Pioneer days are done…I’m storing away my bonnet.
The SCASL annual conference continues tomorrow, but for me this year’s conference is done. I have an obligation tomorrow so am not attending the Friday sessions or book awards luncheon. I hope there is a chat during sessions and the luncheon that I can follow.
I just do not know how I could top Wednesday or Thursday though. Wednesday I went to the two pre-conference sessions that Doug Johnson gave, and though there was not a lot of new material for me, I still wanted to be there for the humor and fun I knew I would have. He is very entertaining and never boring.
Our session was at 4:15, and it went amazingly well despite my own self-induced issues:
- Doug Johnson came to my session, so my co-presenter and I became a BUNDLE of nerves. At least I DID.
- We used my co-presenter Fran’s laptop, and for the life of me I could NOT make anything work right. I had embedded videos small with every intention of making them go big screen once I began them, but I guess being on my Mac all day had warped my sense of how to do anything. I felt all fumbled up each time I tried to do things.
- There was a virtual audience, as this session was video streamed out from the SCASL Ning. I don’t know how many were watching, but I tried not to think about it. It made me even more nervous.
- Afternoon Internet connections at conferences seems to be iffy at best. Nothing I tried to do went quickly. Because our presentation was using Google presentations, much responded way slower than we needed it. We purposefully used Google Presentations b/c the session was about collaborative tools. My intent was to “invite” folks to join in my presentation but I did not. I had intended for them to work in groups on one document, but let them create their own and then share it with me instead. It worked, but it wasn’t the original plan. I also allowed two other groups to edit a page in my wiki–all in the name of collaboration.
At the opening conference reception, I was able to visit many friends, new and old. My friends (Heather Loy, Anne Lemiuex, and Fran Bullington) and I even convinced Doug Johnson to go out with us for supper, and he thoroughly entertained us throughout the dinner hour.
Heather, Anne, and our friend Julie Putnam (Julie all the way from Kershaw County—virtual in every sense of the word for the conference)– tackled the task of capturing and streaming out three sessions at the conference. This was QUITE an undertaking. If not for everyone’s help, including others (Alice Brice helped for a session too) we may not have been able to do this. I lugged around two laptops, as did Anne. I brought a camera bag filled with: webcam, flipcam, video camera, and still cam…only to just use my video camera. We set up at the front of the sessions we were streaming, and monitored the stream and chats from both the SCASL Ning and the video’s channel to make sure all was going well. With only a few problems, I can definitely say we did okay.
Lessons learned from that experience:
- Need a longer firewire so as not to feel “tied down” to your laptop
- You can never have too many powerstrips
- Need a place to store unused stuff so you don’t have to lug it around
- One person cannot do it all
- Consistently having three people helping simultaneously was a big plus!
Best Session? Hands down the ipods/gaming in the library! I learned a whole new Language (l337) from £12 M4r71n.
Best part of the conference (besides supper with Doug)?
Doug Johnson said he wants to model an upcoming presentation after the session Fran and I did using Wikis/Google Apps! Now that folks is QUITE a compliment!! I’m sure his will be better than ours. I can still think of hundreds of things I meant to say and do.
Goals for next year?
- Add a Cover-it-Live to the mix—which means add a fourth person to the setup!
- Get someone else to bring all the equipment. I’m sore and tired from toting it, and I had a rolling cart.
- Make sure to ask local presenters BEFORE the conference if they want their material streamed. The session by Liz Martin (Ipod/Gaming in the Library) was awesome and she was willing to have her session streamed, but we did not have a hardwired connection in the room. Had we known ahead of time, we could have had her session moved to the “room” equipped for streaming.
Blue Poke Bonnet