Saturday, June 30, 2007
What I think is especially interesting about this application are the comments from the fourth person down the left side of that image. He was following the conference from Sydney Australia and he found this and left a comment. Let that idea roll around in your head a moment. Someone from around the world following the conference and being able to participate in it to some extent. I'm sure he was reading blog posts that had been tagged with necc2007 or necc07 or even the specific tags for some sessions he was interested in. We even had people sitting in the edubloggercon sessions who were skyping with others from... who-knows-where... and those folks were able to hear the conversations, too. Those folks could have been around the world, as well. Does that make you shake your head in wonder?
There are many teachers who would have NO IDEA that these sort of capabilities exist. For them the web is still a web page that you find when searching Google. Let's make sure that we help them to see what the web has become and help them to understand what it can now do for their classes.
First - FOLDERS!! I always mention the inability to save files into folders as being a weakness of Google Docs when I show it and ThinkFree together. Now you CAN create folders and save files into them. Excellent!
Then, they've made the invitation to collaborate a lot easier. That, too, was long due. It's very nice, now.
And, they've added keyboard shortcuts! Many of the keyboard shortcuts that work in that Microsoft program now work in here, as well. Wonderful!
Check out the list of the spreadsheet enhancements, and read more about these new features here: http://www.google.com/google-d-s/whatsnew.html
FOLDERS! oh BOY!!
Friday, June 29, 2007
I just have a moment to send this tip. I attended a workshop at NECC that was given by two fellow Pennsylvanians, Joyce Valenza and Ken Rodoff. It was terrific. SO many good ideas to share. Joyce and Ken presented from the above listed wiki, and you would do well to spend some time there. It’s got more good links than a 10 foot gold chain. You can even download their presentation.
Joyce is a librarian, with wonderful resources for both librarians and teachers. She’s steadfast in her insistence that the librarian’s job is even more important today than it was before the web, and her resources show it.
Ken is an English teacher and coach, and he shared some excellent ideas that he used with his English classes.
So, take your wireless-connected laptop out onto the back porch this evening and spend some time browsing and bookmarking their resources for next year. You’ll be glad you did.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The session started with a powerpoint of quotes form students and teachers. Very good. The one I especially liked from a student was something like this, "I like being graded on what I've learned instead of just for showing up for class. It's awful to get graded for just memorizing the seating chart." :-)
- You MUST take a look at the resources and samples they've got in here!
Heart of the change in his school is staff development. They meet for three hours regularly. One third is on learning theory. One third on pedagogy. They also use blogs for teachers to use to discuss issues. A final third on tools like del.icio.us, blogger, etc. VERY successful professional development program.
First change - change the way the class looks. They want to create a professinal learning environment. Change from deaks to tables and chairs on wheels. Changed the posters from fun to inspirational. And, they posted classroom expectations.
The first thing they noticed was engagement - especially in the faculty rooms! They had 6 purposes in blogging, 1) thefischbowl, 2) in depth discussion about government topics, etc. 3) discussions amog kids - and other kids blogging on the outside. And, of course, I can't keep up. :-(
Start with a core group of teachers. Those who areinvolved are talking at lunch time and those who are NOT involved hear the positive discussion and WANT to join. Teachers need to TALK about this process. Kids are saying (in effect), "I don't want to be in so-and-so's classroom since they don't use the technologies." So, the teachers who aren't using it are being pressured to get started.
Also, the kids see the teachers as learners, as well. Important vision for students.
Collaboration - http://burrel9english.wikispaces.com/
"Being a reflective teacher is a very important part of the process." Brian has noticed that kids are doing an amazing job of being reflective on their own positions and writings.
The kids wrote the first four chapters of an astronomy book on a wiki!
Online peer editing - reviewing toolbar in word. Using a wiki. Editing each other's work. Chifting chairs - musical shifting seats - then sit down at a computer and edit.
What matters. "Build a multimendia presentation about what matters about what you've learned this year." WOW!!! LOVE this idea!!!
Check out the Mockumentaries on the top link.
Scribe posts - great idea!
What a (seemingly) wonderful atmosphere they have. Staff development was very well received - even those who didn't participate talk about it.
Some discussion about differentce between cooperative learning vs collaboration. Not sure I yet understand the difference.
A quote I like. The tech committee said that they weren't going to give Arapahoe any more equipment since they've got so much already. Anne's reply, "Oh really? You're going to put the ceiling above the spotlights? Why not give us more to see where we can go with it?" Liked that mental image - ceiling above the spotlight.
Very nice discussions! I LOVE this conference!!
This looks like a VERY interesting one for those of us who love data and are fascinated by trends, etc. Here, Hans Rosling talks about the end of poverty. I LOVE the written teaser for the movei:
"...He shows us the next generation of his Trendalyzer software -- which analyzes and displays data in amazingly accessible ways, allowing people to see patterns previously hidden behind mountains of stats. (Ten days later, he announced a deal with Google to acquire the software.) He also demos Dollar Street, a program that lets you peer in the windows of typical families worldwide living at different income levels. Be sure to watch straight through to the (literally) jaw-dropping finale."
I just clicked the link to download it to my iTunes to watch later. LUV this Mac!!
Monday, June 25, 2007
Howard Levine is Director of Technology (1999) at the Urban School of San Francisco.
His talk is about how how to make computers/laptops into schools. The first thing he said is that they are on block schedules. Having taught in a block schedule I would agree that the block schedule is THE WAY to go. That's another topic.
Used to say that the computer was just like pen and paper. Now he realizes that it isn't - at ALL. We'd agree, wouldn't we?
It's not about learning tech skills. It's about learning! It's about keeping organized, having communication, collecting and sharing information, and production. The production idea is a good one in that it's perfect for kids who can't write or speak well. Give them another means of presenting the information.
"chaos of the search vs search within chaos"
Not accurate to say that my school "can't afford it." What is the cost of each textbook?
change from "tech literacy" vs "life literacy"
Rent "Born into Brothels" - what happens when you give the tools to express themselves?
"Since I got my laptop I am..." (asking about organization)
about 50-50 on being more organized
Inspiration took off when the kids had their own machines. Kids loved it for organizing data for assignments.
His school doesn't lock down the machines at all!!!
Read that again - his school doesn't lock down the machines at all.
They use Macs. Machines get reimaged if they install something that messes up something else. Kids may install anything on their machines as long as it's legal and appropriate. (I LOVE IT!!)
ISpotMotion - for creating claymation
I would have REALLY liked more time for the examples at the end. Maybe too much time at the beginning. EXCELLENT examples. I want MORE!!
Saturday, June 23, 2007
So I'm now off to go and comment and a the blogs that I read just so I can say I'm part of their community.
Have you commented on mine, yet?
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Recorded in March 2007, Stephen Lawler takes us on a short tour of Virtual Earth. This one is the Microsoft version, but it’s very interesting. J As you watch it, pay attention to his conversation about how we access and organize all this data. Does it remind you a bit of this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE
I also found it interesting that Microsoft was the first ones allowed in the
While you’re there, check out Jeff Hawkins’ talk entitled, “Brain Science is about to fundamentally change computing.” “Bringing this new brain science to computer devices will enable powerful new applications -- and it will happen sooner than you think.” http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/125
Earlier I had posted a link to a video in the Apple Learning Interchange Conference Connection. The problem was that I didn’t credit the person who first told ME. Why not? When I read about it in my aggregator it was no longer marked as unread and I forgot where I had found it. But, thanks to another blog post that DID credit it, I can tell you that it was here: http://technosavvy.org/2007/06/20/spread-the-word-on-conference-connections/
I read this blog every time something new appears, and I wanted to make sure I gave the proper credit.
For those of you who aren’t fortunate enough to be going to NECC this year, try putting the tag NECC2007 in del.icio.us and in flickr and subscribing. You can read along as the bloggers write about the sessions they’re in. I’m anxious to watch the del.icio.us sites flood the screen.
Here’s my Netvibes public page: http://www.netvibes.com/subscribe.php?url=http://eco.netvibes.com/opml/b176db8cf34e1ba36824682bfcb89547/necc2007.opml&type=opml
I’ll be adding to it, but this is the start. I hope my additions appear automatically.
At one point he talks about visiting a 5th grade remedial writing class. The teacher gives the kids the assignment to write a story about a rescue. Real, personal, or imagined. It didn’t matter, as long as it was about a rescue. The boy he was sitting beside said that he was going to write a story that would scare people and off he went to try to write it. Ken went to the teacher to comment on it and the teacher said, “You missed the point. Once he made that statement (I’m going to write a story that will scare people.), it became HIS assignment. Self-directed learning. The lesson also included a paper that the kids received at the end of the class that had them reflect on the lesson. “Did you accomplish your task? If not, why not?”, etc. They had a rubric that helped the teacher recognize self-directed learning.
A very informative speech. I do hope you’ll listen to it. It’s an enhanced podcast with his slides showing, too, so you’ll find yourself flipping back to that page to se his slides, I’m sure.
Thanks to Chris C for sharing one from a wiki by (I Think) Steve Dembo. (See this post) He points to a few pretty neat wikis, including the one above. Imagine a wiki where your students post the kmz (saved Google Earth searches) files of the places that they’re studying in school. I like it!
More here: http://top10freesites.pbwiki.com/
Watch this episode. You will come away with a sense of wonder at the creative power of those folks who are being interviewed. And notice how, during the acceptance speeches, that they all seem have the fever.. the drive… the excitement… the radical way of thinking about this connected world. You’re looking at a group of the most creative people in the world. Not scientists, perhaps, but artists and creative thinkers who are excited about what they do.
I found it very exciting and exhilarating to watch.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
This is a HUGE list of the BEST websites on the web, as chosen by “…members of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences based on a number of creative and functional criteria.”
In scanning the Rocketboom episodes that I’ve been missing of late I came upon this site, winner of a Webby Award in the category of.. Student??? But, check it out. Wonderful photography of life on this planet.
Here’s what it says about itself:
“LIFEONTERRA is a collaborative filmspace and laboratory exploring the questions and ideas on the cutting-edge of science and at the farthest horizons of the natural world. The "TERRA: The Nature of Our World" video podcast launched in October 2005. TERRA films have been downloaded over one million times.”
Just where do YOU stand with this?
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The first one she showed was one designed to help the kids learn about ranking. http://www.intel.com/education/visualranking/index.htm This one is terrific. Create a list of items, and then let your students drag them and drop them to put them in order. But, then they must comment on why they put them in that order. What kind of lists? Well, how about a list of voting issues, or causes for the civil war, or a list of disastrous weather conditions. I'm sure you can come up with a LOT more than that. But, once the list is ranked you can get in to compare lists, and more. Very cool.
Another one in that list is called, "Seeing Reason." Start with a central idea and let students create boxes that connect to that idea. But, the lines that connect the ideas can be different thicknesses depending upon its influence on that object. Click the line and tell your reasons.
There are other tools in there, as well. If it's been a while since you were last at this site, as it was for me, check it out again. You just may leave with a couple new tools in your toolbox.
Thanks for making the trip, Eva. Nice job.
This is cruel. I'm going to tell you about a great keynote/luncheon speaker and I've got nothing to link to. But, keep this guy's name in mind.
His name: Cole Camplese, the Director of Education Technology Services for Penn State University. His topic was, "Enabling the New Classroom Conversation" and it was a bird's eye view of the changing face of the web, student involvement, and the trends he and his team have identified. I've done some workshops (some better than others) in web 2.0 changes, but this was FAR AND AWAY the best presentation I've seen on the subject. Bar none.
He talked about so many things, and had so many excellent statistics, but here's one that stands out in my mind. (This is like someone commenting on the Gettysburg address saying, "He mentioned four score and seven years ago." :-) )
After the Virginia Tech tragedy the students of Penn state using Facebook!, quickly organized an effort to have the students wear the appropriately colored tshirts in order to form the letter VT in the stands of an upcoming exhibition football game (Blue/White game, maybe? I forget which game.) Within hours, thousands of students were on board with this initiative. The administration at the University got wind of it and was there at the game to distribute over 8000 t-shirts. He showed a picture of the the students in the stands forming the letters VT. To think that it was started by the students in Facebook, picked up and supported by the administration is powerful. He used this as an example of how connected the students are to such technologies as Facebook.
That is just one story in his hour long presentation that gave an EXCELLENT - VERY CLEAR and entertaining - overview of the changing face of the web. Web 2.0 tools and what they truly are, etc. EXCELLENT!
Those of you who are reading this and who would like to have a speaker come in for such a presentation would do well to give him a call. And no, I'm not his manager.:-)
Someone (Eric) pointed me to Cole's blog. Here is HIS post about the day. http://camplesegroup.com/blog/?p=696
I'm sitting here in a 1:1 workshop led by Dr Scott Carrigan from CAPE. (WWW.acape.org) He just pointed us to NetLogo, a wonderful site full of java simulations at NetLogo. This page shows the models that have been contributed by the community and the application is being developed by Notherwestern university.
Check it out: http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/models/community/
Monday, June 18, 2007
First of all, my sincere apologies to the person who told me about this today. I spoke to so many that I just forget who it was. If it's you, leave a comment on my blog.
The site is http://voicethread.com/view.php?b=409 - voicethread.com. Post a picture and then invite folks to leave voice comments on it. This has SO many potential uses for school. Do check it out. Log in and create one for your family, if nothing else.
Friday, June 15, 2007
This article in the TechLearning site lists eight of the author’s favorite educational game sites. Caution: they may be blocked at school for being a game site, so learning may have to wait until the student gets home. J
I was trying to corroborate a statistic that I had heard recently that said that the US has a 50% dropout rate from our high schools. I didn't believe it. I was right! It's NOT 50% - as a nation. It's only about 33%. Only one out of three kids drops out. Heck - we're still in the race.
I'm not serious, of course. Well, the one out of three dropout statistic is real (according to the article). How can this be? We can make list of reasons, I'm sure. And, we can't do much some of them. But, we CAN do something for those who dropout because they are bored or disconnected.
Read the article. WE are the ones who are in the position to make the needed changes.
And so it's here. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10856955
While we're at it, I also predicted that they'd live long enough to see 3-d tv - holograms. They'll live to watch the superbowl by having the players right in the middle of the living room. Maybe I'll live long enough to see that one, eh?
MANY thanks to John B for sharing this one on another mailing list.
http://tinyurl.com/yp89mh - This article tells about a $2 million computer simulation of Ancient Rome that is 10 years in the making. Here is a quick snippet from the article.
“Visitors to virtual
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
BTW - I HAVE been sending tips recently, but our email (we "upgraded" to exchange) isn't quite working the way we want it to, just yet, and nothing that I send to my tips list gets posted. Nothing that I send to a particular school gets posted, either. Don't get me started. :-)
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
I just read this in another MacOSX tips blog, but it works in Windows, as well. What a life-saver it can be.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Monday, June 04, 2007
Arthur C Clark narrates this outstanding video about fractals. Share this one with your math teachers. GREAT soundtrack to this, too.
Want to feel good about being a teacher? Watch this video - http://jase.jaseblog.com/BlogPostComments.asp?ditsop=307 (Look! It’s not on youtube so you just MIGHT be able to see it!)
We’ve heard these lines before in those “Chicken Soupy” emails, but this one just makes you want to stand up and cheer when he finishes.
Carl Sagan narrates this story of the universe and our time as part of it. Fascinating! Show this to your science classes in these last few days of school before summer. They won’t look at the stars the same way afterwards.
It reminds me a lot of this one: http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/index.html
And don’t forget this one: http://www.spacetelescope.org/goodies/slideshows/html/hubble_images_1.html
Friday, June 01, 2007
MANY thanks to Ken Pruit for sharing this one.