SS Open PD Tanks in Round 1

The technology demons were out in full force last night in our first "open" professional development session (Social Software in the Classroom). Indeed, the glitches were many. Nevertheless, the session did end on a high note as we engaged in a wonderful conversation about our need as teachers to include a higher level of social software in our classes.

Here's a list of the troubles we encountered (in chronological order):

  • Turns out our district's firewall won't currently allow people to view Quicktime video streams emanating from within the district. Ouch - especially since this was how we planned to share screens.
  • Twenty minutes later, enter YugmaSkype - For some strange reason, we weren't able to add all of the participants to the screen broadcast, even though we were connected through Skype. Weird.
  • Twenty minutes later (and loads of audio feedback) I set up a Ustream broadcast.
  • A minute or two later Sue Waters comes to the rescue, "Do you want to use an Elluminate room?" Did we ever!
  • Except for one of the teachers at my site. Fifteen minutes later, we were still dealing with her $%@#! USB headset and it's incompatibility with Elluminate. Yuck.
Finally, we were able to hold a pretty decent discussion about Karl Fisch's video, changes in our world, and changes in our students. The participants were extremely patient (for which I am grateful), and those that went the distance left happy with how things turned out.

That said, I still want to thank those that made this, my first attempt at an open professional development session, an effort that I'd like to attempt once more:
Thanks for the efforts, guys. We'll chalk our efforts up to "a learning experience" and try it again next time. And since Robin and I hashed things out for over two hours today, I think next Wednesday's session will yield much better results.

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