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
udltechtoolkit.wikispaces.com/

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.
scratched.media.mit.edu/discussions - 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.

Resources:
Twitter, UStream, Chatzy, Skype, TodaysMeet.com, 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.
  • edu.Glogster.com - 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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