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Women of Web 2.0 March 31, 2009

Posted by handspiker in Uncategorized.
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Last week Alec Couros had our grad class try something a little different and suggested we try EdTechTalk. With last week’s schedule quite full with the upcoming drama regional fest and a Masters meeting the only session I could attend was Women of Web 2.0. Needless to say I had some fears of being the only male in the room, but thought that maybe I would see another side of social networking from a different perspective.

From the beginning I was frustrated with UStream. At the very beginning it was down and took a few minutes for the issue to be solved. That is understandable when it comes with technology, good when it works and frustrating when it does not. However throughout the hour long session the audio would cut in and out, get stuck in a loop for what seemed like minutes at a time. Honestly I do not know if this is a constant problem with UStream or not, but I much prefer Elluminate and its more solid performance.

The session began with the sharing of “wows” which were Web 2.0 tools that the speakers all recently discovered. I thought that this was a great idea in sharing resources of what prize tidbits were available. However almost immediately I discovered the trend (aka problem) that occurred all night, the pacing of the show was horrible. The links came up so fast or so slow that the audio and visual was greatly out of tune with one another. As they talked about the merits of these jems of 2.0 you could hardly keep up with them. The speakers seemed to talk without much respect for the audience. I found it nearly impossible to explore the links when the audio and chat room were in sync. Honestly it made me appreciate the pace of our own sessions much more.

I found that people who wished to ask questions, either in the chat room or verbally, seemed discouraged as the speakers consistently stayed on fast forward not allowing anyone to cut in. This led to much confusion on my part as to what was being talked about and who exactly was talking as many times more than one person was talking at a time.

Like Megan and Trevor I found the host at times condescending and irritating. There seemed to be a natural bias that only those teachers using technology were effective. Honestly it seemed like an hour long pat on the back for them. I understand that these individuals have been using technology effectively in their classrooms and made some great points, but their attitudes turned me off. I think an educator who was not as comfortable with technology as I am would easily become frustrated with these sessions and maybe become turned off of these Tech sessions. Perhaps if there was a note to indicate that it was a more advanced class, or perhaps they have lost their focus on who they wish to educate, it could be better.

Now I must say that not everything was so bleak that I would not try another EdTechTalk. I think it showed educators effectively using technology in new and interesting ways. With those individuals using the technology and bridging the gap between theory and practice it was enlightening. Perhaps with more polishing and a more “structured” approach to delivering their words of wisdom the sessions could become clearer, more meaningful, and more user friendly.