Thursday, May 10, 2012

Two Edcamps in Minnesota this June!

Last summer Scott Schwister, Frank Hernandez, and I held the first Edcamp Minnesota at Hamline University with East Metro Integration District 6067 as our sponsor.  We got such great feedback from that event that it was clear we had to do another one.  Scott and I began planning (mostly Scott on this one) last fall and got East Metro Intermediate District 916 to host and sponsor it.  Unbeknownst to us, Tom Brandt and Lisa Sjogren from the Osseo School District were also busy planning an edcamp in Brooklyn Park.  So, Minnesota teachers have two opportunities to make it to an Edcamp. EdcampMSP in Brooklyn Park on June 2nd and EdcampMN on June 20th in Little Canada. 

For those who are not familiar with the edcamp model, it is democratically selected teacher-led professional development.  Attendees propose sessions and discussion topics, attendees vote, and the conference agenda is decided that day. Also, as was the case at our Edcamp last year, each of these events will be kicked off with a special keynote presenter. EdcampMPS will feature Brad Hosak from University of Minnesota’s Learning Technologies (LT) Media Lab and EdcampMN will feature Ira Socol who is an educational researcher at Michigan State University focusing on Universal Design and the history and structures of education.

Registration for both events is free and just like last year there will be a graduate credit option available for teachers who want to take advantage of it.  Registration is open now for both events.  I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Digital Backpack Woes

I know many teachers and students have used my Digital Backpack over the last four years and for those who rely on that tool I have some bad news to report.  The web service that I have used for the past three years to host the content of the individual pages of that tool ( has...let it's domain expire.  That means that all links to the embedded content in the Backpack are broken.  For the time being I am reverting all Digital Backpack links I am aware of on sites I control to a 2008 version before I used

This really stinks because just two weeks ago I was updating and editing the pages in and the web service gave me no warning. I have been able to locate the company that registered the domain (Key-Systems) using and looking at the domain archive. even gave the IP addresses that used to point to before it expired.  Problem is, I don't know the rest of the file path at those domains to know how to access my content.

Well, I still have all the links in my Delicious account and most of them backed up on different pages of my Techno Constructivist wiki but it will take some time to rebuild the Digital Backpack.  I was thinking of redoing it with a new design anyway. This time I will either use Google Docs or self-host individual pages.

Here is a link to the last working version of the Digital Backpack:


With a bit more hacking and with the help of Bill Yang at Priority One, I was able to get into the server and retrieve all my links and tool descriptions from the Digital Backpack.  It will still take some time to put it all back together again since over half of the image links were broken but this will drastically reduce the amount of time it will take to rebuild this tool.  I might even be able to complete it before EdcampMN on June 20th.