I took my first Google Lit Trip about 6 six years ago. Jerome Burg presented the site and concept in a packed session at the annual CUE Conference. After touring Jerome’s Grapes of Wrath unit, I left the session in complete awe of how Google Earth could transform the teaching of literature in ways not possible without the technology.
Once again, I stand back in awe of a new online option for making a the Grapes of Wrath Lit Trip even more compelling and interactive. The National Steinbeck Center (NSC) is inviting students, teachers, and the community at large to join in the 75th anniversary celebration of the publication of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath by following the Joad family’s journey – at the height of the Dust Bowl – along America’s Route 66 through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, on their way to California in hopes of a better life.
Last week, the National Steinbeck Center went live with the Grapes of Wrath blog. From Oct. 4–14, 2013, a team of artists, writers, musicians and others will be interviewing people along the route as part of a collaborative, public exploration of the human experience of struggle and resilience.
How can you bring your students into the journey across Route 66? On the front page of the blog, look for the turtle logo on the
right hand side. You can download the turtle postcards and instructions. If you would like Elizabeth Welden-Smith, Curator of Education and Public Programs, to send you postcards for your classroom, you can contact her via email ([email protected]) with your teacher name, school name, address and the number of postcards you would like. Your students can fill these in and either send them back to the NSC, or they can scan them and upload them onto the blog.
Kind of like Google Lit Trips on steriods, no?!
The PSA focuses on four separate stories of lives, both victims and perpetrators, that were changed in an instant. It’s not easy viewing, but given the alarming statistics of people killed or severely injured each year by drivers who were texting, I strongly recommend it not only to young drivers (the largest percentage involved in texting while driving accidents) but to all those who might be tempted to text while behind the wheel.
In my current job as a technology integration specialist for a K-12 district, I’m part of a team tasked with ensuring that digital citizenship is being taught at all school sites (meeting CIPA E-Rate requirements). Beyond the school day, I co-curate the Digital ID wiki, a collaborative project that provides students with a global microphone for sharing content on four main issues of digital citizenship: cyberbullying awareness and response, building digital footprints, respecting intellectual property, and protecting online privacy.
Twenty-four hours after my first viewing of It Can Wait, I’m still thinking about where this epidemic misuse of social media might fall on the digital citizenship spectrum. But whether texting while driving is addressed within a digital citizenship program or as a stand alone topic – it can’t wait.
The PSA’s message to put your phone away while driving is so compelling, from start to finish, sharing it with students could have a life-changing and, hopefully, a life-saving impact.
ISTE 2013 Day 3
a dynamic duo. My biggest takeaway was an introduction to Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) model for technology integration, which makes visible the transition from technology as tool for enhancing learning to technology as a tool for transforming learning.
A great tip from Robert: Give your PD workshops at sites, targeted to what teachers at that site need.
A great reminder from Rushton: When students take their work to an authentic audience, they want to know if their work is “good.” When they publish solely for their teachers, they want to know if their work is “good enough.”
A great read: New Media Verizon Report – Tips on how to pull experiences students have outside of class into class.
Digital Citizenship: A Crosswalk from Common Core to Core Curriculum- I’m plugging my own session because any opportunity to co-present with my Digital ID co-curator Natalie Bernasconi is always an energizer and a privilege. Having Common Sense Media’s Kelly Mendoza joining us was icing on the cake. And having Mike Ribble in the audience further validated the importance of weaving digital citizenship into the core curriculum.
Advanced Searching for Inquiry Meets the Common Core – Project-Based Learning educator Mike Gorman and a IT director Anita Harris teamed for this session.
Good news! Thanks to the vision and commitment of Mike Ribble and Jason Ohler, ISTE may soon be adding a Digital Citizenship SIG (Special Interest Group). I loved being part of this high-energy group discussion. We brainstormed the SIG’s potential goals and projects, which included providing a forum for exchanging best practices, working with teacher prep programs to ensure that teachers are well-prepared for integrating digital citizenship into the curriculum; and creating a digital citizenship massive open online course (MOOC). And we even agreed on the Twitter name: @digcitsig.
ISTE 2013 Day 2
“Inquiry is the personal path of questioning, investigating, and reasoning that takes us from not knowing to knowing” Suzie Boss
Signposts to Better Projects: How to take thinking deeper in digital age PBL – Suzie Boss and Mike Gwaltney’s session was one of the first entries on my conference planner as a “must see” session! Suzie has already posted the session slideshow (below).
And my takeaways:
1.Set stage for inquiry – Example: Prior to announcing a new project, place banners and posters outside and inside the school as “grabbers.”
2. Create a culture of collaboration – Example: Make the world safe for thinking – the marshmallow challenge (TED talk) – http://marshmallowchallenge.com/TED_Talk.html – will get you thinking about safe environments for learning.
3. Invite feedback – Example: Use class blog to create feedback loop. Consider joining a collaborative blogging community such as Quadblogging.
4. Think about thinking – provide some deliberate ways for kids to think about their thinking, to develop thinking routines. Think/Pair/Share, for example, is a quick way to collect thoughts, put them out, and get some response. Use Google Docs to promote reflection, using targeted questions (how’s this assignment compare to another project). Have students create videos as formative assessment. For more ideas on helping students develop a “thinking routine,” check out Peter Pappas’ A Taxonomy of Reflection and Project Zero: Thinking Routines.
5. Think as experts do – How do you encourage thinking as experts do? Put kids in the role off experts. Show Thinking like a Historian chart. What are the ways that people think in your discipline. Kids need academic vocabulary of the discipline. “It’s relatively unnatural for a young person to be interested in the past – they haven’t lived long enough.” Use current events. Checkout George Mayo’s Transitions project. His students had to think like illustrators for project; therefore, George brought in a husband and wife team.
6. Watch for spirals (project creates more energy) – what’s the opportunity. Is it worth taking project further.
Checkout Ghost Jacket from Lost & Found Films – a project that transitioned from cleaning up a mess at a school site to sending jackets to those who needed them. And, of course, what better example of a spiral could Suzie use than Jim Bentley’s student film academy’s award-winning documentary (a continuing/spiraling project) on hazardous waste: Recharging Our World (very proud of my inspiring district colleague and his incredible students:-).
7. Assessment: Think about assessment throughout the project, formative not just summative. Grading on process across categories vs. a single grade on final project/product …. Oh my, this is brilliant!!! Mike Gwaltney has created PBL skills “hit the bull’s eye” sort of a rubric – for formative and self assessment to “get students thinking about their own learning.”
And a few more books to add to my summer reading list, per Mike Gwaltney’s recommendations: Teaching with Your Mouth Shut (David Finkel) and Understanding by Design (by Grant Wiggins). If you have not already read Suzie’s Reinventing Project-Based Learning, this is a great starting point for your PBL journey, as well as the Buck Foundation’s PBL website.
Design Your Digital Tattoo – Helping Students Design Their Digital Image – Adina Sullivan pointed out what should be obvious to all of us who teach, model, and promote digital citizenship: the term “digital footprint” should be replaced with “digital tattoo.” Having watched my son, a few years back, go through the process of tattoo removal, I can second Adina’s perspective that it’s a difficult process, requiring numerous (painful) sessions, and that the tattoo is never fully eliminated. Tattoos are a much more accurate symbol of our online personas than footprints – especially the footprints in the sand images.
- Search yourself. Use pipl.com to find out what comes up about you. Try spezify for a visual representation of your identity or (more importantly) how the internet sees you.
- Consider your tattoo. Your Digital Dossier demonstrates how identity is formed online. Be Findable is an example of how your online identity can help you.”
Great job, Adina!
Mashup and Remix: Reading, Writing, Research, and Reaching the World – I arrived late to this session (got side tracked walking through the display tables), so I missed Bill Bass’s part of the presentation. With only a 1/2 hour remaining, I wondered how my NWP/NCTE colleague and friend Sandy Hayes could possibly make a case for fair use in that time limit. She did! Here’s a link to the PDF with many of the links from the slideshow. As soon as Sandy posts the link to the slideshow, I add it to this post. Another great presentation from Sandy!
ISTE 2013 Day 1
So glad I made it to San Antonio in time for Sunday’s first round of Ignite sessions and the opening keynote with gamification expert Jane McGonigal. What an inspiring start for an amazing conference!
If you haven’t seen an Ignite session, here’s the format: each presenter has five minutes to speak and is limited to twenty slides, which automatically advance every fifteen seconds. Ignites are always fast-paced sessions that showcase ideas designed to inspire and energize educators.
I enjoyed all 7 Ignite presentations, but my biggest take-away was from Jeff Piontek’s STEM education Ignite. Jeff pointed out the even though STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is where the money (funding) is and there’s a growing movement for STEAM (adding the arts), we need “to turn STEM into STEAM into STREAM by adding reading and research.” STEM is the present need, and education follows the money. But we need the arts and reading and research. We don’t have to teach kids to be creative, they already are: we just have to stop assessing and start allowing the creativity to shine through.
Opening Keynote Takeaways: Learning Is an Epic Win
Jane McGonigal’s keynote was mind blowing. I came to the keynote with an understanding of the 21st century skills that gaming can build. When she shared Evoke, I saw the potential for gaming to change the world. Find the Future, which challenged 500 student authors to write a book in one night while inside the New York Public Library, served as a called to action to what we could be doing in our own communities to take collaboration and creativity to new levels.
Take-away quote: “The opposite of play is not work; it’s depression.”
I’ll be back soon with Takeaways from Day 2.
A huge shout out to Microsoft Silicon Valley, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, and Project Cornerstone for sponsoring the FREE May 30 digital citizenship summit! And thank you to abc’s David Louie for including the event in the news clip below:
Anne Collier, Co-Director of ConnectSafely, opened the event with an excellent keynote that included such gems as:
Citizenship experiment – NetFamilyNews.org (also one of Anne’s organizations) – The pillars of digital citizenship (infrastructure, practice, guidance, agency) require practice – online practice. More schools need to allow social media use in school day – combining digital citizenship and literacy is a connected way. Kids need digital environments/spaces to practice: interaction, problem solving, etc.
Stop, think & connect as adults – don’t over react to an incident – think it out with youth, non-confrontationally,
Breakout Session 1 – I’m very glad I attended Project Tomorrow’s Julie Evan’s session on Speak Up 2012 National Results: The Student Vision for Digital Learning. A big take-away was the invitation to districts to participate in the 2013 surveys, with sections for K-12 students, teachers, librarians, principals, district administrators, technology leaders, parents, business partners, and community members. What a great way for districts to gain insights from students and all stakeholders about the role of technology for learning in and out of school!
Breakout Session 2 – I’ve been a fan of Kelly Calhoun since she was the technology director for the Folsom-Cordova School District (my neck of the woods). So it’s no surprise that she’s gone on to do great things as the Chief Technology Officer & Assistant Superintendent for the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Kelly teamed with her SCCOE colleague (and Google Certified Teacher) Elizabeth Calhoon for their ONtheLINE: The California 21st Century District Initiative session.
With the goal of “making navigation through the complex issues surrounding technology in education SIMPLER for districts and county offices of education,” anyone who deals with technology-related policies at any level will want to learn about – and then discuss with colleagues – this important, ever-changing topic. Besides regularly visiting the website, I recommend starting with the video presentation of her session (linked below). Such a simple, brilliant approach to creating/revising Internet use policies!
I’m already looking forward to next year’s Digital Citizenship Summit. Thank you again to all who helped make this event a reality.
It was my privilege to join NWP’s Paul Oh, Common Sense Media’s Merve Lapus, CWP’s Jayne Marlink, and my Digital ID co-curator Natalie Bernasconi for last night’s NWP Radio Talk Show discussion on California’s first-ever Digital Citizenship Month. The highlight for me was sharing the microphone with Valley High School seniors Joyce Joseph and Frendely Vang – two outstanding upstanders, who were willing to participate in the event – even though it was the night before their last day of high school!
Joyce and Frendely are upstanders in all the communities to which they belong. From sharing their stories on the Upstanders, Not Bystanders VoiceThread to assisting with and participating in the making of the very powerful Teen Dating Violence PSA, these two cross the line on a regular basis to speak out for themselves and for others.
Like many of their classmates, Joyce and Frendely have had their share of challenges, challenges that are all too common in tougher neighborhoods and school communities. They are both passionate on the importance on converting bystanders to upstanders. They have have made a difference at Valley High School. They will make a difference as they move on to life after high school. Lucky me for having the opportunity to meet, work with, and co-present with Joyce and Frendely!
My son was a late reader. He entered 2nd grade already a grade level behind in reading. That changed one Saturday afternoon when he stood next to me at a checkout stand at a convenience store. He spotted a wrestling magazine with his hero Hulk Hogan featured on the cover. As he handed the magazine to me with the plea of “Please, Mom. It’s Hulk Hogan,” I put aside minor concerns of appropriateness for a 7-year old and purchased the magazine. Within the hour, as I listened him begin the article on Hulk, I saw, with each sentence, his fluency, confidence, and energy level escalate . In less than 60 minutes, Hulk Hogan transitioned my son from a “reluctant reader” to a reader.
As a teacher, in the years since witnessing first hand the power of sports literacy, I am always on the look out for resources that bring reluctant readers or disengaged students on board with literacy. I found a great one this morning via the National Council for Teachers of English Teaching and Learning Forum: Alan Brown’s Sports Literacy blog. Alan Brown is an assistant professor of English education at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Aimed at middle and high school, the Sports Literacy Blog provides an array of resources and literature recommendations for integrating sports-related topics and readings across the curriculum. With the Common Core Standards’ emphasis on informational reading, sports literacy would be an easy cross-curricular connection.
In November, I am hoping to attend the NCTE’s 2013 Annual Conference in Boston. It is always a fabulous conference, worthy of the travel expenses. With National Writing Project (NWP) and NCTE members like Troy Hicks, Sarah Kjader, Bud Hunt, Paul Oh, Sandy Hayes and Kevin Hodgson leading sessions, I always leave with new understandings of the power and possibilities of digital learning. This year will be no exception. Alan Brown has proposed the following session:
The Intersection of Literacy, Sport, Culture, and Society. The session will include keynote speakers, reactants, and round table leader,s all focusing on a wide array of sports and literacy connections.”
If I make it to Boston, I promise to blog the session!
Continuing on with my reflections from the fabulous 2013 CUE Conference, here are my take-aways from:
Friday, Day 2:
Opening Keynote with Sir Ken Robinson – I’ve been a long-time fan of Sir Ken, starting with his first TED Talk and his Changing Education Paradigms animation. It was great to hear him in person and be reminded that:
“Every single one of the 100 billion lives who have walked the face of this earth is unique and unrepeatable…To be born at all is a miracle, so what are you going to do with your life?”
“We have to get away from standardizing to personalizing – in ways that celebrate diversity. Technology drives this revolution.
“Educating is not a process of directing instruction, but to inspire, to feed curiosity, to facilitate. If we aren’t facilitating learning, then education is not happening.”
Session 5 – Elementary Flipped Teaching – Using the Cycle of Learning to Innovate CCSS Instruction - For a window into Lisa Highfill’s innovative teaching, start with a visit to her website. Lisa asks both in her teaching and in her session “What is it I can do now (with new technologies) that I couldn’t do before?” The video below illustrates her “explore, explain (flip), apply” cycle for delivering curriculum:
Session 6 – Get slammed With Google – Loved the energy in this session! Definitely click on the link to see for yourself how Mark Hammons, Diane Main, Jen Roberts, Bill Selek (no live links yet), Scott Kley Contini, Joe Wood, Megan Ellis rocked the audience with their Google tips and tricks (AKA slams)!
During my whirlwind 2 days at December’s Google Teacher Academy, Mark’s Google News Archive Search was my favorite “slam.” Judging from the post-CUE 2013 conversations on my flight home from Palm Springs, Mark once again wowed an audience. Grand Slam!
Megan Ellis (a MERIT 11 colleague) shared a simple but very important Google tool: custom Google search engines. For educators like me, who teach tough topics, such as the Holocaust, Megan’s How To Tutorial is a gem, simply explaining how to create, for example, a Researching the Holocaust search engine with middle-school appropriate links.
But seriously, you will want to check out each Google Slam demo!
Session 7 – Visual Storytelling, Digital Storytelling, Cinematic Narrative: Literacy Across the Curriculum – Because it is so easy to get sidetracked in great hallway conversations at CUE, I arrived half way into Ken Shelton’s dynamic session, something I immediately regretted. Ken laid out the key elements of digital storytelling:
What’s missing from my session summary are the powerful images and and stunning videos he used to illustrate each key element. For example, to show the difference between “digital storytelling” and “cinematic narrative,” he shared this BMX video and this stunning Inspired Bycycles video.
If you missed Ken’s #cue13 session, but will be attending ISTE 2013, I’ll see you in his Making Movies with the iPad, iPhoneography, and Photoshop Basics session. I plan to arrive early!
Session 8 – Explore, Flip, Apply: Empowering the Learning Cycle Through Technology – Although I caught only the tail end of Ramsey Musallam’s session (once again caught up in great #cue13 hallway conversations), having heard him present before (MERIT 11, CVCUE Fall 12), I wanted to end Day 2 with his winning style of brilliant + hilarious. I wasn’t disappointed.
I think many teachers are put off by the idea of “flipping” instruction because they are concerned about putting hours and hours of time into creating instructional videos that students will be required to watch for homework, another form of lecture-based instruction, often limited to lower-order thinking. Ramsey’s approach to flipped instruction definitely taps into Bloom’s higher order thinking skills (applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating).
Using the Explore-Flip-Apply model, Ramsey has his AP Chemistry students explore a concept first. Then the “flip” comes in. Rather than introducing a concept with a video, he jumps in on the spot and creates “short, tailored video designed to address misconceptions and assimilation errors that arose during student exploration.” Rather than spending hours creating detailed screencasts, the “technology became a slave to the pedagogy, rather than vice versa, and the videos became, if you will, ‘inquiry spackle'” (quote from OnCUE, Spring 2013, Vol 35, No. 1). For tons more resources, strategies, and samples, visit Ramsey’s personal website and Cycle of Learning.
Be back soon with Day 3 Take-Aways.
Just returned from the 2013 CUE Conference, a 3-day event jam-packed with educators initiating conversations and sharing resources and best practices on innovative, effective technology integration. This year the Common Core State Standards were at the core of the conference.
Here are a few of my take-aways from Thursday, Day 1:
Session 1 - Collaboration Around the Common Core Using Brokers of Expertise – Eddy Avelar walked us through the layout and resources of the California K12 High Speed Network’s (K12 HSN) Brokers of Expertise site. I’m looking forward to connecting with and learning from the California CCSS group.
Session 2 – Digital Tools for the ELA Common Core - Jonathan Brubaker has posted his session slides on sqworl.com, a new tool for me. Not only can you view his slides, but each tool he introduced for building students’ academic vocabulary is shown on his sqworl site. I really like Big Picture, which features photos from flickr.com, and ” lets you view and share photos in the style of The Big Picture, Boston.com’s excellent photo blog.”
Jonathan reminded participants that “text complexity” cannot be based on lexile alone. The Grapes of Wrath, for instance, has a 4th grade “quantitative level” but the “qualitative level” is much higher. One comment really resonated with me: “Text complexity should be a conversation – don’t use it as an excuse for Readicide. Reading has to be the point – not lexile” (e.g., AR). He ended the session with a huge shout out to Touchstones Discussion Project guides for building critical thinking and powerful classroom discussions.
Session 3 – Making your (Google) Voice Heard – If you still haven’t created a Google Account, Brandon Wislocki’s session would convince you to drop everything and set one up so you can start using Google’s free Voice program and app. A big advantage for teachers is being able to use Google Voice as an alternate number for students and parents to call. But there are so many more possibilities! The fact that the messages are saved as embeddable mp3’s and are translated into text is just a starting point. Think of the possibilities for extending learning beyond the school day, especially for your ELs!
Session 4 - Online Writing that Meets the Common Core – Jason Saliskar started his session by laying out via grade levels what CCSS Anchor Standard 6 for Writing looks like by grade level. I love that it’s all there on his presentation link! A favorite take-away from Jason’s session is that in teaching writing in the Common Core era, “writing short is going to matter as much as writing long” (from Pam Allyn). Loved the videos Jason included, such as a Teaching Channel look at poetry, technology, and CCSS from an elementary language arts teacher and the 3-minute video embedded below on Explaining the Common Core State Standards:
Keynote Session – Ending Day 1 with Catlin Tucker’s inspiring keynote was a perfect close. Her session was recorded, so as soon as I have that link I’ll add it to this post. In the meantime, I encourage you to subscribe to Catlin’s blog and to follow her on Twitter (@CTuckerEnglish). In stating that “Technology can’t be an add-on – it has to replace and extend what we already do,” Catlin presents compelling ways to take powerful fiction, such as To Kill and Mockingbird and connect it real world issues, such as the death penalty. For high school English teachers who fear that CCSS means letting go of the classics, you definitely want to connect with Catlin Tucker. She takes 9th grade English, technology, and the Common Core to new levels.
I’ll be back soon with some CUE Day 2 take-aways.