EdMedia 2012 Student Scholarship Awardee Report By Sarah Benson for AACE Review, July 11th 2012 1. Introduction (more information about the reasons why you applied for this scholarship and why you selected this conference) I am a doctoral student atMarshallUniversityinWest Virginia,United States. I also teach full-time in special education at a local high school, adjunct at a local community and technical college (in American Sign Language Interpreting), and keep up with my three children (ages 7, 4, 2). When my professor and doctoral chair approached me (and six other classmates) about submitting a group project for this conference, I was very excited about the opportunity to present at this international educational technology conference. I became even more excited when we were accepted and then almost ecstatic when I found that my personal paper had been accepted! As a new face to the conference field, I did not know much about EdMedia, except that my professor had chosen it! As I began planning for the conference and my presentations, the tasks of being a full-time student, full-time employee, and full-time mother began to be overwhelming when I started to think about all the expenses! My chair emailed me about this scholarship opportunity and encouraged me to apply. I went immediately to the computer and began to work on the application. I felt very thankful and am still thankful for the opportunity to receive this scholarship. 2. Research Questions and Expectation (more detailed information about your research interest, the questions you expected to get an answer on and expectations you had before you visited the conference) Research Interest: My area of emphasis in my doctoral program is Educational Technology. I am very interested in social media and its place with education. More specifically, I have a vested interest in Twitter and its contributions to K-12 and Higher Education. I fell into Twitter somewhat by accident as I was teaching my American Sign Language courses. I found that it was very useful in allowing my students to personally connect with Deaf Culture, since inWest Virginia, we do not have a very large Deaf population. Since then, I have been following (on Twitter) different educational technology specialists and attempting to do more research on how it is being used in the field. Questions: As I was preparing to come to the conference, I did not so much have specific questions, but wanted to learn, experience, and network as much as possible. As my main research interest was Twitter, I was hoping to network in the field. By following the hashtag #edmediaconf I was able to network and connect with others in the area. Expectations: I honestly did not know what to expect! I was very nervous; I had never before given a presentation in front of a national audience–much less an international one! However, I was happy to find wonderful, comfortable amenities, friendly staff, organized sessions, and overall, a great time! 3. Planning and visited sessions per day (incl. pre-conference workshop) Research on the Smart Learning Usability Focusing on the Service Design (36241) Web 2.0 Use in College Teaching: Undergraduate Students’ Levels of Awareness (36911) Adult Learning and ePortfolio Development: Validation, Empowerment, and Identity (36854) The Effect of PBL on Achievement in Relation to GPA for Preservice Computer Teachers (36836) Presentations as Aesthetic Learning Experiences: Situation Qualities Exhibited By Exceptional Presenters (36275) Twitter Usage in Higher Education (36206) Competence Web-based System for Suggesting Study Materials Links: Approach and Experimental Design (36046) Are You Tweeting?: A Brief Look at Microblogging with Twitter in Education (36852) Exploring the Application of Gaming and Gaming Principles in Education (36183) What’s Up With the World of Warcraft? (37129) Lara Croft, Call of Duty, and Rockband: A Qualitative Look at Gaming and Education (37132) A Glitch in the System (37133) Meaningless Play or Learning in Action? What Gamers Can Teach Us About Learning (37139) 4. Scientific discussion (elaborate on the keynote-sessions topics & the presented content and materials from all other attended activities from an academic point of view) Short of creating a summary of each presentation, each topic had something of importance that I could take with me into my education and profession. In Research on the Smart Learning Usability Focusing on the Service Design, the presenter made a statement, “learning efficiency reflects the learner’s perspective.” I had never heard that thought phrased that way before, however that made me think of my curriculum in a different light. As I prepare my curriculum, I need to be more focused on the students’ goals and perspectives. With Web 2.0 Use in College Teaching: Undergraduate Students’ Levels of Awareness, their study was further proof that, as educators, we need to learn and implement ways to use social media to reach our students. DePaul University’s Adult Learning and ePortfolio Development: Validation, Empowerment, and Identity, connected specifically with the portfolio requirements at my own university. I am interested in speaking with my Dean and Chair about possibly using the same software. Presentations will always be a part of my educational and professional experiences; in, Presentations as Aesthetic Learning Experiences: Situation Qualities Exhibited by Exceptional Presenters went in-depth about 5 qualities that are needed in an exceptional presentation: immediacy, malleability, compelling-ness, resonance, and coherence. I was very interested in Twitter Usage in Higher Education because of my research interest. We had discovered much of the same information in our separate researches, but I was able to make a connection with someone that is focusing on a similar research interest. As a special education teacher, Competence Web-based System for Suggesting Study Materials Links: Approach and Experimental Design, gave great research and practical application for search words for students when the teacher has identified the specific outcome for the project. Finally, during the symposium, Exploring the Application of Gaming and Gaming Principles in Education, I believe the presenters learned just as much from the audience interaction as the audience did from the presenters. 5. Assessment and reflective evaluation on the conference (Did the conference reach your expectations? In your opinion, what was excellent and where is room for improvement?) The conference was a wonderful experience for me. The entire process–writing, submitting, acceptance–was difficult, exciting, and exhilarating! While I was at the conference, everyone was friendly and helpful–those working the registration area, the moderators, fellow presenters and attendees, the hotel staff, and the citizens ofDenver! This was a wonderful first-conference experience for me and I am looking forward to preparing more papers for submission in the future! Room for Improvement: The website was difficult to navigate at times. If I had more information in an easily accessible format beforehand, I believe I would have done better organizing the different presentations I would want to see. 6. Concluding thoughts…. This was a priceless, unforgettable experience! Thank you so much for the opportunity! Being able to present on an international stage was truly an experience that I cannot put into words. Please continue to do such wonderful conferences with timely topics in technology! Thanks again!