Monday, August 25, 2008

Share Fair!

This weekend was rather useful I must say. I got a new washer/dryer and a small air conditioner to complete my appliance collection and I filled myself with soccer from around the world, including the Stoke City-Aston Villa thriller. Most importantly, I attended the St. Mary Parish Technology Share Fair Saturday morning!

I went into it rather wide-eyed and hopeful. I was really excited about getting in on some interesting topics, especially the seminar on using Wikis in the classroom, a topic I've been chewing on for quite a while. By the time it was over it felt more like a dud to me than the slam-bang I was expecting. I didn't really learn anything new technologically-speaking (I did get some good thinking points from my Instructional Facilitator's seminar on integrating technology and literacy strategies, but they were more of the literary than technological in nature), but I did get to help out a couple of teachers in the online portfolio seminar think of some more efficient ways of displaying students' work online than normal, so I was happy about that. Now I'll freely admit that I'm probably not the best person to evaluate a technology fair aimed at average folks. I routinely ramble into the world of software development when talking about basic computer programs (I've already unfortunately reduced several teachers to an eyes-glazed-over state when I talked about my computer lab's problems with Fast ForWord.) and most tellingly, I'm probably the first middle school teacher most people have met that is a member of ACM.

So let me say this: if you're an "average" computer user and you want to have a fantastic time learning about integrating technology into your classroom from some really great people, and you weren't at Share Fair, then shame on you. The classes, which varied from an introduction to Fast ForWord to Flash animation to Google Earth to gadgets and gizmos, were all well-presented and perfect for neophytes. Best of all were the door prize doled out to the participants. Now I wasn't all that lucky (The person with the ticket numbered after mine won something. Hmpf.) but the folks who walked away with digital cameras, scanners, LCD projectors, and even a laptop sure were lucky. But hey, I'll be getting a flash drive out of it, so I can't say I went there and left empty-handed.

So all in all, Share Fair was a pretty neat experience. Whilst I didn't get too much out of it (Go figure. Loren goes to something and find out he's on the wrong end of the learning curve for the event.), anyone who desires to get on the technology bandwagon (And who shouldn't?) should be there.

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