Participatory Conference

This year’s NYSAIS Tech Conference was professionally thrilling for me. I had a slight advantage over most attendees though, as I got to plan the conference blog. On 21st Century Learning (my weekly webcast), Alex and I interviewed Bill Fitzgerald to figure out how to use the free software Drupal to power our conference blog. Listen to that interview here:
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Planning a blog for technologists and librarians who come from the high-tech world of New York independent schools was a challenge. I had two main goals for the site: 1) allow people to explore web 2.0 technologies and 2) make the conference (and site) a more collaborative experience.

I think the blog was fairly successful. Before the conference started I sent out an e-mail to all the registrants and the New York City technologists asking them to register for the site, and try out some of the “homework” assignments I posted. The assignments were to get people using the tools, hands on. Most didn’t try the site until they got to the conference, but then traffic really took off. I think the blog will have a lot of use going forward for the New York City tech community who hosted it, but it will take a concerted effort (like anything worthwhile) to keep it going. I do believe it is in all of our best interests though – I’d like to see it blossom into an online extension of our already vibrant group. Our last show covered how the site works, so take a listen here:
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Results of the homework: our photo gallery, our blog posts (internal or external) and our bookmarks.

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arvind s. grover

I am a progressive educator, a podcaster (, a blogger, and dean of faculty of JK-11 school (building a high school) in New York City.