Saturday, July 31, 2010

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

QR Codes Made Easy at

A while back I wrote about one of PA's finest students and her outstanding teacher and how Allison's video on QR codes won 1st Prize in this year's SIGML (Special Interest Group for Mobile Learning) contest. I also had a chance to talk to Allison during her student showcase, and she taught me how to make my own QR codes. (You may want to go watch Allison's video first so you know what's going on here.)

Here are ymy two examples. The first will give my contact information. The mobile phone app that I'm using is called QRky Scan, and when I scan that qr code it will even allow me to add that contact to my phone. Here's that qr code:
The second just links to my website.
If you don't yet have a QR code reader for your smart phone, visit this page to find your phone's manufacturer and then to a list of apps that will work for that phone.

Once you've got an app installed, go to this excellent site: and see how easy it is to make one of your own. I'd love to see one that you make.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Just curious

I'm curious. I was fortunate enough to have a full room for my presentation at ISTE, but I'm wondering, were YOU there? Just curious to know if anyone who reads this blog was there.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

ISTE's Opening Powerpoint on Excellence

If you attended the opening kickoff ceremony at ISTE in Denver this year, then you no doubt were impressed by the powerpoint of inspirational quotes that looped befor the program began. Many who saw it asked if it would be available. Well, it is.

First, ISTE posted a video of it on their website. It's also on Youtube and able to be embedded.

Thanks, ISTE!

Monday, July 12, 2010

What Does "Students Learn Differently" Look LIke?

Last week, after my grad class had watched the daily video in which it talked about today's students learn differently, one teacher (I can't call them students) asked, "Everyone always says that students today learn differently. That's easy to say, but what does it look like?"

The class shared their thoughts on the matter, and I posted the question to twitter. Below are some of the responses.
  • kids finding their own meaning of topic in context of their life - interactive, collaborative, creative, competitive 
  • It looks project based, some degree of choice, not everyone doing exactly the same thing 
  • students also learn by creating! Videos, websites, blogs, music etc.
  • students also read online blogs and post questions to find information and they share info digitally they don't call or stop over
  • students now don't buy a book if they want to learn something. They go online to youtube or wikipedia.
  • it is kids learning outside the 4 walls of school and collaborating, sharing on a global level. 
  • Students learning in local community centers, connected globally and attending at different times of the day/year.
  • It looks like a large variety of collaboration options that work globally! Groups, social networks, tweets, ......... 
  • they are much better at multitasking. They tend to do well in collaborative hands on exercises.  
  • What does it look like? Textbook and teacher no longer the expert; instead community and rss
  • We might have different activities going on in our room at one time  
  • It looks like a hot mess! Different things going on at the same time - no way to figure it out just by watching.
Interesting, yes? So let me ask YOU. "What does 'kids learning differently' look like in the classroom?"

Thanks to all those who contributed your thoughts on the topic. Since I didn't get your advanced permission, I left off all the names.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Needed Approach to Education?

I just spent the better part of the day reading articles of one kind or another that each talk about the state of Education in the US. I just can't believe that we've got a 33% dropout rate nationwide and yet we haven't declared a state of national emergency. We're willing to pump more money into the system, but we're not willing to change the system.

We need to approach Education like a fireman approaches a burning house; with purpose, determination, and an acute sense of urgency.

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An ISTEVision Presentation

Here's a fun presentation from this year's ISTE Conference. Enjoy.

QR Codes - And the Winning Video

This is overdue, but I'm excited to be pointing it out for those who haven't yet seen it.

This video, by Allison Burke (student) and Laura Jacob (teacher) won 1st Prize in this year's SIGML (Special Interest Group for Mobile Learning) contest. First, congratulations to Allison and Laura. Laura also won a scholarship from ISTE for her work. What a team, eh?

So, the first part is to congratulate the student and her teacher, but the second part is to showcase this idea that they discuss in their video. QR Codes. Ever heard of them? I hadn't until I had the chance to talk to Allison and Laura at ISTE this year. I also had a chance to talk to Allison at her booth in the student showcase, and she showed me how easy it was to make these. So, combine easy with powerful and you've got a winner.

Watch the video (below) and show it to your teachers, too. I love the idea of filming labs, and audio files. I love the idea of linking to audio files of book reviews made by the students. think about how this can add new dimensions to the student newspaper, and other printed information for parents. Give it some thought and I'm sure you can quickly find meaningful applications in your subject, as well.

The process involves downloading a free application from the web, making the resource (podcast, video, etc) and printing the QR code. Allison made it look and sound so easy.

Congratulations again to Allison and Laura. And, if any of you get into this process, let me know. I'd love to pass it along to them so that they know who they've inspired.

BTW - the revised version of this video that acts as the announcement to students is here.
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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

My turn to apologize

I won't go into the details, as they're all too public. I won't offer excuses. "Don't give excuses. Your enemies won't believe them, and your friends don't need them."

But, I am embarrassed and sincerely apologetic for my sophomoric behavior at the ISTE keynote. At the very best, it was enormously unprofessional.

To my twitter followers, I assure you that it won't happen again.

And now we return to our regularly scheduled blog.

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

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