Muddling through the blogosphere

July 1, 2012
by blogwalker
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ISTE 2012 – Day 3 Highlights

Personalization of Learning through Digital Content – Each year that I’ve attended ISTE, I check through the program for Cheryl Lemke, knowing that I’ll leave her session with research that will inform my practice and guide me through the next school year. The session write up from her Metiri group stated that she would ” present a framework for understanding the types of digital content pertinent to schools, approaches to lesson design that leverage digital content; how to curate digital collections for and with students; and policy and digital learning environment considerations. ” She delivered.

The good news is that Cheryl’s session was pre-selected as a an “Executive Summary,”  meaning it was recorded and will soon be available on the ISTE website “Cliff Notes style…turning the content from the session into concise, documented, actionable insights” ($.99 for 1; $9.99 for all 15). Cheryl also said she would post the PowerPoint, a great resource for starting district, school, and grade-level discussions on the meaningful integration  of technology. “Technology needs to be ubiquitous and necessary.”

Throughout the presentation she shared examples of sites for differentiating and personalizing learning. Here are a few that were new to me:

    • The W.A.Y Program – Out of the U.K., Student Centric – kids build multi-media products
    • DreamBox Learning – Adaptive learning – Math for primary grades – gathers data on kids and suggests a range
    • OER Commons – Open educational resources = democratization – lays on top of copyright, allowing others to remix and repurpose. Rich collection of lessons with an open invitation to download and use.
    • Gooru Learning – In Beta phase, site is a partnership between Google engineering and the Packard Foundation. Gooru is suggesting that kids become the curators. 
    • Ubiquitous Games – From MIT  – check out Breeders (protein synthesis), Invasion of the Beasties (evolution),  Island Hoppers (food webs), and Chomp! (complex food webs).
I’ll update this post when Cheryl’s presentation resources are available online.

Copyrights? Teaching Fair Use Reasoning to the Remix Generation – I had the pleasure of joining Kristin Hokanson, Ginger Lewman, Sandy Hayes, and Lisa Parisi as part of this panel discussion.

My interest in “strengthening my fair use muscles” started several ISTE Conventions ago, when I traveled to Philadelphia for the all-day Sunday session with Kristin and Renee Hobbs.  I blogged that session, stating that if it were the only session I could attend, I already had my money’s worth.

A year later, I traveled back to Philadelphia to participate in another all day workshop with Renee and Kristin. Having made the switch from the “10% of this; 30 seconds of that” approach to teaching copyright and fair use, I now wanted the background to turn around and help teachers and students in my district make the mind shift to fair use as a case-by-case argument – and a critical component of digital literacy and citizenship.

In the past school year, as I worked on updating my district’s 3-year Technology Plan, I wove Copyright Clarity: How Fair Use Support Digital Learning (Renee’s book) into the plan narration and bibliography. I have also included the book as well as Kristin’s link to Fair Use Reasoning Tools on the Digital ID project.

What a treat to be a part of the ISTE’s Copyrights? Teaching Fair Use Reasoning to the Remix Generation panel! As the hour ended, I left with a renewed commitment to continue teaching this “messy” topic back home in my region and district.

ISTEUnplugged – Digital ID Project

ISTE Unplugged – Digital ID Project – In a couple of weeks, I’ll be joining my project co-curator Natalie Bernasconi on a trip to Redmond, WA, where we will compete in Mirocosoft’s Partners in Learning 2012 US Forum.  We’ll be joining 100 other educators from across the US for what I already know will be an extraordinary experience. As part of the event, Natalie and I will be pitching our Digital ID project to a team of judges – in hopes of taking the project one step and location further: the November International Forum in Athens, Greece.

Given the above, when our NWP friend and mentor Paul Oh suggested we sign up to do an Unplugged session, we decided a 15-minute pitch + 5 minutes of Q&A might be an excellent practice run. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Steve Hargadon, pretty much all we had to do was show up. Steve had a screen, projector, microphone, and wireless already set up for the ISTE Unplugged sessions. Now all we have to figure out is how to condense our pitch into 5 minutes for our US Forum pitch;-)

Google in Education – I entered the Exhibition Hall and wondered into the Google booth in time to hear Elizabeth Calhoun’s presentation on Digital Literacy and Citizenship… just as she was referencing the Digital ID project as a great starting point for teachers looking for resources, strategies, and tools for rolling out digital citizenship programs at their school sites.  Now this was definitely an ISTE highlight for me and my Digital ID co-curator, Natalie Bernasconi:-) 🙂 :-).

Implementing Digital Citizenship: Lessons Learned from the First Year – Common Sense Media’s session, facilitated by Kelly Mendoza, was a great opportunity to hear stories from the trenches from elementary teacher Audrey Stokes and a middle school teacher Jeff Brain.  Like everyone in the crowd, I too was there to let Common Sense Media know how much educators appreciate the phenomenal free content posted to their website – with more on its way, such as the soon-to-be-launched Digital Passport Program (for grades 3-5).

Sadly, in order to catch my flight home, I had to leave before hearing the DeforestACTION closing keynote, so I’m hoping others have blogged the session.

Start to finish, ISTE 2012 was a fabulous experience (and only a direct, non-stop flight away;-).




June 30, 2012
by blogwalker

ISTE 2012 – Day 2 Highlights

Dr. Yong Zhao

Tuesday Keynote – I had the good sense to arrive early for Tuesday’s keynote with Yong Zhao – Wow! Here’s a keynote worth watching. Entertaining and thought provoking, with gems like “You can’t teach creativity, but you can kill it” and ““I’m for the Common Core, as long as it’s not common, or the core.” In his walk through PISA testing, Zhao made a strong case for the importance of building student confidence, a corner stone for entrepreneurship.

Fusing Library and Technology – A literary approach to digital citizenship – I thoroughly enjoyed the hour with librarians Jenni Voorhees and Angela Smith. I picked this session to learn how other educators are incorporating digital citizenship  into the core curriculum (as opposed to a stand-alone curriculum) and I left with a list of suggested literature to help students connect story lines to their own lives.

I’m glad to have the link to Jenni and Angela’s Prezi, which combines research, such as danah boyd’s The Drama! Teen Conflict, Gossip, and Bullying in Networked Publics, combined with teacher/librarian observations – and includes a wonderful video of  a 4th grade book talk on  Operation Redwood.

Here’s their list of books with digital citizenship connections:

ISTE Ignites – I’m glad I managed to elbow my way into the Tuesday Ignites, which were every bit as energizing as Monday’s sessions.  The Highlights and Reactions to the ISTE Ignite Session video will give you a window into why this model of is so popular.

ISTE 2012

 Day 2 of ISTE was not just about attending sessions. The opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues throughout the day and into the evening was a huge bonus. The day included some wonderful f2f  meet ups, starting with meeting Anne Murchinson on the morning shuttle ride, sharing a Mexican dinner with Andrea Cascia,  connecting with Microsoft 2012 US Forum peeps at the EdTech Karaoke, while listening to MERIT mentor Diane Main rock the rooftop – and continuing “connect the dots” through late night conversations with NWP colleagues   Natalie Bernasconi and Sandy Hayes.

June 29, 2012
by blogwalker

ISTE 2012 – Day 1 Highlights

My four-day excursion to San Diego for the ISTE 2012 Conference has been jam-packed with awesome sessions, great conversations, and  fun!  Here are some highlights from Monday:

Ignite sessions– “5 minutes and 20 images to tell your story, share your tool, and inspire an audience of your peers!” Such an energizer and a great model to take back to students, teachers, and administrators! The slideshow, unfortunately, does not include the speaker notes, so I’ve included a short description of each:

  • Chris Walsh –  Fast Five for Infinite Thinkers – Loved his 2-minute rule: “If you can find it online in two minutes or less don’t TEST on it!”
  • Mary Ann Domanska –  Publishing Kids’ Creative Podcast Stories Online Using Haiku – Primary grade teachers, you will love this one – a celebration of young writers honing their craft via technology.
  • Traci House – In Record Time: Disruptive Innovation to Say the Least – The August tornadoes that devastated Joplin, MO, could not stop Traci’s determination to open school on time, tapping into local and international aid and fast-forwarding into 21st century learning – textbook free.
  • Rushton Hurley – How Digital Video Changed One Teacher’s Life – Rushton is a master at combining humor and content – and in 5-minutes inspiring the crowds to consider the power of movie making to empower students and teachers.
  • David Jakes – What If? Five minutes was not enough for David Jakes’ message.  I recommend watching his 2011 K12 Online Conference presentation if you are striving to create culture to support change.
  • Vince Leung – The Evolution of Learning: Past, Present, Future – A compelling argument to bring real world examples (e.g., sports and video games) into the classroom – because those are the areas that students are willing to fail – and then continue on until they succeed.
  • Lisa Parisi – Jump Off the Testing Train – “Testing is not teaching.”
  • Justin Reich – Will Free Benefit the Rich? Fighting for Technology Equity – A call to provide ALL students with the same opportunities for challenging and meaningful use of technology within the school day.
  • Will Richardson – 19 Bold Ideas for Change – I’ve heard Will Richardson speak before, but not with this much passion. The 19 bold ideas for change are listed on the slideshow (you’ll have to scroll through), kind of like very compelling thoughts for the day. For example, Idea #11: “Repeat after me …’I want to be found by strangers on the Internet.'”
  • Alfred Solis – What is 1,000,000? – A High Tech High teacher… who has had Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey show up in his classroom to acknowledge his roll out of project-based learning.
  • Selena Ward – Igniting Creativity with Movie Making – “Movie making with kids is not about creating Hollywood films.”

Using Music and Images Ethically in Multimedia WritingNCTE’s Sandy Hayes provided wonderful historical context, resources, and tips for helping students learn to “flex their fair use muscles.”  Sandy’s one-page, double-sided handout lists her resources and includes the chart she uses with her 8th graders to help them development their analytical thinking skills.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills Birds of a Feather Session – I went to this session with a small but burning question: Has P21 considered adding a 5th C to their current list (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity): citizenship……the answer was “yes.” Whoohoo! (Digital) Citizenship will soon be the 5th C…so be on the lookout for a revised P21 poster🙂

Will post highlights from Tuesday and Thursday sessions later today:-)

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