Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Blogging from The NCTT Summer Conference - Day 1

We're into Day 1 of our summer conference and it has started out extremely well. We're running it this year at the Verizon Conference Center in Marlborough, MA. At the conference we have attendees representing 23 individual states and Canada. This morning Karl Kapp kicked us off with an excellent presentation based on his latest book Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning. To the right is a picture of Karl during his presentation.

This is from Karl's website:

Gadgets, Games, and Gizmos for Learning is an innovative book that provides practical and original solutions to the impending boomer/gamer knowledge and skills transfer gap. The book outlines how gamer values such as the use of cheat codes, the love of gadgets, the need to play games, and the desire to be constantly connected can be used as methods for moving information from the heads of the boomers to the fingertips and gadgets of the gamers. As organizations begin to think strategically about how to attract, retain, and train new talent, this book will be an invaluable resource.

In his presentation Karl challenged the common belief that gamer habits can have a negative effect in our classrooms and workplaces and suggested many ways their expertise can be used to enhance the learning and work experience.

After Karl we followed with a couple of great presentations from Vince Dinoto from Jefferson Community and Technical College in Kentucky and Terry Bartelt from Fox Valley Technical College.

Terry did a great presentation on his Multimedia Learning Object NSF Project and is shown presenting to the left. Terry and Fox Valley Technical College have developed over 200 learning objects on electronics technology topics. Learning objects are animated multimedia instruments presented on a computer, and are accessible at no charge on the internet. Through an NSF grant, over 300 more of them will be created for automation, robotics, mechanics, fluid power and process control.

Vince did and excellent presentation on Internet GIS. The presentation explored both web-based and data driven Internet GIS. In addition the concept of server based GIS was discussed.

Later we had Devin McLaughlin from Apple do a two part session on Virtualization for the Macintosh. Devin and the group explored the options for running multiple operating systems on Apple Macintosh Intel Computers. Over a year ago Apple started shipping Apple Macintosh Computers with Intel chips. This has made running the Mac OS and Windows on the same machine a reality. Participants learned about the options for running both environments on the Mac and how to easily deploy these machines.

After lunch Pierre Thiry from City College of San Francisco and Steven Barndollar from Juniper Networks discussed the Juniper University Center program. In January City College became the first Juniper Networks University Center in the United States and has been piloting the two courses: Operating Juniper Routers in the Enterprise and Advanced Juniper Routers in the Enterprise this past Spring. The presentation focused on a description of the curriculum, equipment and training needed to implement this pilot project and on the lessons learned in this first year implementation.

In addition NCTT CoPI Jim Downing presented on Fiber Optics, the Physical Layer, and the Classroom. Jim's presentation looked at the connection between fiber-optics (at the physical layer) and the next few layers in the OSI model. Beginning with the differences and similarities between basic media (copper, fiber, wireless) connections, the presentation showed the importance of understanding the differences and realizing how technically vast the physical layer is. Highlights included teaching decibels using a systems approach, defining the important differences between media, and explaining the layer 1-2-3 connections.

Peter Saflund from The Saflund Institute, Steven Budd from Springfield Technical Community College and Laura Qaissaunee from Brookdale Community College ran their extremely popular Steps to Successful ATE Proposal Preparation two part workshop once again. These sessions are always a crowd favorite with attendees learning critical steps in successful ATE proposal preparation with practice critical review of proposal segments and practice writing for clarity for successful review.

Robert Mortenson from The University of Nebraska at Omaha, Dennis Kirlin from the Midwest Center for Information Technology and Jeanne L. Surface from the AIM Institute discussed Mapping Research Evidence to Investigative Questions in their session. Their presentation described the results of a National Science Foundation funded ATE Center's efforts to respond to using "Key Questions of Interest" in the evaluative process. It provided a description of the processes used and the logic model developed to respond to a change in the NSF's evaluation paradigm.

Paula Velluto from Bunker Hill Community College then demonstated her Computer Forensics In a Box. This presentation frocused on crime and evidence gathered from an ensuing investigation that needs analysis. Participants observed the crime, reviewed the evidence, determined the connections, and reported back on their findings. CFATE(an NSF ATE Project) in a Box is a recruitment activity that is used for High School and Middle School students to introduce them to the field of Computer Forensics.

Next, Joseph T. Nairn and Mark Indelicato from Rochester Institute of Technology presented on the Avenues to Further Education program at RIT.

A national leader in engineering technology education, Rochester Institute of Technology provides many opportunities for students coming out of two year programs looking to further their education at the bachelor's or master's level. Joe and Mark discussed the portfolio of telecom-related certificates and degrees that accommodate community college graduates with the flexibility to earn a degree online from RIT.

We finished Day 1 with a cocktail hour sponsored by Juniper Networks - thanks Juniper!


Note: As more pictures become available I'll be updating this post! Also, if you are reading at, you may not be able to see the pictures. To see the pictures go directly to

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