I just survived my two session presentations for our local Educational Technology Conference sponsored by Blackfoot Telephone here at the University of Montana. I did “Affordable Wireless for Your School” and “Teaching Cell Phone Programming Using Corona and MIT App Inventor (with some odds and ends thrown in)”.
Only three attendees for the Wireless but still worthwhile. I had two reps from UniVision, a local Ruckus wireless system vendor talk about Ruckus. They did an excellent job. I was tired of vendors proposing $20,000 to $30,000 wireless solutions for a small school. There are solutions from $600 than can satisfy the needs of a small school if compromises are accepted.
The cell phone programming presentation was my biggest interest and my biggest “crowd”, eight attendees. Considering most of the conference attendees are app users (and as far as I know there were no programming teachers in attendance), eight really was not too bad. To give an idea of the type of conference population at this event, the “30 iPad apps for teachers” was probably fifty-plus attendees. It was the wrong conference with the wrong population for a presentation of this type but it was the only show in town. The “odds and ends” were Windows Phone SDK, XCode and Kinect. I cannot do much with either Windows Phone or XCode other then explain what they are. As expected the discussion brought in Kodu and Scratch. The group was very interested in the Kinect programming possibilities.
One of my goals for this summer was to work on the Kinect programming. I did not get a chance to touch it. It is important to have goals so there is a measuring stick to use to show what did not get done. I had planned to not do the Kinect programming with the kids until I had a chance to learn it myself and write some high school level material. Hopefully by Spring semester I will have something ready to go. No matter what, I will get this batch of kids doing something with that Kinect this year. It is too cool to have them miss.
Alfred Thompson had his very own slide in the presentation and I think his blog has at least two more regular readers.