Today began with a general session keynoted by Marc Prensky. Carla Beard has a nice summary of the talk he gave.
After that, I went to a session on Teaching Shakespeare to the Class of 2020. Presenters were Mike LoMonico, Julia Perlowski, and Chris Shamburg, who it was nice to finally meet. Of course, the Folger folks always do wonderful presentations, and this one was no exception. Mike created a wiki that has lots of goodies he, Julia, and Chris shared in the presentation today. I especially like the part when Chris demonstrated how easy it is to use Audacity to create a recording of a scene complete with Foley art.
Next, I was off to a session called Technology Toolkit Roadshow, a roundtable session with ideas presented by Carla Beard, Sara Kajder, Gretchen Lee, Nancy Patterson, and Bud Hunt. I saw Jim Burke there. Now if there is one teacher I’d like to see blogging, it’s Jim Burke. And if there’s another, it’s Carol Jago. However, I also understand they are both pretty busy and involved with NCTE… still if this wife, mother of three, full-time teacher, department chair, and half-time grad student can occasionally update a blog. Just saying.
After that, I went to a session called Shifting Heroes: Teaching Traditional, Tragic, Promethean, Bryonic, Code and Anti Heroes Utilizing Popular Culture, Literature, Cinema, and Video Games. It was interesting in that I hadn’t quite made some of the connections the presenters had made between Campbell and Jung’s ideas (among those of others) and modern heros of pop culture whether real or fictional. I chatted on a site Bud Hunt set up for NCTE the whole time, and it worked well for me to engage in my learning. Which brings me to a big beef I have with the convention. No free wifi. In a convention about Shift and Technology! I realize it’s expensive, but it underscores an interesting and ironic point about access. Wifi should be ubiquitous and free, in my opinion, but instead I’m spending more on wife at this conference between having to pay for access at my hotel (where it should also be free), and the conference. And in my opinion, it is seriously not cheap.
I missed lunch because they didn’t really put enough time in the schedule for it, but I did finally get to meet Bud Hunt after reading his blog for about three years, and I met Laura Deisley, who is from my neck of the woods.
The afternoon sessions were a little iffier. I don’t want to hurt feelings, but one was presented on an overhead projector, and it wasn’t terribly engaging, which is a shame because the ideas were pretty good — I know because I glanced at her book. I couldn’t make up my mind about the last session. I originally planned to go to one that addressed grammar, but changed my mind at the last minute and chose a different one. This presentation was a PowerPoint with slides crammed with text, and we were not told until the end of the session that the presenters had prepared a wiki with all the materials and ideas they discussed. That kind of bothered me because I had spent most of the time frantically trying take notes and feeling frustrated when they moved on before I could catch it all, only to find I could have been enjoying myself and listening to them more closely had I known about the wiki. The presentation had some solid information, but I felt frustrated by the presentation skills. Not that I am some great authority. I have given terrible presentations before. I actually think I’m terrified to present at NCTE, even though I’ve presented in other places before.
So that’s my recap for today. I am looking forward to more learning tomorrow. If you are looking for me, I’ll be wearing black slacks and a bluish-gray blouse. I have gray hair. I will most likely be fussing with my MacBook.