

So, the clock is ticking towards Thursday.  I have a stack of boxes that I need to remember to take with me.  Thank you gifts for presenters are on their way from Wiarton, registration bags from Ottawa, and programs from Hamilton.

Registrants will be headed in from all over the place.  It’s terrific to renew acquaintances at this annual event.

Have I forgotten anything?

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