Wednesday, March 31, 2010

News the matters - 100 yrs from now?

I like this idea, and I really like the 3 minute talk on TED. What would YOUR students have to say are the most important news items that will be important 100 yrs from now?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why so secretive, CIPA?

I'm trying to find the names of some folks who do CIPA audits so I can schedule them for a webinar with the goal being to INFORM the schools. Why is this so hard to do? If the goal is something which is supposed to be GOOD for kids, then why are they so hard to find and to  talk to?


Saturday, March 27, 2010

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  • "Twubs are Twitter groups built around content aggregated from #hashtags.

    View the full social landscape of a Twub with tools such as our Live Tweet Feed which pulls in external images, videos and links, and our Tweetups & Events Scheduler.

    Start searching for your favorite topics now and take full advantage of these and many more useful Twub features to connect and share with people of similar interests."

    tags: twitter, Hashtags

  • No accounts needed. 

    tags: collaboration, writing, etherpad

  • Let your audience decide
    Get to know your audience by letting them decide which questions, suggestions or ideas interest them most.
    Everyone's voice is heard
    The voting box at the top of page focuses attention on submissions recently added and on the rise, making it simple and easy to participate.

    tags: google, voting, tools, Moderator

  • Nice Matrix AND videos of projects.

    tags: integration

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

This is.. hauntingly beautiful

I'm a former music teacher who still has a deep passion for beautiful music. I've often tweeted about listening to Beibl's "Ave Maria" sung by the Turtle Creek Chorale when it comes on my itunes. And, I've posted about Bobby McFarren and about Perpetuum Jazille singing "Africa" that's just VERY cool. And, I've posted about the Youtube Symphony orchestra (and here)  and PS22 fifth graders, and the youth orchestra on TED and even a vegetable orchestra. I love beautiful music.

So, when I first heard these two pieces I first LOVED the idea of a virtual chorus - singers from 12 countries contributing virtually to a performance. Now THAT is a VERY cool idea. Then I started to watch the video responses to that video and I found myself completely blown away.

Here is the first video performance. It's Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'

Now watch this single performance by Melody Myers (appropriate first name, eh?)

Watch some of the other responses, as well. Share this with your favorite music teacher.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Got 16 minutes? Watch this

Dr Scott Mcleod at the TEDxASB conference.

PBS Digital Learning Library Connected on the SAS Portal

I just sat in on a webinar in which the PA Department of Education (PDE), the Public Broadcasting system (PBS), and Penn State's PBS station (WPSU) announced that the Digital Learning Library will be made available through PA's Standards Aligned System (SAS) portal. All the videos will be tightly aligned to the standards so that teachers will be able to search by a standard and locate the videos that match. That alone will help to make the PA SAS portal a very powerful resource for teachers,

Something else that was mentioned was that PBS is making these available (perhaps not all, but certainly MOST) with the Open Content "rights." That means that students and teachers can download the titles and even remix them. Now THAT is EXCELLENT!

Pennsylvania is making great strides in Education and is quickly becoming the state to watch for how it implements and supports its standards system. Governor Rendell and Dr Gerry Zahorchak can both be quite proud of the enormous progress they've enabled in this state.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Safe Mode on YouTube? This is EXCELLENT!

Maybe this is the first step towards getting a version of Youtube available in the schools. First we have to figure out how to set it as a default for all users. Then.. oh boy... this could be a GIANT step for making the videos available. Of course, it'll still take years to get some folks to allow it, but still. This is a wonderful bit  of news, as far as I'm concerned.

Monday, March 15, 2010

FlatClassroom Conference heading to Beijing. Can you read this?

Last year I wrote about how the Flatclassroom Project was going to have its summit in Mumbai, India, and how others, including teachers, can't even read about it in our schools. Well, Vicki and Julie just announced that the Flat Classroom Summit for 2011 will be in Beijing, China. They are moving ever forward. I just wish that I could report that our teachers can now at least READ about it. Sadly, I cannot. Oh, it may be true that a school here or there has opened up their filter to allow their teachers and maybe their students to see it, but there are still huge numbers that continue to block it.

So, first I encourage you to check out the Flat Classroom Conference link above. You've got time, now, to rally the troops to maybe even take your students there. What an experience for all concerned, yes?

Second, I encourage you to again make the push to get your filters opened up to allow your teachers to at least be able to read about what other teachers are doing. If your children are in a school that has such a restrictive filter, get involved! There is WAY TOO MUCH AT STAKE!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

The AUP panel discussion

I was fortunate enough today to have been part of a panel discussion at the PASBO conference in Hershey, PA. The topic dealt with AUP's and how to have them work for everyone. On the panel were an attorney, a well-respected local tech director, and myself.

A couple items of note from that discussion. First, it was pointed out by the attorney that the CIPA laws have only to do with money. Failure to meet CIPA requirements means only that your Federal funds are in jeopardy. There are no punitive consequences associated with it. He also said that the CIPA laws are very clear about their intentions (although I wouldn't necessarily agree with them being clear) in that they deal specifically with material that would be deemed pornographic. So, those folks who cite CIPA as a reason for blocking wikis and blogs and Google docs are, at best, mistaken.

The attorney also reminded those in attendance that some of the issues that they voiced concern about fell under the category of disciplinary issues and NOT legal issues. (Did you hear me cheering?) OH, how I wish several school administrators and tech directors I know could have been there to hear that. It was very clear to me, at least, that he was saying that many of their fears were unfounded.

We had a good discussion about students bringing in their own equipment to school and using their data phones in school, etc. One person even wondered if that would, in fact, further worsen the digital divide between the have's and have not's. I suggested that a district could furnish laptops to those who didn't have one at home to make it a one-to-one district and do it for a LOT less than what they're currently spending to put enough computers in the schools. And, the fact that they weren't replaced more than every 5 or 6 years wasn't an issue, since they're not typically doing heavy processor work. Web browsing, word processing, etc. I'm certainly not the first to suggest that, but I do agree with it.

My final comment was (something like) this: "What we're doing in our schools is of monumental importance. I believe that our very global status as a nation is at stake. We ALL want our students to be able to compete in a global marketplace and to be digitally literate. Our own children are in these schools. There is a difference between the mindsets that would use CIPA as an excuse NOT to do something, and working aggressively - and that's the key word, AGGRESSIVELY, WITH the CIPA laws to provide the network, the tools, and the environment in which we can create digitally literate citizens. Our students and our nation deserve nothing less."

Well, at least that's what I had written down to say. How it came out may have been a little different. You know how that goes when you hold a mic to your face. :-)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.