Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Post 04/29/2008

  • There are hundreds of articles on Twitter all over the web, so I am not going to waste your time or mine on how to use twitter or the importance of it. All I can say is Twitter is the best thing that has been around in terms of marketing and networking.

    At the end of this post, I have compiled some of the best guides and posts for you on Twitter.

    tags: twitter, unmissable

  • Games in Education video created by Mark Wagner and Michael Guerena of the Orange County (CA) Department of Education's Educational Technology group. Nice overview of the issues and has the proper experts involved in the discussion.

    tags: games, videogames, education, learning

Monday, April 28, 2008

David Thornburg 4/25 Presentation Follow-up

Some Technologies Referenced by David Thornburg

Cisco’s Telepresence


Jeff Han’s Multi Touch Display


Johnny Lee – Wii Hack




Some others that he didn’t show that are way cool:

Photosynth: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/129

Robots that are self aware: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/165

If you want to go back in the time machine – here is a similar presentation to David’s by Nicholas Negroponte done in 1984 about what technologies would be coming. Some people thought he was off base then – and a lot of this came true.


With a lot of technology – it isn’t if – it is when…

As Dr. Thornburg said – “It is creativity that is holding us back, not technology”

Roundtable Discussion with David Thornburg and Chris Dede

Last Friday, after the district institute, we had a round table discussion with Chris Dede and David Thornburg.

Here are the highlights:

Topics Discussed in the Roundtable Discussion:

Games and Education:

There can be real power in the engagement level of kids playing games. However, the transition from using them as a form of entertainment to that of an instructional tool has not been successful. Referenced several projects:

River City: http://muve.gse.harvard.edu/rivercityproject/

NASA’s MMO Proposal: http://ipp.gsfc.nasa.gov/mmo/

Lucas Learning: http://www.lucaslearning.com/

Additional Resources:

Gaming helps students hone 21st-century skills:


Video – Video Games in Education http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6117726917684965691

Marc Prensky Videogame & Education References: http://www.marcprensky.com/dgbl/Prensky%20-%20Selected%20URLs(web).htm

Cellphones and Learning:

Should we be looking for ways to have students leverage the computing power of the technology they are carrying with them? There are some teachers in the US doing this already.

Referenced: http://www.cellphonesinlearning.com/ as a website where real lessons are posted. There are also additional resources on this page and great links.

Open Source Software:

Allows schools to leverage the cost of software to their advantage. Good discussion of this topic is available here: http://www.netc.org/openoptions/ Make sure to check out open office www.openoffice.org


The power of technology in education in the future may be directly related to assessment. Technology may give us the ability to gather lots of data about students’ performance in authentic settings and allow us to analyze it. Would allow for more formative assessment leading to better models of differentiated instruction.

Where do you go to learn about technology in education?

Websites to visit:

· TED www.ted.org

· Classroom 2.0 Ning http://www.classroom20.com/

· TechLearning http://www.techlearning.com/index.php

· Commoncraft Howto Videos http://commoncraft.com/show

· Edtechnot: http://www.edtechnot.com/index.html

People to read or follow their blogs:

Seymour Papert: http://www.edtechnot.com/notpapert.html

David Warlick: http://davidwarlick.com/2cents/

Will Richardson: http://weblogg-ed.com/

Vicki Davis: http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach: http://www.21stcenturycollaborative.com/

Assistive Technologies:

An area that is growing rapidly – but something that requires a lot of creativity.

Referenced:One2OneMate: http://www.one2onemate.com/ and E-Blocks: http://www.eblocks.net/n/index.php

High Tech High Schools: Is there a high school that is integrating all of this? Here is one: http://www.scienceleadership.org/

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Reflection Interface

Trip My Presentation

I was trying something new with VoiceThread (well new to me anyway).

I tried to uploaded my presentation on increasing student achievement through online communication. I was hoping my PLN might be interesting in viewing it and providing some feedback. For some reason I can't get this presentation to work on VT. I have the piece of it up that discusses student journaling.

So instead, embedded here is my presentation with my voice comments over the top. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. A pdf of the presentation is posted as well.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Post 04/22/2008

  • If you are interested, we'd like to give you a "Classroom Code" that'll give each of your students a free All-Access pass (unlimited full-length videos for a whole year) upon signing up with this code. And you can use Animoto with your students however you wish. Keep in mind that videos can be viewed full-screen for classroom presentations.

    tags: animoto, web2.0, mashup

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Skills need to move past content - in our dealings with parents

Today I was lucky enough to sit in on a presentation by Will Richardson speak to a mixed group of administrators, teachers, and technology coordinators. While most people were ohhing, ahhing , and blown away by the web 2.0 tools I was left thinking about something else.

His opening monologue made a great case for why we need to change how we do things in schools. He focused on a lot of ideas - but one that has been stuck in my mind is content. Why are we so worried about content with our kids - they can get information for free now. It is what they do with it that is important.

I agree with Will - we are stuck on content. Education cannot break free from the need to teach "just-in-case" information. Shouldn't we be more focused on what to do with that information?

This is an important concept...but it isn't where my thoughts stopped...

I started blending what he was saying in my mind with my last post. I focused in on the fact that there is a big deal being made out of giving our parents content.

SIS systems, notification systems, and websites are all getting better at getting crucial information to our parents. Are we smart enough to learn from the crisis of learning with our students to not replicate it with our parents? Are we going to focus on content or on skills - are we just going to give them a bunch of information or are we going to teach them that they can do something with that content?

I think the beginning of this starts in 2 ways -
1. Allow for 2 way communication -
--let parents ask questions and provide feedback. It seems we as educators always say we want parents involved until they show up at our door questioning what we do. Isn't that the type of skill that we are training our students now to use? Then when they use it as adults "against us" we are taken aback.
2. Provide resources that help parents use the information we provide for good - not bad.
--I think I am going to find, or make, a few videos that demonstrate good dialog between a parent and child regarding the information that they can gather from our SIS and website. I want to make these available for my parents and give them strategies for getting the job done.

Why should we expect that parents will have the skills we desire, especially when the content we are providing is so different?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Parenting 2.0 is really 1.0 - faster

Sometimes serendipity is not so serendipitous.

Yesterday I received the new T.H.E Journal and the cover story is "The Power of Parenting 2.0". Lately I have been working on focusing my thoughts on the power of parent communication and collaboration through online content. So when I saw the cover I was really excited. I figured I would have some great new groundbreaking insights to digest.


It wasn't until I read the article and looked closer at the sub line on the cover that I realized my mistake. The focus of the article is on Notification tools and SIS systems and the power of informing parents about grades, attendance, discipline and other issues. They did this in February as well in another article.

I get what they are getting at. There is great power about informing parents about problems and successes as they happen. It is similar to the differences between formative and summative assessment. Reinforce or change when the time is right.

My problem isn't with better communication. My problem is that it isn't Parenting 2.0. It is parenting 1.0 faster. The parent is still not able to communicate back thoughts, feelings, suggestions, or to be involved at the level that I think technology allows them to be.

What most emergency notification systems and SIS portals provide is only half of the picture. They are just a quicker version of a report card or newsletter. They need to be combined with a couple of other things:
  1. Content - Good reliable information that provides a full picture of the curriculum goals, events, and expectations in a class.
  2. Communication - A way to get a question back to a teacher about the information that was provided. Focusing on 2-way communication -
    1. Teachers listening to feedback - not just pushing information at the student and parent.
    2. Parents taking the initiative to be involved in their child's learning and telling their child that they expect them to succeed.
    3. Students - believing that they are the ones that control their performance and future and having the ability to tell the adults in their world what they need to succeed.
  3. Collaboration - Making sure that students, parents, and teachers are all well informed and are able to be involved in the learning process.
  4. Expectations - There should be some clear ground rules that we all live up to in our classrooms that are focused on helping the student to learn.
Is web 2.0 a requirement for parenting/teaching/learning 2.0?


Good teachers, parents, and students have used these strategies forever. Integrating technology makes it faster, more engaging, fluid, and did I mention faster?

I remember Ian Jukes saying that the first step in any technology is replacing what we did before with a faster and easier way of doing it. The memo became the email. He says technology really impacts education when it leads us to be able to do things that we could never do before, like multimedia online presentations.

The problem here is we are still trying to use technology to do something that isn't new. We could have been doing this all along without technology.

But we haven't. At least not all, or even most, of us.

What the technology will allow us to do in this case is something that we could have been doing, should have been doing, but in most cases weren't.

Now that's a breakthrough.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Why I Love My Kids

I usually don't post about personal stuff on my blog - but I couldn't resist.

My kids are so much like me it is nuts!

Henry Doing His Awesome Wall E Impression

Maria Just Being Nuts - Sing Along!

Felt the need to share. After all - I am a Dad first and a Geek second.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Post 04/08/2008

Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally

tags: blooms, 2.0

Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Meme: Passion Quilt

You are here to do things no one else can do - let your actions shine through and show the world what you have to offer - open the eyes of those around you with the greatness inside of you

Scott Weidig tagged me for a Passion Quilt - which began with Robin Ellis' post.

Nothing derives more joy from me than seeing something of greatness emerge from within an individual. A connection, new thought, discovery, or determination are all great things in my eyes. When we empower people, especially kids, to let these glimmers of greatness shine upon the world we have helped to release a light that can illuminate our world. My passion is helping people to shine.

I am tagging these people to add to the quilt:

Mark Ordonez

Charlene Chausis

Scott Meech

Carol Broos

Mike Cannizzo