houstonSitting in a hotel room in downtown Houston getting presos ready for Friday and Sunday here at the National Council for the Social Studies conference. I’ve missed the last few years because of other commitments and am pretty pumped to be back. (And I take it as a positive omen that the view from my room is actually not the back of an apartment building or a construction site.)

I always spend too much time tweaking presentations but was reminded of Dan Myers recent conference presentation experience and so am even a bit more concerned than normal. (After reviewing Dan’s . . . mmm . . . concerns, I find that Doug Johnson has also written about conference presentations.) The one I’m especially worried about is a two hour Google Earth preso on Sunday morning. If you’re hanging around on a conference Sunday morning at 8:00 am for a two hour session, you are a serious conference attendee. I want to honor that but here’s the problem – it is not a hands-on session.

So it will be demo, some discussion about possible lesson plans, more demo, discussion about problems & solutions, questions, and a bit more demo.

I think.

I want to talk a bit about how GE is a great tool that can encourage 21st century “soft” skills such as problem solving and collaboration as well some language arts integration stuff. But it’s the whole talk & demo thing without people being able to actually do somethingthat’s bugging me.

I’m sure some will have laptops but the majority of the group will be without so I’ll need to focus on good conversations rather than sit and get. We’ll see. I’ve pasted a rough Slideshare version of the 21st century skills intro below to give a sense of where I’m heading. If you were in an 8 am Sunday morning session on Google Earth, what would you want to hear and see?

[slideshare id=751364&doc=google-earth-for-ncss-1226623689160069-8&w=425]

(The Latin Grammy Awards are in downtown Houston tonight and since I took the photo earlier, the empty areas are filling up with bands and people. WIll need to go check it out later!)