Friday, July 31, 2009

An Open Letter to the Concord Education Fund

Dear Concord Education Fund,

Today was the final day of the Building Learning Communities '09 conference. I want to thank you for funding our eight person team, and one of the most profound learning experiences of my professional life.

For three days our team was immersed in an extraordinary journey of challenge, discussion, and vision. I felt like my head was going to explode with fresh ideas, new digital tools, links, collaborative groups, and new ways of looking at familiar concepts. Each night I returned home beaten to a pulp by the best thinkers in education. Awesome!

The generosity of this grant enabled a group of teachers and administrators to gather for three days, and learn about the possibilities of education fueled by new technologies. Ways to engage students in their learning and prepare them for a global economy that seeks innovation, flexibility, creative thinking, collaboration, extraordinary communication and presentation skills, and authentic opportunities. It is incredibly exciting!

Our team would gather and fire ideas, questions and proposal at one another. "Did you hear this..." "What if we tried something like..." "Would you partner with me in trying this out..." "I get it now..." "Wait, you have to hear this...""This app is so cool you have to download it - now!"

Our vocabulary changed as we were introduced to the evolving educational practice of this new age. Informate, Fantastic!, radiating possibilities, Twitter Fall, cloud computing, Bump, back channel, project based learning, Rule #6 - the list goes on.

Good work is already underway in our schools, and our task is to build upon our strong base to form a fresh path for the students of Concord, Carlisle and Boston. We can accomplish so much in guiding our students toward learning about their global community, giving them the skills to become fluent in the new ways of the digital future, partnering with students and their families in looking forward and embracing the changes that are upon us.

There is much work ahead, and it is a privilege to be a part of it. My conference notes (rough as they are) can be found on this blog. Search the tag BLC09 for all notes, all with links, if you care to take a peek at this journey.

Thank you again for supporting this grant. Have a wonderful August, take a trip to the library to pick up some books, join CCHS One School One Book in reading Three Cups of Tea, and don't forget the sunscreen!


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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Restructuring Schools Through Design - Think CCHS Library!

Raw Notes
Session #9
Alan November, Restructuring Schools Through Design

Washington International School
Student News ActionNetwork - example of publishing facilitated by librarian - a global Ning

Future University, Hakodate, Japan

Build libraries to:
  • big presentation space (big screen)
  • internet capabilities for presentations
  • social and engaging space
  • global communication center
  • librarian - global communication facilitator - get beyond the limits of paper, connecting children to the real world, design to build connection to authentic audience around the world. Cameras, high speed, big bandwidth pipe, projecting people out to the world from the library.
  • role of educator is global communication facilitator
  • library on first floor, own entrance, accessible at all times by students and communities
  • library open on weekends, open at night, equity issues so kids can stay late. Flex time for librarians to have flexible hours and support.
"Don't build a new, old building."
Build different kinds of spaces in library.
  1. global communication center
  2. online learning center - kids can go there to take courses from all over the world. Facilitate whole courses in the library. Librarian as course-broker.
  3. smaller spaces for small group work - (multi-media design center, noisy and messy) studios for creating content. Studios for 12/8/4/4 group sizes. Each space should have its own story/purpose.
Emerging use of library - place for students to create. Revolution of the Internet - everyone learns to publish. Kids need to make added value, make the world better, smarter. Library should be center for where this happens. Small, intimate design labs - really great idea! Collaborative spaces. Glass walls for social kids as well as supervision. Noisy environment. Mix of mediums needed to make these global connections (books, web, tech tools, e-tools, projectors, diverse spaces). Make sure technology infrastructure is easy to use and not easy to screw up.

Learning Commons - all IT people have offices in library. IT people out of labs and into classrooms to work with teachers. "Easier to build a computer lab than take one apart." - Alan November.

High Tech High, San Diego - examples of beautiful design - design examples - give every kid their own computer and cubicle to personalize
3 years and millions to build this space. Kids were not self-disciplined enough to work at their own space and get things done. Role of teacher was to move and kids sits still. Kids didn't want to work on their own in their own space. Didn't work. Tore it down and started again. Reverted back to classrooms and it is going well. Built glass walls so maintained some transparency, HUGE hallways, student art, murals. Moral: whatever school you build won't work.

What does work in good design? Good space planning for community. Daily get-togethers by grade level. Kids take big leadership roles. Games, team and community building, based on responsive classrooms.

Chairs - pilates balls aka Swiss balls
Teacher designed standing desk

Family / Community
Scotland - abolished Education Dept, merged with Health & Family Services. One organization serves the entire family, and education is a sub-set of family services.
MET School, Providence RI - poverty stricken area, high test scores, school every other day, because they are in the community working. Campus divided by roads, so community drives through the campus. Campus not cut off from community. Embedded in school are offices for health and human services to encourage families to incorporate into their life.

Big Picture Company - Architect / educational consultant that also supports school for future years. "Transforming education - one student at a time." Architect understands curriculum.

Merging family service - put public library in school (!) - don't like this idea. Pedophiles and oddballs would love this idea. Different missions.

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Knowledge in the Age of the Internet

Raw Notes
Friday Keynote

Dr. David Weinberger, Knowledge in the Age of the Internet
Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University
Joho the Blog
Twitter: dweinberger

We are beyond the Information Age and entered the Age of Internet/Connection/Differences characterized by the differences between us and our children. Nature of knowledge has changed.

What knowledge in the West has been: Ancient Greece to present > one knowledge is the same for everyone > simple, beyond the confusion of the world > universal truths, extract personal > scarce, many voices in the marketplace, many voices, a few voices worth of belief > settled, once you know it you can move on > ordered and orderly, single correct order > knowledge has been transgenerational thing based on ordered truth, correct way, stable, same for everyone. This is also a description of libraries because books have been the medium for the storage of knowledge. Has knowledge been limited because of the limitations of books/the medium?

Problem - our knowledge storage is limited by what we can store in our brain. System of authorities (paper) credentialling function: diplomas, editors > good process when there is too much to know. Gives us a stopping point for our inquiry and defer to the authority on the subject. Opposite of transparency, and settle for opacity (?) which is a hack of the lousy paper system. Paper sucks as a means of knowledge - footnotes and bibs required for acquiring deeper knowledge.

Age of hyperlinks: new type of punctuation that links you to the next thing. Network becomes a rich system of differences.

Remove paper and you get the Age of Abundance - great stuff and "crap of every sort" (his word, not mine). We handle "crap" better than the good stuff. Institutions are premised on the idea that there is a small amount of good stuff that they will find and manage for us, but this is no longer true. Now there is no longer a single correct answer but many answers, some better than the other.Wolfram|Alpa referenced.

Usually but not always "good enough is good enough." s educators our job is guide student toward when knowing when perfection and rightness are the correct response/goal.

TOPIC: Philosophy
Britannica - 180,000 words
Wikipedia - 9,000 words + millions of links
Apples to apples word count doesn't work. Totally different straegy to each topic. No longer apples to apples, we have a new entity. Topics don' start and end, but that is how paper works. Hyperlink approach is a better expression of topics than print was. Paper is a mis-conception of how topics work.

Change in the nature of topics/knowledge/expertise.
Hedghog and the Fox - Isaiaha Berlin - story a popular reference for learning today.
The network / internet becomes more expert with use, as it grows from learning communities.

Flickr Library of Congress - utilized social network to get WWII photos tagged. Tagging allows access to these perviously "unfindable" photos. Comments - boxes are discussions on aspects of photos, and proof that humans will argue over anything OR engage in conversation of anything ;) The NETWORK and SOCIALIZING of KNOWLEDGE ois where expertise is emerging.

The smartest person in the room is the room. How do we build smart community/better rooms?

Transparent data - can get past old system of authority. Links are invitations to continue. (Wikipedia - show Talk page in lessons - debate and decisions behind the article.)

Meta-data incredibly important. Drowning in tsunami of information was the fear. In fact, we are managing pretty well and information is continuing to grow via management from meta-data. Meta-data is changing is important ways.
  • search a piece of meta-data (ex. author name) and get back a book
  • refine seach data and get back everything and topic
  • meta-data is key to the world of the topic
  • meta-data is the thing you know to get data , which is what you don't know.
  • meta-data is the tool to pry up the information for what you need/data
  • meta-data age is now for everyone
  • knowledge now has its own ecology - not peer reviewed, but collection of all submitted scientific data. PASS THIS ALONG TO SCIENCE DEPT! Don't have to wait 2 years to appear in professional journal.
We are fallible. Wikipedia is non-credentialled, but is highly credible in many areas. Britiannica is a credentialled system so we can rely n it. Where does wikipedia get its credibility? Meta-data notices list how it can go wrong, and encourages reader to contribute comments/judgements. This increases the credibility because it doesn't try to impress you with its authority, but works to give you valuable data. Fallibility is acknowledged and encourages the contribution of different opinions. Differences.

Networks and Difference (fallible) - uncomfortable for institutions (authority)

The web is fundamentally different because it reflects our fundamental moral and intellectual self. However - there are (of course) drawbacks. Division between people can be reinforced on the web and breaks down the hopefullness of the web. Big discussion not pursued. Started with Jefferson/Hamilton. Lost the thread. Summary: the web is diverse and a pretty good place, but it doesn't matter.

Educating for Difference
  • media literacy - why limit number of internet sources you can use in an assignment?? Teach kids how to use web effectively. EVALUATION!
  • meta-literacy (meta-data around information)
  • engagement with information - learning is social, be OK with this
  • public learning
  • constructive learning - leave a place better than you found it, build stuff, share, do something with your learning
  • model ignorance
  • reward civil disagreement
The main thing the web is teaching our children:
  • the world is far more interesting then they were ever told

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Developing Digital Learning Spaces from Vision to Reality

Session #8
Raw Notes

David Jakes, Developing Digital Learning Spaces from Vision to Reality
(slide deck and resources available from this link)

Educause eBook - book resource w/ pdf chapters on online spaces

Poptropica - 26 million kids are registered on this virtual world website. Mostly used by 14 year olds.
Online activities - friendship and interest based. We need educational intervention with their online activities so they can transfer their skills to academic and professional tasks. What happens when networked kids come into the classroom - is there a disconnect when they hit the classroom?

kZero - online data/consultancy: K Zero is a virtual worlds consultancy. "We are specialists in connecting real worlds brands and companies with the residents and environments of virtual worlds. Since 2006 we have been examining and assessing the drivers affecting virtual world adoption and the marketing opportunities presented by the metaverse." Growth of virtual worlds for kids is staggering and we have to adapt. Toy manufacturers recognize the value and extend toys to virtual worlds, targeting kids. They are tapping into it, so should education. GREAT DATA with graphical representation!
PEW Report online use data - social network websites

How can we utilize informal learning opportunities in non-classroom spaces? Can we empower informal learning opportunities like Stanford iTunes courses (ex. programming call pone apps). Enlarge the boundaries of what learning can be.

Core components to a multi-dimensional learning space? Systemic approach based on suite of tools that support digital learning.
  • teacher space
  • student space - content should travel w/ and belong to student
  • knowledge commons (library) - peer tutoring area, adult reading support specialists, professional development area w/ cafe, social bookmarking (teach tags). Supports teacher and student spaces.
Critical stakeholders
  • need equitable access to 21st century skills / sets of experiences for every student
  • parents
  • support staff - ask their opinions about learning
  • teachers
Technology & Literacy Goals
  • articulate these Jake's docs link including by disciplines!
New Literacies - new context of old literacies: read, write, communicate, listen, speak
Different from skills, but need to develop new skills to achieve evolved literacies.

Fluency - Closing the Fluency Gap, Mitch Resnick
Beyond literacy is fluency. Ex. digital reading is different from paper reading - new skills needed to gain fluency.

The Internet (Web 2.0) is "acontext in which to read, write and communicate?" Leu
VAlues" research, collaborate, create, network, present
assign core platforms for each value
  • research: RSS feed, delicious, Google, wikipedia
  • collaborate: wikis, google docs, moodle
  • create: blog, drupal, film, podcasting
  • network: Twitter, Skype, FB IM email
  • present: uStream, Flickr, iTunes, Voicethread

  • knowledge commons
  • students learning space - Google apps / student blog - students can take their accounts with them after graduation. Blogfolio
  • physical learning space
  • course learning space
  • Google apps integrated w/ Moodle - ths is a great idea. Seamless integration of teacher and student space.

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David Kirkpatrick - A World Without Story

Thursday Afternoon Special Guest Keynote David Kirkpatrick
Plymouth Rock Studios - breaking ground 10-09

Raw notes

We relate to the combination of sound, music, and movement in an almost mystical way.

Homer, Shakespeare, Spielberg - hierarchical storytelling
Spielberg's next novel Lincoln, based on Kearns Goodwins' Team of Rivals.

What is mass media/TV goes away? What will the business model look like?
Sound stages needed to "protect the story" during production.

Last 100 years people driven together by story.

Mass Media & Pop Culture L
Last 100 years of sound and motion. Majesty of anarchy, commonality, adds to our definition of who we are.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Creative Destruction - nature of economics in America.
agricultural > industrialization > information > flat world
"The end of the affair." - Wall St. Journal - end of the car. All old platform we grew up on are disappearing. TV networks, music distribution, etc. One solid entry, the screen, broadcast is now narrow-cast, to bring the networks down. Redefining pop culture hits- the hit has changed. Erosion of mass media in exchange for participatory culture. Social media is a new level of participatory media culture.
Watching online culture grow PEW reports exponential growth. Broadband the same.
64% of online teens are content creators.

Movies coming from new mediums - books, cartoons, toys. Ultimate re-mix. Shows level of popular acceptance. Hollywood no longer manufactures original dreams but reconstitutes popular choices. Story is vibrating across multiple platforms, but nobody has figured out how to bring them all together. Hierarchy of mass media has changed. People on web are influencing storytelling. Participatory culture a co-team in creative process, no longer slapped away but encouraged to be involved in crafting story.

Smaller niches, needs to get out into the space, no longer just through the regular screens. Kids today see brand, not product. Creative expression is the key to success. Ex. Coke is now an entertainment company, not just beverage. brand i red & white. What if kids of future see things differently? What if kids see red and "see" Coke brand instead?
Decreasing attention span of the human 1970 - 125,000 / 2006 - 9,000,000

Is Google Making Us Stupid? (Atlantic Monthly July/Aug 2008) It is our search response. People are no longer reading deeply. 75% of college grads will never finish another book after graduating. Are we losing ability to read deeply?

Immersive experience. Old way of movie viewing will become interactive, showplace because of availability of large screens in homes less need to go out for movie. Production increasingly geared toward young audiences because they are the only ones going out to movie theaters.

Cloud Storage - ownership not required, just access. No longer ownership culture moving toward access culture.

Open Loop Creativity - not hierarchical. Big studios not nimble enough to respond to quick market changes.

Artist - it is us. Collaborative.
Renaissance 2.0 - new age of creativity.

Availaility of creative resources is crusial for children.
Where have all our muses gone? (Wall St. Journal, 5/09) They are our students.
Harris Poll - America's Favorite Books 2008
The hierarchical storyteller is us.

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Alan November - Managing the Transition

Session #7 - Alan November
Leadership: Managing the Transition

Raw Notes
Age of the Smart Machine, by Shoshanna Zuboff (1989) - study on technology and the return on investment, very poor in education. Technology has not increased productivity in schools or improved test scores.

  • Automating research shows incremental improvement with no real increase in productivity. Critical thinking on decline because of distraction of technology. Zuboff would make this case. Train teachers to understand assessment, and design of assignments. Stop training which button to push.
  • "Informating" - 3 things:
  1. Give people access toinfo they havent had before. Info is life blood of solving problems.
  2. New ways of people working together - more powerful than giving indivuduals tools. The power is the network not individual.
  3. Depends on first 2. Empower people to take more responsibility for quality of their own work. The ultimate organizational goal is that everyone feels responsible for quality. Culture of schools based on teachers owning the learning. The longer you stay in school the more dependent on teacher managing learning for you, and you lose self direction, self initiation.
The systems that manage the organization needs to change. Ex. role of teacher - classes limited by children learning what the teacher already knows. Teacher evaluation - industrial model looks at ability to control behavior and manage classroom. What if teacher is asked to leave room and students given a problem they should have learned, and evaluate capacity of students to initiate and perform independently. Zuboff's research says systems/processes need to be changed in order to use technology effectively. This is classroom level, the closed loop. Open the loop and break the capacity to stay the same.

Family - schools aren't designed to help but keep family out of school. UK much more concerned with all-family services (and are now one system in Scotland). How do we help parent's get info they never had. Ex. Skype parents in and watch a student during a classroom presentation.

Automation means you are not shfting the locus on control. It does shift when you informate. This is a lever to get better quality. Ex. Japanese tolets gives them access to their own medical analysis - raw data. They can take more ownershp of their own body because they have better data. In education kids will have access to more info than we can control. How much are we automating and how much are we informating at CCHS?

Key leadership point - make sure technology is aligned to curriculum. Give students new role - redefining job description is a system change. Pioneering educators give students new jobs and are more in charge of their own learning.


Suggestion Google Custom Search to engage parents and open loop. DO THIS FOR CCHS LIBRARY! Builds capacity in the home to support learning. This is where we need to pay attention. Invite faculty to same search engine and add all favorite websites. Right now teacher websites look like individual classrooms. Need collective wisdom to be available to all students at all times. Ex. post all vocab for all grades for all students for instant feedback via free online sites - this is a shift of control. When you build one search engine everyone needs to be in the same room. Do this by department/content area. Custom search generates unique URL, invite (99 limit)> collaboration > email to contribute BEST resources to search engine. Harness team to work well together. Embed code as widget > get the code > insert in textbox / html box.

Cloud Computing - tools, content all moving toward web, end of hard drive. Business demands this because collaboration is more powerful than individual word processors. Collaboraton is the power. Microsoft betting the company on this. New Office will be collaborative. NOW is the time to teach students collaboration.
GoogleDocs - example of cloud computing. Try this with Chairs. Also create Ning.

High Tech High - students own learning, highest minority test scores in USA. At start of school kids asked to tell teachers how to teach 10 most difficult concepts.

Sub-Committee on Globalizing Curriculum - Students need to learn to play nicely with the world. "general gage" "american revolution" universities in UK for results, get UK perspective. Find out how UK teachers teach American Revolution.
Way Back Machine to find dead URLs
Use internation domains for searching

Get to Informate - organizations fight this shift in control because they want to survive they way they are.
Teach children to work with people around the world, teaching them collaboration, the number 1 global skill. Every classroom a global communication center.
Change job description of kids to become responsible for own learning, custom search engine and collabortaive platforms are examples.

Teacher Observations: family involvement and engagement with new technologies, teacher evaluation in class with students and teacher out of the room

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Diigo - This looks awesome!

Raw notes
Session 6A - Diigo
Backchannel -
Dr. Wade Ren, Chairman and Founder of Diigo

Diigo tutorials
Educator's Overview of Diigo
YouTube - Diigo Social Bookmarking
Importing tags bookmarks to Diigo tutorial
Diigo Help Center

Pressing need for change in education, and change is more readily available than ever before. Sneak peek at Diigo 4.0 release in 2 weeks.
  • designed for knowledge workers, suprised at educator enthusiasmideally suited for 21st century learning (Diigo in education: active/collaborative reading and research)
  • follow on session Thurs 4:30-5:30 Charles River Room/ Fri 11:30 - 12:30 Beacon Hill (building learning communities with Diigo)
Lots of recommendations from educational organizations including ALA. Good educator comments. Creates a personal workflow. Turns reading and research into social activity for students.

Diigo is about:
  • Research
  • Share
  • Collaborate
Good as personal tool, but rich social aspect. Knowledge sharing community.
  • collect
  • process
  • organize
  • evaluate
  • present
  • bookmarks
  • highlight and sticky note
Diigo bookmarks - not your good old bookmarks
Using Diigo toolbar click bookmark w/ privacy settings, description, tags, snashot, twitter, add to a list. Bookmark goes to "my library" and is searchable by tags, easily organized by rich tagging functionalities. Tag searching has auto-suggest to make searching quick. Also shows related tags. Tagged items also have RSS output so you can subscribe to someone's book mark tags. Follow leaders in the field. Archives and takes snapshot of page so if URL goes bad you still have that page snapshot.You can upload pages from proprietary sources. Can search by snapshot.

My Lists - private or public for collaboration. Can Twitter lists too.
Dragging/dropping generates links into clean report.
Can play as slide show called webslides > plays webpages as slideshow. slideshow can include sticky notes.

Highlight & Sticky Notes
  • highlight pen for text and images. They go to My Library .
  • Sticky note #1 attached to highlight. Note can be private or public, group specific notes
  • Sticky note#2 floating reminders (ex. password info)
  • sharing annotated link - gives url so anyone can open page with your axact annotattion. Don't need Diigo add ons. Receiver can sign in and add annotations, or url can be Twittered or emailed to unlimited audience.
Overview of capabilities:
  • Active reading
  • organize, archive and search
  • share, report, present
  • anywhere
  • iPhone app coming
Sharing - as in networked sharing/learning, building learning communities and building personal learning network - social networking
My Library > Popular > popular resources on your chosen topic. Quick path to top resources, more efficient than Google, tells you who the people are who are bookmarking this topic so you can identify gurus in this field and then follow them via RSS, as well as groups that are interested in your topic. Valenza mentioned library groups to join. You can invite people to join/create a discussion on your topic. COOL.

Building Personal Learning Network w/ Diigo 4.0
  • find people creating great stuff and follow. Richer info than Twitter, no text limit. Create threaded discussion.
Collaboration > Bookmarks > Topics
  • collaborate reading & research
  • group knowledge repository
Bookmark & Topic functions
Bookmark all group links w/ highlights and sticky notes for group use. Intentonal sharing, less intrusive than emailing links. Could be used as background knowledge for team. Group can comment, use or archive. Manages collected research effort of the group.

Group specific sticky notes for threaded discussion.

Diigo Educator Accounts
Once approved as educator you can create student accounts without student emails. Can upload roster list.
No profiles for students under 13. Only education related ads. Hoping to create dedicated school environment on Diigo. Seeking feedback.

Diigo in Education
Active Reading
  • personal tool
  • teacher-led q & a
  • discussion using sticky notes
Tools for teachers
  • comment on original work
  • critique student writing
  • web quests
  • project-based
  • class-based

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Web 2.0 Meets Information Fluency: Designing Projects for the 21st Century Learner

Raw notes - Session 5
Dr. Joyce Valenza -
Web 2.0 Meets Information Fluency: Designing Projects for the 21st Century Learner

Can you make all your students as wonderful as your iPhone? What apps would you want for your students?
  • Bump - 2 iPhone users bump iPhones, establishing a link to exchange email, phone, photo, address info. VERY COOL! This is a 2 way app.
  • Coupon Sherpa - coupon barcode shows up and you get savings!
  • Amazon Kindle will go on iPhone. Never be without your book - keeps bookmarks and brings you to your page.
Student as Tabula rasa - what do we want them to have? What apps are already embedded?
  • tech operations and concepts - kind of pre-loaded
Big apps = standards
Litle apps = support standards

Esstential apps for info fluent learner:

Ethical Citizenship
  • Ethical citizen, digital citizenship - safety that' (K-8) - show this to Karen! Little video lessons on online safety, very clever and well made. Prescreen these, some are a little controversial. Show to guidance counselors. Digital footprints (good for HS juniors starting college search process) - showed bulletin board PSA ad. Pipl - good site that pulls deep web for people search. Tells people everything you have done online. Look at ourselves carefully. Also good 123People
  • Copyright: Code of Best Practices for Far Use in Media Literacy Education (released November 2009). Download doc for in-services. Tool for supporting fair use reasoning. You can use copyrighted material without asking permission, doesn't mater how much or where you put it as long as you add purpose, and context and add value. Old guidelines looked at floor of what you can do, not ceiling. Rights of user, not creator. Categories: satire, commentary, quoting illustration or example, incidental use. Blossoming amateur culture re-mixing. Fair use is a rigt rooted in the First Amendment. No school has been violated for fair use if decision was reasoned. TeachCopyright.Org - good video "Fair(y) Use" . Guide students toward Creative Commons material. Valenza Copyright. Compfight.
  • Academic Honesty - tools for detection but inspiring good projects and creativity should come first. Free: PlagiarismDetect,
  • Respect for intellectual property: BibMe (free), NoodleTools
Research & Information Fluency
  • Research & Information Fluency - connected to critical thinking. Facebook to make college selections. FB research skills can carry over. GIGO - garbage in, garbage out, works for research. Preview links for research and evaluate based on URL information. Thums test for lesson - site thums up, down, or in the middle. Identifying different sources ScholarlyvPopularvTradevPrimary sources. TAKE A LOOK AT THIS! Major research have each student create a wiki look at SlideShare for example.
  • Triangulation - truth is fuzzy depending on where you place your lens. What do we believe and who do we believe. YouTube first stop for students in learning - why get in the way of this first stop in learning? ToolsforSearch - Valenza.
  • Valenza Streaming video search enhine.
  • - disambiguating vocabulary and related subject terms, semantic searching - gets good review.
  • Database widgets: EBSCO Searchbox Builder, Gale Widgets, JSTOR, ProQuest - students using from home can put the code in once, click remember, and they won't have to enter access code again. Pageflakes can also push info, add widgets, RSS feeds > anything flake under flake symbol. TRY THIS FOR 3 CUPS INFO! Find teacher to partner with this for research project. Creation of information portals - model this and students will be empowered to do this for themselves. Decide between iGoogle and Pageflakes.
  • Google NewsTimeline - pulls mostly from Wikipedia and Time mag but useful for building context.
  • Google Squared also good for building context. Type in category and it builds matrix around category.
  • Google WonderWheel - da' bomb! Visual travel between related topics to see relationship between idea. More useful than vertical result list for students - good control in this search.
  • Wolfram|Alpha - computational search engine. Doesn't give docs. Students need to learn which search tool will serve their informational needs.
  • RSS feeds for search, put feed into iGoogle page. Pushes new info to students.
Creativity and Innovation - need to write before students produce. Motivated to write!
  • Students re-mix classics to share with others - looks great!
  • VoiceThread
  • Animoto
  • Cartoon generators
  • xtranormal
  • Primary access - pulls on major protals for promary source materials
  • Glogster
  • Digitales - how to make a solid digital story
  • Alternatives to written responses - vsualize with image and written statement, create galleries, and archive them.
Communication & Collaboration
  • Google docs
  • - scheduling
  • K-12 eliminate ppt design templates - only blank slides. forces creativity.
  • The ColdWar in a minute or less - video - POWERFUL example of synthesizing a BIG topic! Writing and production plan came first. Way more effective than an essay which would have been for teachers yes only.
Passion - We can build it! Can we bump with our students and contribute to our own learning?
  • new apps can contribute to student passion for learning.
Parent letter on new tools

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BLC 09 Day Two Key Note

Raw notes
Stephen Heppell
Beyond the Great Crash: Why Learning Should Never be the Same Again

Post-Google generation - email is obsolete
Social networking, IM preferred
Principal search engine YouTube - see "the stuff"
21st century - new pace graph > linear axis price, power, opportunity / linear axis > years - we are on exponential curve

Old Staircase decision pace: pilot, iterate, reflect, legislate, review
New pace based on mutuality

TrackStick tool for GPS tracking used with Google maps to teach math. Effective with Aspergers Spectrum students.

Towns: Market, St., Commercial St., High St. - shops collapsing. What is next for our town centers? Community dynamics are changing.

  • UK Brain training on Ninetendo DS - performance gone up. "It's cool to be brainy here."
  • Singapore - eduQuest for science experiments
  • Australia - students sitting in on undergraduate classes, closing staffrooms because everyone is a learner, don't segregate, mix with your students.
  • Denmark - shoeless schools. Ask kids, see what they say.
  • New Zealand - school designed for 5 year life span becaise they didn't know what the school of the future would look like.
  • East London - students do formal lesson observations, watching teachers teach and giving feedback. Initiative is called "making learning better." Generates engagement, creates "us-ness." Students attend staff meetings.
  • Leasowes School - 1 month timetable. One class for a month. Better results through immersion.
  • Praisepod - students who have done something special get slip to record their own excellence, videotaped, manned by peers, DVDs sent home. Changed school culture radically.
  • Hellerup School, Denmark - stairways are lecture spaces. New ideas for lecture space to make it more intimate.
Teaching methods as perceived by students:
  1. copying from book or board
  2. listening to teacher
Want to:
  1. work in groups
  2. learn parctical things
  3. work with friends
Students say literate teachers should be able to:
  • upload a video to Youtube and comment on one ther
  • Wikipaedia entry
  • choose safe payment sites
  • subscribe to podcast
  • use predictive text
New educational approaches - new vocabulary based on portfolio of metrics, community, evidence outcomes, personalisation. Student ingenuity, surprise, collegiate, engaged, inspired. Technology is allowing us to do this. Agile space, open ended time, open ended age, multi-disciplinary, project focus, learning spaces everywhere.

Bank Crisis (UK)
  • pursued short term goals
  • continued to do what they knew was wrong
  • mistook scale for effective
  • became distant from customers
  • failed to get cheaper despite technology
  • collapsed
Kenya banking done through mobile phones, transforming power relationship. Revolutionising banking in country where 80% of people were excluded.
technology + people = death of cartels Only ingenuity and value save you. UK community created "Bank of Essex".
Education industry is a form of cartel. Technology is eroding traditional schools from under our feet.

"Good parenting trumps psycho-pharmacology."
Mumology - curriculum supporting new Mums, repopulating rural communities be giving young mothers the support they need to remain in their community. Technology s transforming at-rsik communities.

National curriculum ludicrous in global society. Technology is allowing us to reach out across countries in new ways and capture best practice and good learning, as well as good people. Students need to be noticed for their learning, and valued worldwide.

20th century = global conflict
21st century = global learning - this is possible. We have the opportunity to change the world in this lifetime through education.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Research 2.0 - Smack Down

Raw notes
Session #3
Dr. Joyce Valenza - Research 2.0
What does research look like in this new universe?
  • YoLink - FREE browser plug-in for digging deep into links and ebooks. Goes in every link highlighting keywords. Enables you to dig deep into Google results. Using for ebooks, can search keywords. Collaborative save & share function. Partnered with EasyBib. Can share links and folders vie FB and many other social networks. Secondary search tool for databases. Crosses over to NAtional Archives. Browser based can use it anywhere. Company based in Concord!! District-wide deployments!! Get Kathy
  • Google Custom Search Engine - can pre-search as a beginning pathfinder referencing digital information and embed search into wiki. Can send link to teacher, update, very dynamic and collaborative. Can add to Google homepage.
  • Valenza's NewTools Wiki - pay attention to parent letter at bottom of page. LOTS of useful links.
  • Valenza's Revised Docs Supporting Intellectual Freedom for Young People
  • Valenza's Polling Tools
  • Diigo 4.o - bookmarking, higlighting, sticky notes. Relies on Diigo toolbar. Diigo Groups - follow bookmarks. Can be emailed or shows up on Diigo page. Helps w/ Activ reading process. Can create research notebook. PLAY WITH THIS LATER! Maybe for Jessica Murphy's workshop? Try to find teacher-librarian group. Look up joycevalenza. New version presented tomorrow (Thursday) 11:30. Free educator account. Works with PDfs.
  • Valenza's Copyright Friendly Resources Look at FlickrStorm - creates tray with tons of images with creative commons license and get URL for tray. FlickrccBlueMountain, Compfight - great images.
  • Creative
  • Google Timeline
  • TimeSpace - current event
  • Valenza's Search Tools - OMG! The Holy Grail of search tools!

Digital Footprint - Student Awareness
Pipl - comprehensive semantic people search on the web searching the deep web. Students need to be aware of their digital footprint.
123 People

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Teaching, Learning and Assessing 21st Century Skills - Bob Pearlman

Raw notes
Bob Pearlman - Teaching, Learning and Assessing 21st Century Skills

conference slides:

New Technology Foundation "New Tech's mission is to re-invent teaching and learning for the 21 st Century by offering a proven model and a fully integrated suite of tools designed to facilitate the creation and management of a relevant and engaging 21st Century education."

Partnership for 21st Century Skills - updated competencies 2002-2003
  • Learning & Innovation (many sub-categories)
  • Life & Career (many sub-categories)
  • Information & Technology (many sub-categories)
How do you teach and then assess these skills?

Project-Based Learning (PBL), teams, inter-disciplinary all provide opportunities for these skills and outcomes.
Examples from 10th gr English/Social Studies classroom: Video - Teaching the Adolescent Brain
Many examples given: company commissioned by NASA to develop games to play on the moon. The project drives the curriculum and a need to know with external audience.

PBL Plan Assessment
  • final product (not good)
  • sub-assignments (scaffolding): many types and all provide opportunities for assessment
  • process documents (keep everyone on track and accountable): contract who does what, when, "followship", online learning platform for collaboration
  • develop assessment rubrics so kids know how they will be graded, how they can do better. Builds habit of self-direction and motivation.
Sacramento 10 Learning Outcomes
  1. content proficient
  2. able to write proficiently
  3. orally proficient
  4. critical thinking
  5. tech proficient
  6. abe to collaborate
  7. prepared fr career
  8. solid ethical citizenship
  9. analyze and deal with data
  10. processing a solid work ethic
8 Napa Learning Outcomes
  1. tech literacy
  2. collaboration
  3. critical thinking
  4. oral skills
  5. written
  6. career prepared
  7. numeracy
  8. ? missed it ?
How do students stay on task and develop self-direction?
Every project has an online platform w/ calendar, docs, rubrics - the whole thing.
How do you judge collaboration? Peer assessment using online rubric.

Oral communication - students need many, many opportunities. Bring in outside groups for authentic audience experience and assessment feedback.

Collective outcomes - common outcomes/grading across courses.
Digital portfolios required to show mastery of learning outcomes.

YouTube Video: What is New Manor Tech

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Partnering with Your Digital Native Students - Marc Prensky

Session #2 - Marc Prensky - Partnering with Your Digital Native Students

Three threads:
  1. changing students
  2. Differentiated student-centered teacher coached instruction
  3. Rapidly changing technology
Who are today's students?
  • Shaped by environment - which is accelerating change.
  • Already live with radical change across our lives. This can be threatening/scary. This fear can lead to protect what we know and value.
  • current students will see rapid expansion of technology in their lives. Sci-fi.
  • new tools coming at us quickly - come and go quickly. Need to be nimble to keep up.
  • kids not like us anymore
Role of teacher
  • prepare kids for a future we don't know.
  • adaptable/changing teaching styles to hold interest
Digital Immigrants - slow task oriented pace. Foot in the past. Proprietary, doesn't share easily. Believes "real" is only face-to-face ("look-ism"). Our way is the right/only way.
Teach by delivering content, linear
Digital Natives - "twitch" (thumb) speed, play/game oriented, parallel processing, connected, graphics, digital. Don't have knowledge, capabilities - have "no-fear attitude." Looks at new things as positive. Still need to be taught.
Kid learn by engagement, gaming random access

"It's not attention deficit - I'm just not listening!"
"Engage me or enrage me." EOE

Engagement is changing.
10 things students want:
  1. respect, opinions valued and count
  2. follow interest passion
  3. create
  4. do NOT want to be lectured
  5. work with peers group work/projects
  6. express/share opinions
  7. make decisions, share control
  8. connect with peers in class and around the world
  9. cooperate and compete with each other
  10. education that is not just relevant but REAL
"Learning and engagement comes from passion and not discipline." - Nicholas Negroponte

Examples of Engagement & Competition:
FIRST Robotics - big robotics competition, great program.
Dimension M - math competition, kids screaming for MATH!

Nouns = Tools (these tools change so we can't become attached to any one tool)
Verbs = Skills (stay the same: presenting, communicating, learning, etc.)
Students need most up to date nouns/tools to build skills they will need in early 21st century. A birthright.

Do digital tools lead automatically to learning - no. That's where teachers come it and are important. Needs to be well -ntegrated into learning process.

How should we teach? Consensus on the goal emerging.
Old way - taught from front of room.
New way - teach themselves with teachers as coaches/guides = partnering, Problem-Based Learning - lots of terms that mean the same thing.
Immigrants and Natives need to partner in a new way.

Role of Teacher
Transition from Lecturer/Ruler to Coach/Partneranalogy: farming. Plants grow themselves, farmers provide the right conditions the plants need. "Cultivation". Where are you on continuum? Motivate and support those who haven't started moving.
"My teachers just talk and talk and talk."
Teachers need to prepare for exams, but also for unkown future, passions, problems of the future, new forms of information.

Role of Technology
To support new partnering pedagogy of kids teaching themselves with teacher guidance. Until we transition technology will get in the way. Must change how teachers teach.

Step 1: Change to the Partnering Pedagogy

How do I partner with my students? Share the work. Let kids do what they do well, and let teachers do what they do well: asking questions, quality, rigor, context, evaluate for quality and context

5 Keys for Partnering
  1. Think "people" and "partners" not classes.
  2. Remember "the givens" Provide guiding questions, foucus on verbs, use appropriate nouns, let kids use technology.
  3. Let students create.
  4. Always be REAL (not just relevant) by connecting to student passions. Allows us to answer question "Why do I have to learn this?"
  5. Keep getting better. Keep iterating.
How should teachers use tech tools? They shouldn't waste time learning to create with new tools. Let the students do it. Don't try to keep up with new technology, let the kids use the technology and get up in the front of the room. "Video is the new text." Let kids make video, it is how they are learning. Evaluate kids with their tools, like cell phones - open phone tests!
Change is scary and many teachers are scared of change and loss of control.
Feel the fear and do it anyway = Courage. ENCOURAGE colleagues to change.
School = Credentials
After School = Real learning for kids
Dark side of school = keeping kids in school so their parents can work

Engage with students about their learning and listen to what they say.

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Interacting with the 21st Century Learner

Raw notes

Session #1
- Dr. Joyce Valenza
School Library Websites: Interacting with the 21st Century Learner - What Does Effective Practice Look Like Now

What is the next iteration of school libraries? Vision for the future of libraries. Libraries were places where you "get stuff" like a grocery store. Now it is more of a kitchen when there is loves, community, belonging. Transformational rather than transactional.

Make, taste, smell, collaborate, create, invent, make a big mess when called for, share. Library as a bowl, pots and pans. Our collection are tools that allow learners to make and do stuff, and students contribute what they make to the collection. LIBRATORY -active place.

Infinite possibilities. Web 2.0 = IF (Intellectual Freedom) unblock the things our learners need to learn. Our mission in upcoming years. This is our job. *CCHS does not face this challenge.

Reading 2.0 - Anita Beaman & Amy Oberts - wiki on reading in the 2.0 world - suggestions/ideas
  • digital photo frames with reading lists (or ActivBoard)
  • advertise books on screen savers
  • stickies with author websites/blogs/music playlist from authors - stick them into best books
  • Buffy Hamilton - The Unquiet Library
  • de.lici.ous bookmarks to expand opportunity for understanding required reading (like 3 Cups of tea - Sharia law, education in Afghanistan)
  • Let kids create posters to get students to return books
  • How would kids advertise "One School One Book"? Students develop READ campaign.
  • International Children's Digital Library
  • Valenza's book page
  • Google Books - create a booklist for library with classics available online. Embedable. Hundred of out-of-copyright boos. Can link and dput on iPhones.
  • Can embed book widget (Random House - updated website) GRAB CODE and embed
  • READ poster - 4 free from ALA w/ mage generator
  • eBook search - free federated searcg ebook widget
  • create book widgets for titles regularly used in booktalks
  • Glogs for book reviews/booktalks. Bring in book trailers with widgets for video/media. Good for student projects - develop design skills that can be shared. Can grab entire thing as a widget and embed the whole glog.
  • PaperbackSwap - free swap, good for reading list books - use temproary cataloging so you can swap put your old books. Bargain hunting - use swap books that are hanging around.
  • GoogleDocs surveys for material selection form and embed in various location. Lots of pretty templates.
  • Ning - One School One Book - include trailers, music, kids can produce promotional material including student related productions. READ carpet event at local movie theater?
  • Skype an Author - free or low cost author visits. Record and share. Lots of authors are happy to do this. Quick conversations.
Research 2.0
  • Consortia pulling together great speakers. (Ex 3 Cups - Afghanistan women's rights speaker - use back channel for group Skype style presentations.)
  • Pathfinders - como of wikis and flakes. Widgets like crazy from EBSCO, Gale, JSTOR FB widget, RSS feeds into pathfinders
  • Librarians for the world.
  • Valenza LitCrit wiki
  • Grab YouTube Video channel widget. Changes whenever new video is added. News politics on current events pathfinder/wiki.
  • Valenza's Assorted Widgets - Get database widgets here!
  • Build personal information portal. iGoogle create tabs with links and RSS feeds to help you in each subject. Create an info portal to help you. Good for teachers AND students. Send tab via email, but better everyone creates their own.
  • Pageflakes - highly recommended for pathfinders. Shop for bookmark flake and add links. Embed widgets - use anything widget to copy/paste other people's widgets. Powerful for building reserch pages. NYTimes widgets!
  • Social tags for pathfinder but can't embed.
  • Jog the Web - [ulles webpages together
Search Tools 2.0
  • Valenza's Tools for Search
  • Boolify - good for intro database search lessons
  • Semester long research - set up the search for them with RSS feed. Whenever something new is created EBSCO will push it to the student.
  • Google Squared - great for building context for searching using semantic search using meta tag. Very cool. Power for terms like "explorers", etc. Meta tags aren't perfect, but great for building context.
  • Google News Timeline
  • Google Show Options - Wonder Wheel vertical search turns it into horizontal search, related searches, timeline
  • WolframAlpha - semantic search, computations, not result list of documents
  • Wikisearches - search wikis for content
  • evaluation
  • accuracy and truth
Code of Best Practics in Fair Use for Media Literacy - IMPORTANT tool for reasoning fair use/practce in use of copyrighted material. More freedom than every. Use needs to add value to original work and repurpose it.
Fair Use songs on YouTube
Users Rights

Creative Commons
Valenza's copyright page

Blabberize - make images talk
Student art and research part of our collections

SlideShare - look for Joyce
ALA Best Web Sites / Tools

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BLC09 - Keynote

Raw notes

Benjamin Zander - Keynote at BLC '09
TED Talk - Benjamin Zander on Music and Passion - WATCH THIS! It is only 20 minutes!
"The Art of Possibility" by B & R Zander - a book of practices

"The new leader is masterful at holding distinction" - ?
Gradual reduction of impulses - need categories of distinction. Education is the opening up of new categories, not just the transfer of information. aka "playing with one buttock."
music pushes player from off two to one buttock!
Happy Birthday
resignation - anger - possibility - which option will you choose? there is always possibility of being the conductor and leading the happy birthday chorus.

Out of the box thinking - comes from the connect the dots game (9 dots)
what assumptions am I making that I don't know that I'm making that give me what I see. What can I invent that will give me something new? We organize things into "boxes" so we can organize our lives. Need to create a new framework when confronted with a problem.

Rhythm of transformation is light - role of leadership is to set the rhythm of change. Remind players of the light rhythm of change, not the heavy rhythm of the status quo.

The next 30 years the most exciting in human history. What kind of world do we want? Constant comparison and measurement between students. Whispers of doubt from "the voice in the head." It talks incessantly and can drown out the music. Need strategies to drown out this voice. This anxiety inhibits greatness.

Strategy - let every student start with an A. Condition is that student writes within first 2 weeks of class a letter dated at end of class, stating who they have become and what they have achieved. Teach the person the describe in their letter. Only teach the A students. This transforms the relationship. "If there is a breakdown in the relationship it because you are not bringing someone an A." If there is a problem with a person, what grade" are you giving them We speak differently to a student not getting an A. It is only when you give an A to someone that you can tell them the truth. The A is the possibility the student can achieve. Is there a gap between student achievement and teacher standards?

11 minutes to love classical music. Chopin Prelude #4 in D minor. Transformation changes you for life. It is bout the journey, and the pleasure of finally getting home. Motivation is forgotten after 2 hours. ALAN NOVEMBER - we need to focus on transformation.

The White Sheet
A small white sheet left on each musician's stand asking what will help them perform better.
"Human beings in the presence of possibility have shining eyes." A conductor's power lies in making others powerful and to awaken possibility in other people. "Who am I being when my students eyes are not shining?" Ask student what will help them perform better.

Key to the Kingdom of Possibility
Rule # 6 - "Don't take yourself so seriously."

Downward spiral (wealth, fame power and the path to attain them) v. Radiating Possibility (where is the treasure? there are no steps - just stand in possibility)
Be open to possibility. The purpose of goals is to make our eyes shine. Make sure the goals are worthy of shining eyes. Not blame, fault, or threat. If people don't so what you want/need them to do, apologize to them for your failure to enroll/involve them.

3 Points to remember:
  • it's all invented
  • stand in possibility
  • rule #6
The leader sees the downward spiral and moves people to radiating possibility.

On waking, remind yourself that you are a contribution. It is a game you can play every day.
Exist in possibility.

Educators carry the sacred flame of possibility to the next generation.

Sing Beethoven's Ninth - in German.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

edubloggercon: the Un-conference Before BLC 09

Today I went to my first Edubloggercon Un-Conference at the Park Plaza Hotel, the day before the Building Learning Communities 09 Conference. My head feels like it is going to explode! Great conference,small, intimate, informal, fast and furious, high level discussions.

Edubloggercon - East Coast 20009
"EduBloggerCon is based on the idea of an "un-conference," and is being organized by the participants in real time on this wiki. Another way to describe this event is as a "collaborative conference," where the conference attendees help to build and create the experience."

edubloggercon - EBCEast-Agenda

Backchannel - Beta testing with this conference. Very cool. Beta version from MIT lab.
Allows participants to log in with either Facebook or Twitter and process the session online, asking questions, tossing ideas around while the main discussion continues.

Twitter Hashtags #EBCE09 #BLC09

Session #1 with Dennis Richards, David Truss, Liz Davis
What works in presentations, what doesn't?
Dave discourages blogs with classes, prefers a platform that encourages engagement that goes on between student and student. Power of wiki is that the power is distributes. Great entry point for people to engage. Teachers should use the tool they plan to use and engage. Each page becomes the student's personal tool box. Access and equity for students to encourage student engagement. Authentic audience. To be transformational teacher must move away from hanging on to power and allow social aspects to exchange of information. Promotes ownership and students want to go there. Homework becomes the by product.
Make staff meetings paperless using a wiki or Google doc. Free up collaborative time. Depends on leadership. Need someone to identify current practices and find skill/tool to be more engaging, collaborative, transformational, efficient. Coaching model most effective because it is hands on. Requires a lot of one-to-one. Lots of tech tools, but where is the implementation? Good presenters tell a story. Transformation changes the learning experience. This is a business model. Students need to experience learning, not just receive content. It is about skills, not mindset. Needs honest discussions. Clint Kennedy - When tech leaders are helping peers in schools we need to be more "bit-torrent" and less "napster".
Clay Shirkey's TED Talk - Institutions versus collaboration.

Session #2 - New Media Reaches All Learners - Facilitated by Karen Janowski, Assistive Technology Consultant
Etherpad Link - Etherpad is synchronous! Discussion logged here. 16 allowed at a time for free version. Check out educator pricing.
Universal Design for Learning - remove all barriers to learning: instructional goals, materials, assessment
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for designing curricula that enable all individuals to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning. UDL provides rich supports for learning and reduces barriers to the curriculum while maintaining high achievement standards for all.

PBS Misunderstood Minds - excellent resource for understanding the experience of students with learning challenges. Good to share with teachers.
Think about how we present what we do in classroom to engage, present, and demonstrate what they know. Remove obstacle to learning traditional methods put in place.
Free text-to-speech toolbar Click Speak - Firefox extension. Follow up on this.
Scaffolding that helps struggling learners helps many additional students to learn and understand. Focusing on the needs of the struggling kids helps your design in lesson plan and assessment. Students need to bring ALL their tools and strategies to assessments. Teachers need to stop throwing up barriers. Design assessment for many contexts and situations where adaptability and resourcefulness will help them gther the tools they eed to show what they know. Our curriculum is the problem.

Free text-to-speech tools

Session #3 - Scratch - Facilitated by Liz Davis
You don't need to know Scratch to teach it. Visual programming language. Kids can connect with how games, animation and online things are created. Takes mystery out of their online experiences. I can see very good applications for classroom assessments. Relies on script building. Add as an option for students. Maybe good for team work to take advantages of multiple intelligences/skills. Nice alternative to Powerpoint projects.
Go to File > Open >Scratch Projects > Examples (on left nav bar) - see multiple projects from websites to see and play with scripts, download scripts to see how they work, re-mix existing Scratch scripts. Creating and re-mixing this open source tool.
Characters are called "sprites", and sprites can broadcast secrets to each other- very cool. Includes coordinates, directions, sequencing, process, problem solving, logic, etc. Provides immediate feedback. It works or it doesn't work.
Scratch - free download and resources. Check support button for tutorials and additional materials like activity cards. Lots to check out for classroom activities.
Learn Scratch - good tutorials. - lots of good stuff on this link.
Scratch is a community where students can find support, feedback, look at other people's programs and learn collaboratively from the community. Kids in control. Easy to import multimedia files of all sorts.
PicoCricket - sensor board that will interact with Scratch, includes temperature sensors. $50.
Mitch Resnick created Scratch. Extension of Logo. MIT has a Scratch Day for students on Saturday. Very interactive and dynamic. Good connecting and networking.
Power of Educational Technology - Scratch - Liz's blog post and Scratch-umentory.
Liz's Scratch Lesson Plan - 6 lessons, 45 min. each.

Session #4 - Making the Most of the BackChannel: Utilizing Conference Backchannels Using Multiple Technologies - Facilitated by Lisa Thumann
How can we use a back channel in our classroom to enrich learning? In small keynotes or classrooms set up backchannel beforehand and encourage people to use it. Extending the conversation beyond direct instruction to keep kids engaged. Make sure you have laptops in the hands of kids before you start. Plan for the backchannel. Also allows presenter/teacher to adapt the presentation to needs of audience and learners. This will not be for everybody.
Pedagogy - need to set up acceptable practices before you start. Clear expecations, classroom norms, buy in, these are being established as we go along in conferences. Engage students by including the technology they ae already using. Also empowers quiet or non-verbal students to participate.

Things to look for in a BackChannel: Clickability, moderation, embeddability, archiving, synchronous communication, accountability.

Twitter, UStream, Chatzy, Skype,, CoverItLive (this looks GOOD - can embed charts, editable, etc high praise for classroom use. Can also embed in wiki!!), TinyChat, Elluminate (free rooms to educators, good for presentations and professional development - chat is the back channel), EdMoto (free, educational version of Twitter but more, gets big plug, easy interface, can share notes and files, can be archived)
EdTechTalk - live streaming with chat
Joyce Valenza: BackChannel and Chat Resources
Joyce Valenza: Twitter and New Tools

Session #5 - Web 2.0 Smackdown - Facilitated by Lisa Thumann
Google doc used for link collection.
  • bubblecomment - allows someone to leave a video comment on any web page. Good for class webpage. You get a new URL with video comment on your original webpage, and they are left on the original page as if you were never there.
  • Google > Show Options - search goes vertical, filling in contextual information with related searches, and the Wonder Wheel is great because it creates a mind map of the Google search. Allows user to drill deeper into the search. Timeline also allows for more meaningful search results. Google Squared a meta-search with graphic organization.
  • - media rich poster, allows you to mash up lots of elements including graphics, video, sounds, music. Called a "glog". Teachers can register up to 200 students. Secure for students. Future iteration will give teachers more power to organize class lists. Walled garden.
  • Firefox Add-On - Fireshot - captures, annotates, organizes, exports screenshots. Free! Capture screen and annotate. No audio.
  • Socrato - Contet library you can browse by state standards to assemble worksheets, etc. Content area by tag cloud, question bank, shopping cart for questions to share. Ex. poetry, grade 10, passages asociated with questions, create test. Students log in for assessment or print out as assignment.
  • Aardvark - utilizing social network for answers. Question is sent out to real people via email or IM, facilitates meeting new people. People tag themselves as experts on various topics. Twist on Cha Cha without the reference skills.
  • Livescribe PulsePen - Adaptive technology. Love this. Digitizes notes and makes them searchable. $187 through Costco online through end of month, w/ 4 notebooks, earbuds, all the stuff. Target, Amazon also stock this.
  • Instructables - How to do just about anything. Explain and teach how you do something. Could be a good alternate assessment.
  • Image Chef - Really cool customized images. LOVE THIS! Embed code, share, huge gallery. FREE! Use this for presentations.
  • Xtranormal - text-to-movie application, good for UDL. Great resource for alternate assessment. Can add movement, animations, camera angles. Intuitive. Show this to Andy Sapp for teaching filming. Good for teaching concepts, building social stories, etc. Lots of potential applications.
  • Stixy - Digital bulletin board, good for reading lists. Drag and drop. Alternate to Glogster, a little more organized. Kind of like post-it notes.
  • YoLink - Sneak peek into links. Download toolbar to search any site and any site it links to. Splits screen and brings back full paragraph results from each link. Keyword highlighted n results. Save and share / social bookmarking feature. Alternative to static Google results, bringing back richer esults. Color coding lets you look for density of color for added support in searching, brings efficiency.
  • WolframAlpha - semantic/computational search engine. Great for mathematics instruction. Homework will now have to be different. Also has country codes - tons of data, maps, satellite images, geograhpic properties, demographics, etc.
August 14th - free ed tech conference - SocialTechEducation

Lisa Thumann's notes with links and Twitter names

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Why you should tweet

This is a terrific article courtesy of ReadWriteWeb:

Evolution of a Revolution: Visualizing Millions of Iran Tweets

During the height of the political protests in Iran it was possible to follow an amazing stream of tweets, and witness history. Twitter was the main conduit for getting news and images out of the country, and for protest coordination within. Iranians outside the borders worked feverishly to unblock government filters to protect Twitter access.

Tracking the "computational history" of the event gives real insight into the evolution of social clusters, and the organic nature of these platforms. Analysis like this provide compelling evidence that digital tools like Twitter are vital for students to use and understand if they are to have a true global understanding. We need to change how we teach to include these new literacies.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Library Barista

Libraries are a lot like coffee shops. People have their favorite places, but how much of that is really about the coffee? It's nice to have a daily routine, drop by, and have the barista already preparing your regular order, greeting you with a smile and a quip, welcoming you as well as setting you up with a good start to the day. Libraries have regulars, too. Good libraries know their regulars, anticipate their needs, and make everyone feel welcome.

The CCHS Library is no different. The morning scrum for library passes often feels like the queue at Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts. Students are a little stressed and focused on the day ahead. Knowing kids by name, knowing what block they will need and pulling it before they ask for it gives them that warm, coffee shop feeling. They are regulars, and we try to send them on their way with a warm feeling and a good start to their day.

So, what prompted this July reflection? I was working in the CCHS Library today, and it was cool, quiet, orderly and simply awful. No buzz, no crowds, no mess, no requests, no drama. I like a busy coffee shop.

Photo credit:
Flickr Creative Commons

Starbucks cup by pixy-dust angel

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