Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Technology Sessions at the SCCEC Conference

I attended the South Carolina Council for Exceptional Children’s conference this weekend and was surprised that there weren’t more technology sessions. I wonder if the proposals were turned down or if there weren’t any more proposals turned in. There were five listed in the program and one of the sessions (Navigating Excent Online) was cancelled. I thought I would share with you a summary of the three that I attended.

The first one that I wanted to go to listed as “Point Your Browser Here: Twenty Five Awesome Websites for the Special Educator” was the first session. Since the map in the program was impossible to read, by the time I found the room, it was impossible to get into the room. There were so many people that it was standing room only if you could find a spot to stand. This overflow of people made me realize that many educators feel a need to learn more about this topic (and maybe technology in general.) I did give my email address and hope the presenter will send me a copy of the handout given since she ran out due to the large crowd.

The second session I attended was called “Face to Face or Cyberspace. Which do Teachers Prefer?” Dr. Coughenour of Francis Marion University compared her online course with the same course taught face to face. She shared the course evaluations completed at the end of each course. Positive and negative comments were shared also. She concluded that the success of the online course depended a lot on the kind of access the student had and the computer skills the student had. Of course I learned a lot about technology used with the online course that I could use when I teach a course this summer.

Next I went to a session called “ ETV’s collection of fun, interactive, multimedia Websites.” Again, this session was jammed packed with standing room only. is the portal to websites designed by South Carolina ETV and is a free online collection of resources designed for classroom use. The presenter (for more information contact Andrea Thorpe at ) showed us Gullah Net as an example but I can’t wait to look at these other sites. Below is a list of sites listed on the brochure given out at the session if you would like to check these out. When I went to the main site, there were many more websites listed so I will check them out soon.
1. Gullah Net (K-8, Language Arts and Social Studies) Journey through Gullah culture and history
2. Let’s Go (3-8 Social Studies) – Visit the Old Exchange in Charleston, the South Carolina State House and Historic Brattonsville without leaving the classroom.
3. The Hobby Shop (6-8, Math and Science) – hands on workshop using a microscope, rocket, and catapult activities.
4. Periscope (k-8) online magazine guides students through eight celebrations and observances occurring during the school year.
5. Keep It Real (9-12 Health and Safety) learn about teen choices and the consequences of unhealthy risk-taking behavior. Viewer discretion advised.
6. River Venture (6-8, Social Studies): take a trip through SC waterways from the mountains to the sea while attempting to solve a scientific mystery.
7. Scoot (3-8, Social Studies): Learn about 46 of the SC’s historic markers
8. Artopia (6-8, Visual and Performing Arts, Language Arts, Social Studies) interactive web-based arts experience
9. Road Trip! (6-12 Language Arts and Social Studies) learn about historical events, places and people who played an important role during the civil rights movement in SC from the 1940s to early 1970s.
10. Tech Team (6-12, Math, Science and Technology) start your own Tech Team
11. Kids Work! (4-8, Career Education) Connect schoolwork with real work at the hospital and theater in this interactive virtual community.
12. Ready to Vote (9-12, Social Studies and Journalism) Teen site about civic participation
13. Nature Scene (K-12, Science) Tour North American parks and preserves using online videos and images from ETV’s NatureScene series

The last session I attended was “ETVStreamlineSC: Free Video-on-Demand” and the presenter showed us how to access over 39,000 instructional video clips correlated to the SC standards. She also showed how to download these clips to a flash drive and use on multiple computers. I liked how she showed us how to download these to an IPOD and with an adapter, the clip can also be shown on a TV. There was so much to see that she couldn’t cover all the possibilities in a 50 minute session but it sure made me wanting to see more. If you want more information you can contact Debbie at

I am thinking about submitting a proposal for next year on Using Technology in the Classroom and using the wikispace that I developed. The presenters above connected the computer to a cell phone and I don’t have that capability so I would have to figure out a way to do screencasts. I am hoping that next year when we have the conference at the Sheraton at North Myrtle Beach, there will be more technology sessions.

1 comment:

Bill Gaskins said...

Our whole state needs 21st century learning and teaching vision. South Carolina Ed Tech is not what it should be, but it is getting there. I hear that the Upstate Conference that will be held June 25-26 at TL Mann HS is really great. If you have not registered for it, do so. If you can't find the link, let me know. Also it is free. I will be there if nothing happens.

Remind me I will present at CEC next year.