Innovative Professor & Closing the Gap Conferences

26 10 2008

I took the summer off from blogging, and have been a bit slow to get started. 

I recently gave the Keynote speech and a breakout session at the “Innovative Professor” conference in Teneessee.  Very cool conference with a lot of Web 2.0 technologies and energy.  From there, I went to the “Closing the Gap” conferenence in Minneapolis and presented with Steve Kann, VP of Engineering at Wimba.  Never been to either before, but like a lot of conferences, it was great for the people you meet and the sharing of resources.  Here are my top take aways:

1.   Utter Command – Voice Commands for Dragon for better Windows interface use. UC commands work across all programs. No matter what programs you use, you’ll be able to do everything by speech that you can using the keyboard and mouse, usually faster.” http://www.redstartsystems.com/uctasktours.html#contents

 

2.  Scale Liberated Learning –  Chattanooga State is interested in using the ViaScribe Wimba bridge web in their classes – http://www.liberatedlearning.com

 

3.  TobiiATI – has ran technology programs for people with ALS http://www.tobii.com  

 

4.     Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (Learning 2.0) – http://www.c4lpt.co.uk

 

5.      Web 2.0 Directory – http://www.go2web20.net

 

6.      Assistive Technology Social Network – http://assistivetech.ning.com

 

7.      Sign Smith – Takes text and makes sign language with computer avatar (And my mind leaps to taking my speech output-into-text, then into Sign Smith!) http://www.vcom3d.com/index.php?id=signsmith_vault

 

8.      Open Source Assistive Technology – http://www.oatsoft.org

On the flip side, after seeing a half day of Second Life for Education, I am not sold.  Seems like a very engaging environment, but there is so much going on and such a steep learning curve, I can’t see it scaling across a lot of users.  Plus, the computer and network minimum requirements seem to be very high, as not more than three of us could get in at a time.

 

 

 





Western Canadian City – Victoria

26 05 2008

Today was Victoria, the Western major city in Canada on my trip, and the Capital of BC.  Took the seaplane (a first!) over this morning, taught class online from the hotel lobby from 10 – noon, and presented at the BCANDS conference 1 – 2.  This presentation was centered about our work with the Penticton Indian Band.  From there, I could kick back and enjoy the other speakers and Aboriginal community leaders, including Grand Chief Ed John.  Had a pint in a pub up the corner to watch Detriot go 2 up on Pittsburg, and then returned for the big dinner.  It was capped off with Native songs, and then a local 16 piece band (the Midnight somethings, with 7 female singers).

Snuck out after a bit and took a walk along the Victoria waterfront, snapping tourist photos as I went.  At 10 PM PDT, I scrubbed my neck with the water from the Victoria harbour – the clock is running til I can do the same in Halifax! 





Coast to Coast – Victoria to Halifax and back in one week.

24 05 2008

Next week will be a cool one, but a lot of flying.  I’ll be in Victoria Monday and Tuesday for the BCANDS conference – BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society.  I’ll be speaking about Neil Squire’s parntership with the Penticton Indian Band, and the services we’ve offered: primarily Employ-Abiltiy and our new Community Navigator program.

I then fly to Halifax, to attend the Liberated Learning meeting, a multimedia accessibilty and speech recognition technology project.  The new software provided through IBM takes pre-recorded media and transcribes the text at ~90% with no voice profile training.  It’s truely remarkable, and I get pretty excited about it’s applications for people with hearing loss, meeting learning styles, and literacy applications.

I take a sea-plane Monday morning, and get back home at Vancouver airport on Friday night.  Time to load up the iPod with tunes and video for a lot of flying.

Personal goal – get my feet wet in both the Pacific and the Atlantic ocean in the smallest time window possilbe.





33rd McGraw-Hill Ryerson, National Teaching, Learning & Technology Conference

1 05 2008

I’ll be presenting at the 33rd National Teaching, Learning & Technology Conference at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC on May 14, 2008.  I’ll do my best to cover my favorite topics in the 1/2 hour I have: Assistive Technology, Employ-Ability, Liberated Learning, and how we use Wimba to reach and engage people with disabilities.  It’s always a bit special when I can do things at SFU, as that’s where I completed my post-secondary education.

“We are part of an ever-changing world in which education contributes and participates. Rapid change permeates the interrelated elements of the educational ecosystem. These changes provide new opportunities for teaching and learning in innovative ways. How are we responding and adapting to this new horizon; and more importantly, how can we ensure our teaching continues to be even more dynamic, relevant, and sustainable in an ever-evolving global society? Come and join your colleagues at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C. to hear keynote speakers, concurrent session presenters, and workshop facilitators address these topics.” 

Website: http://www.mcgrawhill.ca/events/event_detail.php?event_id=140

 

 





2008 Massive Technology – Vancouver

18 04 2008

I attended the Massive Technology Festival in Vancouver.  We had a booth, I caught a session on Web 2.0 technology, and as always, the networking with the other’s in attendance was of the most value.

Plus, I rode a mechanical bull.  Can check that off the “life to do” list!