Friday, November 21, 2008

We are getting there...

Years ago in a former district I remember planning a staff development day where we had identified 6 categories or tracks to plan for; Math, English, Science, Social Studies, Technology and Special Areas. As we worked toward an agenda with lead teachers of those subject areas and the Curriculum Director, in my role of Instructional Technology Coordinator, I also attended these planning meetings. This particular time I sat quietly listening to all that they were saying. After about 45 minutes of listening to ideas they asked what my thoughts were (now this is going back at least 6 years ~ 2002) and I said "I'm sad to see that we have technology as it's own strand instead of embedded into each of the other strands."

The room was quiet and no one knew quiet what to say...they couldn't really conceptualize that even though our teachers had laptops for 4 years already...

Fast forward to today...I am following "spillarke's" comments on twitter about the keynote that she is listening to by Marc Prensky at the National Conference of English Teachers (NCTE)...when you google NCTE...you can find their ning...http://ncte2008.ning.com/ with the heading of...NCTE Annual Conference, Because Shift Happens, Teaching in the 21st Century. We are getting there!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Building Virtual Global Communities

US-China Virtual Symposium Presentation

Online Enhanced Podcast
http://blog.netbriefings.com/virtualconference/2008/11/07/dr-kristen-kozloski-dr-megan-fritz/

Archived Panel Discussion - Best Practices in Technology Use
http://144.118.68.54:8888/moodle20/mod/resource/view.php?id=34
(if prompted first, login as guest)
I was 1 of 5 panelists of the evening.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Emerging Interactive Media and Neomillenial Learning Styles

Chris Dede
Harvard University
www.gsd.harvard.edu/~dedech/

Monday, November 3, 2008

Authentic Learning and Scaffolding

This past week in my Drexel class we had many challenges with the podcast upload. Hopefully we will all get the kinks worked out and shortly you will be able to see my students' podcasts on iTunes U!! : ) For them, this process was a very good example of authentic learning and also of some additional scaffolding that we should have provided to make the upload process a bit easier.

As teachers, and technologists, when we design a learning environment that incorporates technology, we must think about our student audience and where they are with their level of technology use. It is clear to me today that my students needed a bit more scaffolding as to what a VPN was and WHY on earth they would connect to it and HOW from that connection they could upload their files. That information (along with some not so complete directions) was not provided so the students had some challenges in understanding the context for what they were doing and then completing the task.

We will discuss this in our live classroom. They all persevered very well in the process and are finding success in uploading their podcasts. They will be discussing the science of learning and how this can be applied to instructional desgin. Podcasts certainly worth checking out under Drexel's iTunes University!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Self-Engagement at 8 Years Old

This morning I watched my 8 year old son show his morning sitter how to enter the world of Alice. Being a retired teacher, she was amazed at what he was doing.

He and I had dabbled in this 3D programming world when he had said to me, mom, I want to create a web-page...like Webkins....you can teach me that, right? Well, how could I say no?

I downloaded Alice and went through the tutorial on my own and then showed it to him. He learned how to load a world and start to manipulate objects in that world.

We need to find ways to harness this self-engagement for the 21st Century Learner so that all of our learners get this excited about learning on their own.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Web 3.0

Some new blogs I'll be following...

http://web3next.blogspot.com/


Tim Burners-Lee

Learning about these projects...

The Tabulator project is a generic Semantic Web data browser. Using outline and table modes, it provides a way to browse RDF data.

Policy Aware Web, funded by NSF, a collaboration between MINDSWAP and DIG to work toward creating discretionary, rules-based access for the World Wide Web.

The Transparent Accountable Datamining Initiative (TAMI) Project, funded by NSF, is creating technical, legal, and policy foundations for transparency and accountability in large-scale aggregation and inferencing across heterogeneous information systems.

http://dig.csail.mit.edu/

I also added some other Web 3.0 resources to my wiki.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wednesday Sessions - NECC 2008

What an amazing day already!!

Saw Mitchell Resnick from MIT first thing this morning. Really great stuff about the Scratch software and community, creativity and learning. Will post my notes later as I couldn't get on the Internet during his session. I am now waiting for Bernie Dodge to get started. Will post on that later as well, have a few things to finish up for our 12 pm presentation.

Here are the details....

University 2.0: Digital Innovations in the University Classroom

12pm Texas (CST) time; 1 pm Pennsylvania (EST) time:

Website: http://university20necc2008.googlepages.com/home
Ustream: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/university-2.0-necc-2008

Hope you can join us!!
~Kristen and Megan : )

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesday Sessions - NECC 2008

Understanding Digital Learners: Learning in the New Digital Landscape
Ian Jukes

Website 83 page handout on the website - Understanding Digital Kids (notes on yesterday and today)

Why are kids in your classrooms?
This is a learning conference...
How can we begin to do things differently starting RIGHT NOW to have kids want to be in our classrooms?

Getting kids to WANT to learn...

Huge gap between digital learning styles and traditional education. System thing, not a personnel thing. Digital World completely out of sync with education methodology.

7 Major Changes that Educators/Education MUST make if we are going to connect with these Digital Kids

Time for education to CATCH UP.

Kids are neurologically different - see the world differently.

The Digital Diet - One step at a time.
Go online read Zits comics
Play video games against kids - while they are listening to music
Take time to explore their online world at YouTube, Flicker, etc, etc.

1. TEACH to a WHOLE NEW MIND (Daniel Pink)
Many in the top 1/3 of classes don't need to be "taught" - they do well in tool in spite of teachers instead of because of them.

Consumers v. Producers
Move beyond 20th century literacies to 21st century fluencies
~Fluencies are unconscious skills (internalized like learning to ride/riding a bike)

2. TEACH FLUENCY
Technological Fluency - transparent use of digital tools to perform a wide range of tasks (no analysis of how ink got into a pen - you just use the pen)! This is NOT about teaching kids Excel, it's about teaching kids how to problem solve!

Headware NOT Hardware

Media Fluency - being able to look critically at the content of a website, video, bog, video game, and be able to understand how the medium is being used to shape our thinking or to communicate - not how it is used but how WELL it is being used.

Educators need to understand that students need to be able to create/communicate in all mediums.

Information Fluency - ability to unconsciously to be able to interpret information in all forms in order to be able to extract the essential knowledge
Ask Good Questions
Access & Acquire Raw Material from the MOST APPROPRIATE source
Apply - VIP - moving Vision into Practice
Assess - process and product

We CANNOT just ADD another LAYER

3. We HAVE to SHIFT our INSTRUCTIONAL APPROACH - resist the temptation to tell the whole story, sharing the product of our thinking, we are taking the excitement out of learning. There is a time for this but we can't do it all the time. We need to "teach lazy" - empower our students to be independent thinkers, independent learners.

Progressive Withdrawal in Education - Help kids become INDEPENDENT, not DEPENDENT on us for information/knowledge.

We live in an age of infowhelm - how do we keep kids engaged?!
Dale's Learning Cone, Learning Pyramid, Learning Triangle (google this to find diagaram)

4. Let our kids access information NATIVELY

5. Let students COLLABORATE
Ted McCain - spontaneous ad-hocism
DN's see the world differently than we do and will create things we do not even think of

6. Let students create products that demonstrate understanding of both CONTENT and PROCESS (not about using digital tools just b/c they are cool but b/c they enhance traditional learning and they are the most powerful tools)

7. We must RE-EVALUATE EVALUATION (still a place for traditional testing) ~ True Assessment measures so much more. Have to be used as tools for change of change and learning not just for teachers but also for teachers. Not just tools of accountability but tools to help teachers get better at what they do. Need an authentic audience in a variety of settings. Need encouragement to TRY and do things in all kinds of areas. Not just Qualitative/Sumative but Qualitative/Formative!

Committed Sardine Website

Edtags.org: Academic Social Tagging to Aid Learning and Assessment
Chris Dede, Adam Seldow

Web 2.0 Redefines what how and with whom we learn (c.dede)
Knowledge generated by experts v. knowledge generated by a community (i.e. wikipedia)

Chris_dede@harvard.edu

Adam Seldow
adam_seldow@gsd.harvard.edu
CIO - Fall River Public Schools

Collections of organizations and their inter-relationships

Whyville?

Sociosemantic Networking (polysyllabric words)

-communicating with language
-colloquial communication - tag as we speak

Sociosemantic plaforms
simpy
citeulike
scuttle
steve
furl
connotea
librarything
edtags - place where educational resources live

With a course - tag with course number
terminology and tags - reflection on what you are looking for in the class/as a teacher

Look at how mental models of the students will indicate their knowledge structures

isites.harvard.edu/edtags

Monday, June 30, 2008

NECC 2008 - Monday Session Notes

Digital Literacy in the Elementary Classroom
Janice Friesen, Eanes ISD


Handout is online on NECC Site
References Daniel Pink
Talking about eInstruction
Talking about Alex’s Lemonade Stand Project

Resource
wordweb.info/free - pc only - check it out...very cool!

Photo Story - Kelly Manzano
100 Days of School - What each student brought to the 100 day celebration.
Headset microphones to record text.

Digital Storytelling with Minimal Clicks
Wes Fryer and Others


thinkingmachine.pbwiki.com


teachdigital.pbwiki.com/digitalstoryteling


Ear v. Eye - dialup v. broadband

“Do Curriculum”

Tell a Story with 5 Photos for Educators - Karen Motgomery
(on Flicker) - other group available also but not moderated by an educator so may have questionable content.
5 photos = 5000 word story

Text Century v. Visual Century

Professional Development - VoiceThread with Coffee 2.0
Digital Picture for Name Tent (no directions first)

Moodle Model 5E Lesson
Mark McCall, Charles Ackerman
Bryan ISD, Bryan TX

www.jukeboxedu.com
Teaching in a 1/1 classroom.
Extrovert v. Introvert
(Lab-Based v. Web-Based)

Other from Today:
Blog to Check out: http://learning20.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Moving Skyscrapers, Moving Pedagogy


If Dubai can plan a moving skyscraper (thanks to Jim Gates for this link) then we can plan for moving pedagogy. How do we do this? We begin by having discussions that focus on what some might call "out of the box" thinking. In a technology meeting today my team asked me how we would support PowerPoint from school to home if we were moving to Macs, iWork and Open Office. I suggested that we talk about using SlideShare and other Web 2.0 tools with students.

It was a new thought process for them, using the web to present. If we don't start having the discussions, we can't start changing the thinking or moving the pedagogy. A school district near mine has communicated to it's teachers that it is moving to Office 2007 so that they can take advantage of the additional 1500 features available in this new software. WHAT??? I would be willing to be that most people can't even list 50 features that they use now! So, to that I say...let's look at Google Docs. Thinking out of the box...what do you think??!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Learning to Change, Changing to Learn

A colleague of mine shared this video with me today. It includes perspectives from Cheryl Lemke, Daniel Pink and Chris Dede among others. It is worth taking 5 minutes to watch. As an educator and advocate for 21st century classrooms, we need to keep these kinds of ideas in front of educational leaders and teachers to continue to promote the seamless integration of technology in the teaching and learning process.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

False Sense of Connection

We had an awesome summer thunderstorm near my house this evening. As I sat here and enjoyed watching the unpredictable weather from the comfort of my front porch, I reflected upon the fact that at the moment I was watching, my fun loving golden retriever kept wanting to connect to me, then the cat, then me, then the cat, to get someone to play with her. It reminded me of an old saying, "on the internet, no one knows you're a dog" which also made me think, if you're a dog, really, you can't connect with your owner or the cat via twitter on the internet. Some connections really just need physical interaction! It is human (and animal) nature to want to physically connect to one another.

Wes Fryer
and Vicki Davis have both recently blogged about taking time to disconnect and refresh ourselves, connect with our family and stay positive. I wholeheartedly agree that all of these are very important to do. In fact, I think it is important to try to do these things more than once a year. Many of us take one vacation in the summer for about a week. The rest of the year we are connected with our colleagues, friends, family and significant others, via email, twitter, text messages, occasional phone calls (if we feel it's too much to type or text) and, if we're lucky, we meet in person. I am reminded of an initiative in our school district where we are educating the "whole child." As part of that, we were presented with the fact that to thrive, children, actually all humans need 6-8 respectful touches a day. There was no research on how many respectful twitters or emails equated to respectful touches.

Hmmmm....so I'm wondering...text connections without human interactions...do they give us a false sense of connection? As I begin to plan for a one to one initiative for my teachers this summer, I will pause to remember that the goal is not to disconnect but to strengthen connections. I will push myself to go the extra mile and not just send an email, text or twitter, but extend a hand and a friendly smile and hopefully create a human connection. Maybe even give a hug or two to those that have a special place in my heart. I urge you do to the same!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Making Learning "Safe" for Teachers

In today's world of accountability, it is hard to find ways to allow for positive accountability without some kind of "evaluation" tied to it. However, I think this is what we, as educational technologists and advocates of changing pedagogy desperately need to do to support teachers!! If we do not make their professional development learning environments "safe" for exploration and free of negative evaluation, the willingness of teachers to try new things will be sorely diminished.

Safe environments invite exploration, creating avenues such as moodle sandboxes are just the type of activities that can begin to facilitate this type of professional learning. I have learned that people who are enclosed in walls for a long period of time have a very difficult time knowing what to do when the walls come down and they have opportunities for growth. I think we need to be cognizant of these feelings and make sure that we understand that while teachers may want to embrace change and new learning, they need support, hand holding and being told that it is OK not to know it all, or to have it all together as they explore these new frontiers.

We must also loosely structure their learning so that they have time to explore and but also give them small successes so that they get excited about learning more and take it upon themselves to continue to explore. These ideas may sounds simple and you may say to yourself that you are already doing these things and if so that's great. If you don't see teachers jumping on the bandwagon behind you, stop to talk to them and see how they are feeling. Safety for learning and exploration may be just what they need to get going. Try some structured facilitation and consistent support and watch them grow. Just like young plants, they need constant attention, at least in the beginning until they are strong enough and have a deep enough root and developed enough stem to survive a bit of drought and still stay strong and continue to grow!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Reading and Thinking

Had some time this morning to work through some good Twitter and Blog links. Added a page to my wiki entitled "To Think About..." - sometimes it's just easier to add to my wiki! Happy Thursday...off to think! : )

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Web Tools Conundrum...

Yesterday I attended the first National Education Web Professionals Conference.

There was a wonderful diversity of educational professionals there. The conference wasn’t large enough for break-out sessions so we all were in the same room all day. It was a different but unique and rewarding conference experience. There wasn’t wireless internet access, which was a good and bad thing as we were a captive audience. The keynote speaker was Tony Byrne, founder of CMS Watch. What I thought was most interesting about his speech, was his idea that in order to identify what your district/organization needs from a CMS system, have people create narrative use cases to tell a story, that validates the needs, not just create a checklist of needs. Furthermore, the panels didn’t just present, they told stories about how their topic came to fruition in the district.

Many people in the educational technology world are struggling with blogs, wikis, podcasts, on-line courseware and content management systems (CMS) and how they all fit together. Some of the topics of conversation included Moodle vs. CMS, how do you make all users happy? What does ease of use mean? What content should be internal v. external?

They are hoping to grow the conference and the conversations, hope you’ll think about joining in!! :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Digital Sharing and Engagement

A struggle with my Drexel students kept me thinking about what really is the difference between presenting and digital sharing? Again, we were stuck on semantics - traditional paradigms about presentations with PowerPoint.  We came up with the term digital sharing to reflect what we were trying to do. Traditionally the last night of class we have everyone present their project to the rest of the class. A painfully long experience when there are 20 students in the class.  We wanted to have students look at each other's projects in a more meaningful way.

What we came up with was this:  the students would post to my Drexel Wiki page and then using the wiki discussion board section, they would share comments with their peers.  I was amazed by how much more involved the students were this method. They were forced to make an effort to look at others projects and they had to share feedback. Because this was done in a way that made sense to them, via a Wiki, the web and a discussion board, they were engaged.

But that wasn't all...at the same time they were working on this they had learned how to post to my voice thread about Blogging in Higher Education. They were doing this with their cell phones!  Now I know Marc Prensky has written about harnessing the power of the cell phone in the classroom, and I agree, but to see it actually in practice, engaging students, amazing!!!

They immediately got out their cell phones and began to call themselves to post their response, then they stopped.  They realized that they wanted to script out their sentences and then collaborate with their peers to see who was writing what.  The energy in the room was awesome!!!  They took the time to have the voicethread call themselves in the hall so that their recordings could be quiet.  It was engagement at it's finest!!  Now if we can just harness that for K-12!! : )

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

If it's not about the technology, what IS it about?

Wes Fryer's blog post today reminded me about the importance of semantics when we talk about education and I would propose, more specifically about technology integration, especially as we talk to our leaders and our school boards.

Pennsylvania is on their way to getting it right with the Classrooms for the Future initiative. What is this initiative about? It's about teaching and learning first and technology second. It's about coaching teachers to shift their pedagogy in the classroom first and using technology as the tool second.

I constantly remind my Drexel students that when I am teaching about Multimedia in Instructional Design that it is NOT about the technology. They struggle with this comment at first but eventually get what I am saying. That is, that it IS about teaching, learning, changing pedagogy through collaboration, constructing knowledge, and empowering students by (as Wes said) "giving them an invitation to learn." Ultimately, it IS about our future!

I would love to hear your comments about what it IS about as well!
Visit Kristin Hokanson's blog to find out more about how to tell Congress (and don't forget about the semantics!!).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Learning about the Moon...

Tonight there is a lunar eclipse. Being a technologist and NOT an astronomer I felt it my obligation to look up what this actually meant so that if I was asked by the Jay Leno show, or, more importantly my seven year old son, I wouldn't look like I had no idea what I was talking about. What I found interesting was the following quote by Robert Roy Britt in his article "The Disappearing Moon: Why and Where it Hides."

"Modern humans have lost touch with the night sky compared to our ancestors, to the point that even some of the most intelligent people on the planet are too wrapped up in the day-to-day to know much about what's going on at night."

I am wondering that as technologists (and intelligent people) if we are getting too wrapped up in the twitters/blogs/wikis/nings/pownces to remember what it is like to be in the classroom with 30 students and the reality of day to day teaching and learning, even with internet connectivity, somewhat unconnected to our peers and our friends throughout the day, AND which for many includes not enough technology and many administrators who are not sure how to get more or who are fighting with technology departments about how to let the Web 2.0 tools in!

That being the case, those of us who can, should advocate to teach others as Steve Hargadon is doing in his Classroom 2.0 "Conversations"/Talk-Casts. I need to learn more about how to use these tools in my own work environment!


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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Web 2.0 Teachers and Learners...

Early in my educational training I learned that the expert is not always the best teacher because they tend to "forget" the details of "how" to do something as those simple "how's" have become natural in their use of the tool. I struggle to remember this as I am planning an introductory Moodle training for tomorrow’s in-service in my school district.

Having recently attended the PETE&C conference, I was humbly reminded that there are people who have never been exposed to Twitter or who have NEVER even created a blog or a wiki, used Moodle AND some who really don't even know what these and other Web 2.0 tools are or how they can benefit education. I guess that is what I like about the PETE&C conference, many practicing educators, sharing with others what they are doing even though they may not be experts in the tools.

I was excited hearing keynote speaker David Pogue talk about splintering technology and all of the amazing technological advancements that will be affecting the digital natives that we are teaching, I think we have to also remember that there are many educators who have not yet experienced Web 2.0 and it's possibilities As an educator, I believe it is our job is to remember that and empower them to learn about it, remembering back to our early learning days with this technology and remembering to teach them the basics without making them feel less of a teacher because they don’t know.

To that end, I am trying to create a virtual 2.0 educational field experience for the students in my Multimedia in Learning Design class. I created one this summer that was not well received from the edu-blogging community, possibly because of timing and I understand we are all busy, but I also think that if WE don't take time to teach those who don't know, who will??

These students are VERY new to the Web 2.0 world, while they know IM and Facebook, Web 2.0 tools in instructional design are new to them. Here ere is the original assignment I created this past summer.

Field Experience Paper

Please use APA style and include at least 5 research citations.

Use one of the following blog links (list deleted), or another of your choosing to virtually visit an educator. After reading a number of their blog entries, contact them to complete a short interview via email. You will need to write your own interview questions.

Your interview should ask more detailed questions concerning the topics you’ve read about and their practical application in the classroom. Ask these questions knowing where you are in the teaching process (i.e. just starting, learning more about technologies, or changing careers) and how you would like to incorporate multimedia into the classroom based on what you are learning in this class. Many of these educators are busy so I would suggest that you limit your questions to 5-7 to ensure that you will get a response in a timely fashion to complete your paper.

After completing the interview, do some further research one of the topics related to their blog entries and include your perspective on its potential use in education in your paper. Your paper should be 10-15 pages in length.

I am looking for new ideas to create a virtual 2.0 educational experience, for beginning Web 2.0 teachers who are learning about how to incorporate these tools into their instructional designs. All ideas welcome!! :)




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Monday, February 11, 2008

PETE&C 2008 Conference
Notes/Resources for Sharing

Keynote Speaker
David Pogue - http://www.davidpogue.com/

ETI Session - Ann Johnston
Lincoln Intermediate Unit No. 12
Good Model for staff development. Model for training - all resources in Moodle
  • Integration
  • Collaboration
  • Exposure to traditional/emerging tehnologies
  • Subject focused
  • Web 2.0
Modeling in planning and presentation
6 Teacher Stations (20 min./stations) – for exposure

Wiki's v. Blogs - Showdown in the Classroom
founderstech.wikispaces.com
handout on the wiki
You Tube Video – Wiki’s in Plain English

Wiki – document centered by content…
Blogging – David Warlick (basis for use)
Literacy=communication
Blogs = communication
Blogs = Literacy
Teacher: No requirement for classroom blog but to think about what they are learning and write down their thoughts ~ exploration of their thinking.

Places to blog: Kidsblog; Classblogmeister.com – readability level of writing is displayed, very cool.
Presenter – 8th Grade Teacher
Weekly requirement of the science class 20 pts to write, 20 pts to comment
Changing classroom practice from daily journaling and prompt/question of the day to the blog area. Starts by taking students to the computer lab 1/wk, then 1 e/o week, then not at all – students will find a way when offered to HAND WRITE the post and turn it in. Teacher controls all approval of posting, comments, etc.

Web 2.0 in the Social Studies Classroom
Jim Shields, Hatboro Horsham
theclimbingteacher.wikispaces.com

www.gigipan.org - panoramics of sites all over the world

List of Projects Demonstrated - Contact Jim for links...
CultureSport
Wordpop
Gender and Age
Help meet our neighbors across the globe
Ning Social Network
Flickr
VoiceThread

Other from Colleagues
http://www.mosaickr.com/ - create mosaics from flickr






Thursday, February 7, 2008

Too Much Printing!!!

My question of the day...how do we empower teachers to not print but go digital?? Baby step ideas are needed...I love Wes Freyer's post today about Digital Storytelling but I think I have to start smaller with some of the folks that I am working with.

All ideas welcome!! I am hoping that we can begin to get rid of so much printing and move to more digital teaching, learning, creating and assessing!!

From Fred D'Ignazio's Sparky the Dog...
"Cultural Blindness

We are not doing this on purpose. Most of us adults are not naturally mean, despite what many kids think. We really are people of good will. But we may be terminally blind.

As with any cultural transformation, the inhabitants of the old culture (the world of printed words) can't see the new culture coming. And the inhabitants of the new culture (electronic media) can't understand why most of their world is so foreign to the older persons they see everywhere around them.

Let's face it, we big people love books. We have spent our lives in the company of books. If you added up all the books we've stuck our noses into, you'd be amazed. Even worse, add up all the inches of text we've followed, line after line, page after page, as we've read books over twenty, thirty, or more years! We've spent our lives in "book school" learning this simple equation: KNOWLEDGE = BOOKS. And school is the center of this theory of knowledge. The specialists of book-centered knowledge teach in the schools. Their methodology is straightforward: If you want to know something, find it in a book."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Leaders, Technology Integration and Professional Development

"A new leader has to be able to change an organization that is dreamless, soulless and visionless ... someone's got to make a wake up call." ~Warren Bennis

This was the leadership quote of the day today that a colleage shared with me from his iGoogle gadget this morning. Being a technology leader in my district, I love the quote. Last night's WOW2 EdTech Chat had, from what I could tell, one principal attend. Melinda Miller who has her own blog. We need more principals like her. She also does a podcast with Scott Elias which you can subscribe to from this blog. My research on principal leadership for technology integration also found that we need more principals like them. AND, the conversation last night further validated these ideas by those in the field who were chatting on the topic of technology professional development. Many in the discussion were technology integrators or technology coaches and not building adminstrators.

How do we get more building administrators involved in the discusion? Some are doing it on their own, Aaron Steinly, Assistant Principal at United School District also has a blog for his teachers as does Tim Lauer, Principal of Lewis Elementary, but they are the exception, as is Chris Lehman, not the norm. I am sure there are others that I have not had time to find and sometimes principals discuss these topics on the LeaderTalk blog. I wonder how many building administrators read these blogs?

As a district Director of Technology I believe it is my job to help principals become mini-technology integrators/leaders. Afterall, building principals are (supposed to be) the instructional leader in the building. If we want teachers to begin to think about and then begin to practice changing their teaching and learning environments to more 21st Century-like styles, we, technology directors, integrators and coaches alike need to provide consistent support for the instructional leaders at all levels. Building leaders then need to provide a consistent message of changing instructional practice to their teachers.



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Friday, February 1, 2008

Listening, Conversing, Discussing and Debating...Which one are you doing??

I just read an interesting quote from David Warlick's latest post (1/31/08) "Unconference is anarchy in practice. He says that everyone was blogging and podcasting, but no one was listening." He was listening to Andrew Keen on Digital Narcissism.

While I know digital natives are touted to be able to multi-task much better than the digital immigrants, I am wondering who is really listening when they are multi-tasking?? I ask this because if they are really listening, they will begin to more deeply discuss topics and involve others, but is this really going on in our blogs and podcasts today?

Educators are beginning to have conversations about technology and changing teaching and learning. I think conversations are a start it must go beyond that. We must then move forward both with our colleagues that we agree with AND those that we disagree with in our systems to move conversations to discussions and discussions to debates so that the "real" issues get to the table and are recognized. While it may seem like semantics, conversations are informal and begin most often between like-thinking colleagues, which won't cause an irritation in the system (Wheatley, 2001).

Discussions (which imply the taking of action to exchange ideas) can begin to do that but must be followed up with debates (formal, public discussion of ideas and opposing viewpoints). If we don't do move to these higher levels of conversing and listening, I'm not sure that we will ever move beyond the conversation to fundamentally change educational systems and create what we are all conversing about...an educational revolution that embraces 21st Century teaching and learning.


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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Technology Applications in Educational Leadership

This evening I will be speaking in Dr. Ron Musoleno's graduate classroom at Penn State Great Valley on the topic of technology applications in educational leadership. As my research was on the topic of principal leadership for technology integration, I believe this course is essential to all potential incoming administrators so I feel very fortunate to be able to share some of what I have discovered, discuss and seek to continually practice to these potential administrators.

In Dr. Ron's words, "[the] premise [of the class] is to introduce students who are in the principal certification program to some of the many technological applications available to them as administrators. It is also designed to acquaint them with instructional tools (such as the CPS) that they may encounter when they observe a class."

We will be reviewing classroom performance systems such as eInstruction, Turning Point and Senteo. We will also look at podcasting and some other Web 2.0 tools. To begin, we will explore two TeacherTube videos to set the stage and get these students in the mindset of a digital native. I will also introduce them to the conversations about School 2.0 (School 2.0 wiki) and Students 2.0 that were recently discussed at Educon 2.0, we need to get more educators, at all levels of the system (and especially at the administrative level) to get involved in these conversations!

to reiterate...revisit the title of my blog and my first post...changing the discussion! : )

Friday, January 25, 2008

Technology-ish

I think that 21st Century education is a constant balancing act between defining our learning goals and finding/acquiring/using the tools we need to meet those goals. Vicki Davis had a great blog post about Webkinz and education this week.

I also attended Peter Reynold's webinar on Tuesday and he reminded us to always try to promote creativity and innovation in our students. He had us draw teacups, so at my technology team meeting I had the staff draw monkeys. Most, including mine, were "monkey-ish." If you didn't hear the webinar, the "ish" might not make sense for you but basically what Peter was saying is that "ish" is a way of encouraging students. To that end he has created a product to easily allow students to animate drawn objects.

This product will do well to help us target ISTE's technology standard of creativity and innovation. Some of the first graders in one of my elementary schools got to demo this tool and created some Animation-ish movies today to illustrate dancing. I hope you enjoy them and all remember to dance to your own music! (hmmm...video upload errors...for now will publish without the videos...sorry!).

Many of us strive to be on the cutting edge every day. In balancing life, I have to say I think sometimes it's ok NOT to be and sometimes it's ok if you are just "technology-ish."

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Entering the Wiki World...

I created my wiki space today. I called it web20fored and the first space is about Why Wiki's. I welcome any input on the topic.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy New Year!

In the past few days I have heard and read about how New Year's Resolutions are "planned to fail" because they are too broad or too comprehensive. Having started a new job, at times I am overwhelmed by all that I want to introduce to my teachers. Sometimes it leaves me puzzled and almost paralyzed as to where to begin. So, this year I have decided to take some smaller steps and set small goals. Introduce one thing at a time instead of showing them 5 Web 2.0 tools at once without knowing our goals and vision of technology integration as a district.

This week I (finally) found time to read the report Maximizing the Impact - The Pivotal Role of Technology in a 21st Century Education System. I thought it was well written. One of the key points that struck me was the following quote,

"We have different missions. We serve different constituencies, but we speak with one voice on this issue: We must synchronize our efforts to leverage technology to achieve results for every student and, ultimately, for the nation, states and communities as well."

This is the key point I will start with as I bring my technology team and my technology lead teachers together this week to discuss this report. I have asked them to bring one question and one idea that we should discuss further. I can't wait to see what they come up with!!

You can download the full report here.