Tuesday, October 23, 2007

There is More Than One Way to Hatch an Idea

We are beginning to have some great discussions on our TEAM blogs about web 2.0 and its value in our classrooms. Of using technology for the sake of technology...
Sometimes, I have wondered about this myself. For example, why blog if no one is going to read it? (If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, did it really fall?). Why twitter? Do we care that someone is sitting an airport, sipping Starbucks? Is twitter our version of Facebook?
Then, I remembered a blog entry by one of my fifth grade students on our class blog at blogmeister. I asked students to write a blog about what they hoped to learn in my Library Research/ICT class this year. This is what one student said:
When I finish research class

When I finish reasearch class,I want to learn how to type faster. I also want to share my ideas with everyone. I would like to see comments that are good about my blog. I even want to learn how to use the computer better. I already know how to use a computer,but I want to know more about it. If I read other people's blogs, I could maybe hatch an idea from that idea.
That is what I want to learn when I leave research class.
That's it! A 10-year-old captured what this is all about for me - ...I could maybe hatch an idea from that idea. Twitter is bringing more readers to my blog. I am starting to pick up tips and ideas from following some of my favorite thinkers. Through RSS, I learn something new everyday.

This is an amazing time for teaching and an amazing time for lifelong learners. See the Information R/Evolution video below from MWesch. Take part in this. Add to it. Take from it. It's free. Hatch an idea.

*Photo from: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/?display=142963&

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Digital Storytelling - Embracing Our Differences

Photo Courtesy of the Embracing Our Differences Website
I am off this morning to Heckscher Park to give a workshop on using PhotoStory to document an outdoor juried art exhibition celebrating diversity called Embracing Our Differences. In the limited time we have, I won't be able to get into much more than the basics of using the program, but I hope participants will go to Wes Fryer's blog, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, and read this post, as well as explore his blog in general. I plan to do a future workshop on using VoiceThread. Also, notice the neat diagram he made in Skitch. Another cool web 2.0 tool.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More About The Partnership for 21 Century Skills

Adam Dugger posed some great questions in his comment to my blog about Karen Cator's keynote. Some of his thoughts came up during the q&a at the panel discussion at the conference. Of course, testing and how that limits the 'creativity' for teachers was brought up by more than one teacher. And teachers do have to abide by that right now, but both David and Karen felt that there is a little progress. The 21 Century Skills partnership is supported by the AASL, and many organizations.

Karen Cator said that this 21st century learning framework is a step in the right direction. From their site:

New Online Education Resource to Feature 21st Century Skills

Oct. 10, 2007 -- Skills such as problem solving, innovation and creativity have become critical in today's global economy, and educators will now have additional resources to prepare our young people to succeed.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has developed Route 21, an online, one-stop-shop for 21st century skills-related resources. Route 21 demonstrates how 21st century skills can be supported through standards, professional development, assessments and teaching and learning.

Route 21 will launch on November 7. Be sure to check back then to learn more about this groundbreaking online educator resource.

Also, on their resource page, The Partnership for 21st Century Skills offers "...various tools and resources to assist educators in integrating 21st century skills into education. Their tools were developed through a comprehensive process involving hundreds of educators, researchers and employers across the country."

They also have Assess 21 - "a Web-based repository for information on assessments of 21st century skills. This repository is designed to serve as a central hub for background information on 21st century skills assessments as they become available and is open to submissions."

Apple John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

Picture above from http://www.lennonbus.org/

Yesterday at the conference I was able to tour the Apple John Lennon Imagine Educational Tour Bus. It was amazing! It is a recording studio on wheels that travels all over the U.S. and Canada, visiting schools, (for free), and allowing students to spend the day in the bus creating their own music videos. Students write the lyrics, create the music, create the video, and the Apple engineers turn that into a MTV-style music video. That is burned to a DVD and given to the students. We got to see the Imagine bus and watched this video. How cool is that!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Technology Summit Conference - Keynote Karen Cator

Blogging from the conference...

Karen Cator – Directs Apple’s Leadership and Advocacy efforts in education.

21st Century Skills and Learning:

Why 21st C Skills?
Partnership for 21st c Skills – partnership of technology groups, AASL, technology companies - (such as Apple, Dell), cross section of entities involved in developing framework.

Route 21 will be on this website - standards, assessments .

Why do we have to talk about doing things differently in schools?

1. Global Competition: “Did You know” video on youtube. The top 25% of students in China outnumber the entire population of the US.
2. Global Interdependence – global warming, internet security, where are those things stored? A virus will travel the world 6x before it burns itself out. This is what kids have to think about.
3. Information is ubiquitous – if I can google the answers to the test is that cheating or is that resourceful? {What do YOU think???} Do we have to completely rethink the assessment systems?
4. Workplace Innovation – the workplace has completely changed with the advent of the Internet. What are companies looking for in the next 5 years that are not coming out of schools today? –->TOP two things they are looking for are:

  • Creativity and Innovation – that has to be our niche if we want to compete.
  • The ability to operate in a global environment – international trade –entire of integration of business and person relationships. The workspace has completely change.
5. Student Experience – outside of school has changed tremendously. Texting, communicating, problem-solving – not multi-tasking but parallel processing. Students are totally connected to each other –text each other, etc., when they come into school we tend to shut that down. We tend to shut down their creative collaborative side.

Individuals – ---->Sharing Content------>Virtual Communities

Today’s Challenge: Student Engagement
We have tremendous nonretention issue in the US. Every student, whether they are successful or not, every experience is about relevance – how do we engage them in a relevant experience; and a social and emotional connection –kids don’t care about NCLB, they care about that someone knows they are there. It used to be OK that 30% of our kids dropped out of school. It’s not anymore.

For every 100 9th graders in the US only 69% graduate, 40% enroll incollege immediately; 27% are still enrolled in college and 18 graduate college on time from National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education Policy Alert April 2004.

Tony Wagner, Harvard 2007 THE SCHOOLING DISCONNECT
Schooling today -

  • Getting right answer and performing well on multiple choice tests
  • Working alone
  • Learning within academic disciplines
  • Memorizing fixed info
  • Adhering to external and inflexible time segments

21st C Schooling:

  • Figuring out right questions and using skills to solve new problems
  • Working in teams
  • Working across disciplines
  • Learning how to find info, communicate it and apply it
  • managing time and commitments and prioritization

26% of employers use google myspace and facebook to look up potential employees – students are CEO's of themselves – what do you want the world to see you as?

Where do they publish - where is theiroutlet for creativity? One place Apple Student Gallery -
Apple has insomnia film festival – 3000 teams were producing and publishing videos. Students were collaborating, writing, - think of the process that could be assessed!

There’s a whole new growth center for creative industries – how do we get our kids aware of this? Digital media careers will go from over 1 million employed to over 7 million by 2014.

What does innovation look like in education?

  • How do we create that environment for students to be producers – to create, distribute, access and environment.
  • Content creation tools. Communicate effectively with multiple media types – text, video, phtot, music, podcast, websites. What are professionals using? ILife is the pro set.
  • Distribution environment: iPod + iTunes – mobile device to take away from your computer. iTunes education content from national geographic to David Warlick. iTunes U is now in regular music store. Open free public access in the itunes store. Gives you access to 30 public college and universities – this is amazing. Changes everything concerning distribution and content. Apple is thinking aout how to publish content specifically for k12. Look at usf --university of south florida-- has audio books for kids for all ages.

Collaboration -video ichat, online global community global awareness unit-peace, conflict and security on apple learning exchange.

Technologies to build relevant engaging learning environments.

Technology Summit - Panel Discussion With David Warlick and Karen Cator

Yikes! I am going to run out of battery soon!

DW- teachers should be modeling how to deal with an abundance of information.
KC - teachers should be as proficient as students - look at NETS for teachers too!
We need to teach kids to ask good questions.
With wikis we are seeing students create their own 'textbook'.
KC- We need to teach teachers how to create compelling assignments.
DW-One of shifts we have to make is tc change our notion of a teacher. That the teacher is the model learner. Teachers need to teach themselves. The learning of the technology is part of the teaching week - a master learner in today's information landscape.

...out of battery...more later!

Technology Summit - David Warlick -Redefining Digital Literacy in the 21st Century

am blogging live at the Technology Summit Conference in Huntington, NY. The Internet connection here was unavailable at first, but we are online now! For David's online handouts, click here.

I took this picture with my laptop (photo booth). No, you are not dyslexic. It is how the picture came out in photo booth!

DW - This year we will generate about 5 exabytes of new information. Only 0.01% of that information is printed. David says we should stop integrating technology and we should start redefine literacy and integrate that. The best thing we could be teaching our kids is how to teach themselves what they need to know. Wikipedia is not entirely reliable...but, think about it, are textbooks, newspapers and magazines always accurate? We live in a new information environment. Our kids are reading in an electronic, global library - where anyone can publish. We must expand our notion of what it means to be a reader in the 21st century - can I find the truth in information? Can I find the evidence that it is true? Find it, decode it, critically evaluate, and organize it into personal digital libraries. Our kids are starting with Google - billions of pages of information - not a simple index in the back of a book.

Thanks, David, for pointing out the importance of information literacy!

Information used to be a product, you consumed it. For students today, information is raw material that can be mixed to make something new, remix content. We are overwhelmed with information, but we pay attention to what competes best for our attention - probably visual and audio will catch our attention first. Today it is can you express an idea compellingly to a group of people.

write to--->communicate to--->accomplish goals. What you write must be read - it must successfully compete for your audience's attention. (Multimedia- visuals, music communicate.) Express ideas compellingly.

THE 3 E'S:
exposing truth
employing information
express ideas compellingly +
ethical use of information - minimizing harm -spam, viruses
  • seek truth and express it
  • minimize harm
  • be accountable
  • respect and protect the information infrastructure
Information is bringing meaning to what we are doing. We see technology - kids see information.