Friday, December 30, 2011

Episode 127 – All Hands on Tech – Students Involved with Technology Conference

It’s Friday December 30th, 2011 and welcome to episode 127 of TechTalk4Teachers, I'm Tom Grissom. We have an abbreviated show for you this month as we are currently on semester break here at EIU but I do have some time-sensitive information to share with you. But first, as we transition from one semester to another many technology support personnel are working hard over the holidays to update and improve the technology infrastructure that we use daily.

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(6 minutes 47 seconds)

As you come back from break be sure to thank those that provide technology services, as it often goes unnoticed, and when done well is invisible to the average user of technology. This invisibility is the goal of every technology support person but it also means a lot of people go unrecognized for their efforts. Be sure to let someone you know in a support role that you appreciate all the efforts required so that we all can reap the benefits of a reliable and robust network.

The semester break is also a time for many of us to recharge our batteries and prepare for a new semester full of hope and promise of starting anew. Many are also planning for conferences and we have a student technology conference to tell you about this month.

For Illinois students - we have the SIT conference scheduled in February and we need your help to get the word out. The SIT Conference is a one-day technology conference for students and led by students in grades 3 through 12. SIT stands for Students Involved with Technology and this is the second year that Eastern Illinois University will be hosting this event for students located in central and southern Illinois. The theme for the 2012 conference is All Hands On Tech. The conference is scheduled for Saturday, February 18th but the deadline to register for the event is January 18, 2012. There are a total of six hosting sites across Illinois this year and you can register for the closest event to you by visiting the website. The registration deadline is quickly approaching in Mid-January so please help us get the word out to Illinois teachers and students. I will have a link in the show notes to this website as well as promotional flyers for you to share with your school.

Here is the press release for this event:

Students Involved with Technology Conference comes to EIU

Has your child or student ever shown you how to use technology or tell you what is the “brand new thing” to be paying attention to in the tech world? Well, they have the opportunity to show other students and adults too. The Students Involved with Technology Conference is just the place for your student to establish themselves as a young leader in science. The conference is comprised of students from grades 3-12 presenting and sharing their knowledge of technology with their peers.

Each year the SIT Conference strives to expand its accessibility to regions across Illinois. The conference is an annual conference occurring at several sites simultaneously throughout Illinois, and for the second year in a row it is being held at Eastern Illinois University. The conference is set to take place Saturday, February 18, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Buzzard Hall at EIU.

This is a one-day technology conference for students and led by students in grades three through twelve. SIT strives to replicate an industry-level conference for its attendees, complete with a keynote speaker, snacks, lunch, hands-on activities, competitions, chances to win prizes and the choice of many different technology sessions to attend.

Student presenters develop a 20-minute session on a technology topic of their choice, create a handout for their session, and facilitate a question & answer session following their presentation. Sessions at the conference may include photo editing, digital art, robotics, programming, animation and much more.

The registration fee is $25 per student or adult sponsor, which includes a full day of sessions, a T-shirt, giveaways, snack and lunch. Students who present at the conference must have an adult sponsor for their presentation. All SIT participants must pre-register for the event by the deadline. No registrations will be available at the door.

The SIT Conference is sponsored through the Bloomington-Normal Education Alliance Technology Committee, with partners representing Eastern Illinois University, Illinois State University, Heartland Community College, Unit 5, District 87, Olympia Schools, Regional Office of Education, Bloomington Public Library and State Farm.

With over 100 attendees participating in last year’s event, the conference is looking to have another successful year. Students and sponsors must register to present or to attend the conference at The deadline to register for the event is January 18, 2012. For questions about the SIT Conference, contact JoEllen Hickenbottom at 217-581-5114 or

SIT Conference Promotional Flyers

Technology Pick of the Week

My Technology Pick of the Week this week is from the website of the Newseum located in Washington, D.C. Since we are at the end of the year for 2011 this time allows for a reflection upon the events that have occurred over the past twelve months. How things are reported can vary greatly from one location to another and this weeks tech pick gives you the ability to see the front page of newspapers across the country. There is also an archive section that you can explore to see how major events of the past year were portrayed on the front pages of newspapers across the world.

Newseum Front Page Today’s Stories

Newseum Front Page Archives

You can use the Sort Pages by Region link and drop-down menu to sort the newspapers by region and select the newspaper location. There is also an International section that will be of interest to social studies teachers that would make for some great primary source material for items in the news and for a discussion of current events with your classes. Links are provided in the show notes so be sure to checkout the Newseum’s catalog of newspaper front pages from around the world.

That wraps it up for episode 127 of TechTalk4Teachers. Please help spread the word about the upcoming Illinois Students Involved with Technology Conference to be held on Saturday, February 18th at EIU, registration deadline is January 18th so please share with your students and parents as soon as you get back from holiday break. Show notes for this episode and archived episodes are available on the web at the EIU Instructional Technology Center website at To leave a comment or suggestion, please send an email to or leave a comment on the Tech Talk for Teachers blog. Until next time, this is Tom Grissom, keep on learning.