Muddling through the blogosphere

August 12, 2012
by blogwalker

Back from MS Partners in Learning US Forum

I’ve been home from the 2012 Partners in Learning US Forum for a week now, and my feet still have not touched ground.  Amazing how much creative energy and innovation can be packed into a three-day event!

Over the next month or two, I will highlight some of my favorite projects, such as 2nd grade teacher Joli Barker, whose integration of gaming into the Magic Tree House series takes technology to a new level! What I already realize is that a huge part of the PiLUS experience is the way the connections, conversations, and inspiration impact the next school year.

For a glimpse into the energy levels present every minute/hour/day of the PiLUS 2012 US Forum, check out the Call Me Maybe video below (sorry U.S. Olympic swimmers to cut in on your video theme, but this one is about teaching and learning in 21st century classrooms:-)

As for our collaborative Digital ID project, my co-curator/creator Natalie Bernasconi and I are already looking at new ways to showcase student-created content – with innovation, extended learning, and teachers/students as agents of change (all rubric points for PiLUS judges) driving our decision making.




July 28, 2012
by blogwalker

Live Blogging from Partners in Learning US Forum

Partners in Learning US Forum

I fly out of Sacramento at the crack of dawn on Monday and head to Seattle to join educators from across the nation for Microsoft’s 2012 Partners in Learning US Forum. We total 102, with some presenting on their own and some, like me, presenting as a team.  For a glimpse at our projects, visit the Finalists List.

My co-creater/co-curator Natalie Bernasconi and I will be presenting our Digital ID project, a rapidly growing resource for lessons, tips, and strategies for teaching issues of digital citizenship and for actively supporting students in a campaign to “be the change.” I think the two of us are still amazed at our shared journey this year and the power of two to transform an idea into a dynamic collaborative project and international conversation.

In talking to teachers who attended last year’s Partners in Learning US Forum, I already know my three days at Microsoft  will be an incredible professional development and networking opportunity. I promise to share the adventure through daily blog posts. Be back on Monday:-)


July 1, 2012
by blogwalker
1 Comment

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;-).




Skip to toolbar