Thursday, February 28, 2008

Classroom learning...without boundaries

I can tell you very little of what I learned during my school years...and the things I can remember are activities that were project based or relevant to me. I remember when Mr. Vernon turned us into paleontologists and we had to create "artifacts" based on our individual "cultures"...then we unearthed the artifacts and had to determine what kind of society the other group was based on their artifacts.

So when Will Richardson this week wrote about the idea of The Distributed University which asked some interesting questions about how we encourage learning that includes all kinds of experiences.

Once you put all this together, students can self-organize with teachers and fellow students to learn what they want how and where they want. My hope is that this could finally lead to the lifelong education we keep nattering about but do little to actually support. And why don’t we? Because it doesn’t fit into the degree structure. And because self-organizing classes and education could cut academic institutions out of the their exclusive role in education.
I couldn't stop but think about the futures of my 3 kids...and what I would to see for them...

Recently I got the opportunity to participate in a live blogging project with Anne Smith and Maura Moritz's 9th grade classes and if I had to define authentic learning, this would be it would be this project. Now I want to start off by saying that these are High School Freshman and the topic of this book as I reread it was quite profound. The first thing that struck me was the way these kids COMMUNICATED, both in writing when I worked with them in January and again in February as well as orally in their class discussions (which we were able to listen in on using mebo room) and with Mr. Pink today. I continued to read and keep up and it was so interesting to keep up with the kids writing, but also their awareness of the impact that this project had and their ability to reflect on their own learning through this project.

Their concluding activity was a video conference with Daniel Pink himself. I was impressed not only with the depth of the questions but how well they defended and articulated themselves both in writing (there was a group of students who were LIVE BLOGGING during the session) and orally. I loved listening in as the kids were asked to discuss a topic and they said things to one another like "does this idea sound smart" In the words of the kids....

AnneS asks: (of Dan Pink) Where are you with the ideas in this book now, several years after completing it?
[Comment From MorganT]
I think that high school students are starting to think what they want to do with their lives. Like Kristinah, younger people are easier to influence, and to get these concepts into our heads is probably a good idea.
[Comment From LiaP]
I think that we need to read it {A Whole New Mind} in high school so that we can be better prepared for our future and take classes that help to prepare us for the new future Mr. Pink describes
[Comment From amyw]
Jordan---Also, since English deals with right-brain abilities, English teachers want to encourage us to develop them.
[Comment From Bud {a Teacher from CO who was listening in via}]
Jordan, should high school students only read fiction in English classes? Or should non-fiction be there, too?
[Comment From Kristinah]
To Jordan- I think that it is important to explore other forms of literature in English so that we can experience other things and think in other things which will make us a more rounded person.
[Comment From MorganT]
Bud, I'm not Jordan, but I would like to answer. I think it is good to get a balance in reading literature. It is good to just not read fiction, again it is good to have a balance with literature.
[Comment From Jordan]
Bud- I think that there should be good combination of fiction and non-fiction. Fiction teaches us about the real world througha story and a morale, but non-fiction is the cold-hard facts.

And this went on for almost 2 hours. These kids had a live audience who were participating both in the live blog as well as holding their own "back channel" chat in the ustream channel.

At the end of the day, was it about the technology...ABSOLUTELY NOT... the project itself wasn't about the technology...

At the end of these days these kids learned:
  • How to read, reflect, analyze, evaluate and defend what they read.
  • They learned how to write critical questions and conduct a conversation
  • They learned how to work together.
  • They learned how to use research to support an argument.
  • They applied writing skills
  • They learned how to express themselves clearly.
among other things...
Could these skills have been learned without computers...ABSOLUTELY

BUT, what the technology ADDED to this project
  • Students showed proficiency in the use of technology...yes, but they also gained...
    • the ability to see things from other perspectives...folks from around the world with many different experiences took time to work with these kids including the author himself
    • an understanding of the ethical, cultural, and societal issues related to technology.
    • an understanding of what it means to publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences globally
    • they were able to use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions and solve problems in the real world.
take time to read Karl's description of the project on his wiki
take time to read Ann & Maura's Blogs: there is SO MUCH beyond this project here :)
take time to watch the UStream of the final event
take time to read the live blog from the day of the event
take time to think ... are these kids engaged and are they LEARNING? Is this the type of authentic learning experience that will prepare them for their futures?

So in thinking about the futures of my 3 kids, and what I would to see for them in school...

I would like to see them have the types of learning experiences like the kids are having at Arapahoe. I want them to have thoughtful teachers like Anne who summarized this project
Overall, I am so impressed by my students from their willingness to try something new, for being put in the spotlight with a number of really intelligent people having to blog what they think of these senses as ninth graders, and for most of all, caring about the process and learning and education. They honestly want to change the way learning looks and I hope after this experience they realize the power resides in them to make the change.

I want this for them at all levels. Do I think this is possible? In the state of PA, where we have initiatives like Classrooms for the Future and the Keystones developing leaders in this area...Teachers who are asking kids to "think math" and make connections with kids around the world. Teachers who are asking students how they can make a difference and teachers who are charging their kids to take action and actually do so,

Thanks Karl, Anne & Maura for continuing our minds & eyes to what is possible the kids at Arapahoe are surely lucky!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Support Technology Funding for our Childrens' Futures

As a CoSN member through my affiliation with PAECT I received an email asking people to take action in urging congress, to return the funding of EETT back to it’s FY2005 levels.
From the letter....
The President’s proposed FY09Budget again calls for the total elimination of critical education technology funding. Specifically, the President’s Budget would zero out the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program, cutting education technology funding by $267.4 million. Before the House and Senate put forth their budget proposals, we urge you to send a letter to your congressional representatives asking them to save EETT.
WELL...ETAN has made it really easy for you to voice your opinion on this important issue. I feel so strongly that I have added a widget to my tool bar that I found reading David Warlick's Blog. The letter is written and you can personalize it in any way...please take some time to voice your concerns for all of our futures for as well all know the key to our future is the kids.
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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Building School 2.0

I was lucky to get to have more conversation with the folks from SLA. Not only are they tackling the tough questions they are taking it on the road...modeling best practice by having CONVERSATIONS about change, rather than just giving a prescription to follow.
Marcie Hull who wears many hats at SLA reflected on the session but here are the notes from the day that we took during their presentation.

Zac Chase made an interesting point...
Aside from blocking the server, these are 20th Century problems. Replace server with "texts," "discoveries," "evolution," etc. and you've jumped in the Way-back Machine.
He made a challenge to his readers and I am going to make the same to through the list of challenges in our live notes and pick ONE...the one that would really make a difference in your school....start to draft a solution....and post it here.
Perhaps together we could draft a vision that would make change happen.

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Connect to the Community:

I am proud to be a member of an AMAZING community of educators which started after the PA Keystone Summit this summer and has grown to a global community and that is
This morning they presented at PETE & C check out the recording of the session and join our community.

Check out the Chickens

Tuesday 9:15 PETE & C Classroom Websites as a teaching tool

Cyber Chickens
5th grade class...
Brought kids in via video talk about their class..

Student Emails $2.75 per student ad free email, chat room...SAFE an moderated

Kids posting podcasts everyday...use audacity and mic on ipod to create.
Teacher uploads when they are done. Embed code to see most recent ones and

Book Talks
Read series of unfortunate events abd created projects for book talks...all reading different books in the series kids were motivate.

Tuesday 9:15 PETE & C Classroom Websites as a teaching tool

Cyber Chickens
5th grade class...
Brought kids in via video talk about their class..

Student Emails $2.75 per student ad free email, chat room...SAFE an moderated

Kids posting podcasts everyday...use audacity and mic on ipod to create.
Teacher uploads when they are done. Embed code to see most recent ones and

Book Talks
Read series of unfortunate events abd created projects for book talks...all reading different books in the series kids were motivate.
IN OUR OWN WORDS - What is Project S.C.A.T.?
Please read the following entries and comment below. Please tell us which passage explains the project best, and we will post it on the front page of our wiki. Thank you!
WOW what a project

What computer skills do your kids come with?
Kids think that they have the skills....start out small and build...take it for granted and make assumptions...there are no computer classes

How many computers in the classroom?
7...+ mobile lab of in the classroom if someone else isn't

What is policy for replacement?
DNK but they have had same cart for 7-8 years kids are very careful with them

Project Lemonade
Went to the HS for beginning video the kids pumped up that they can make a difference...and kids chose Project Trinity as their cause as a result...admins thought at first could be opening a can of worms...but Supt saw it as a learning experience

Math Connections
I am AMAZED by not only the connections that these kids can make, but the clarity in which they are able to express the ideas creatively. You can tell these kids are LEARNING

re PSSA had the kids prep...instead of doing worksheets to review parts of speech, had them do a project.. To Principal, I haven't really done any PSSA prep From Principal, Jan you do it ALL the time the way it is supposed to be done & I know this because your kids' scores show it!

I REALLY encourage any reader to check out this class's stuff

PETE&C Tuesday Keynote: Steve Dembo

Steve Dembo graciously gave me permission to record his keynote at PETE & C. Here is the recording and the live chat that was occurring. It really is all about the network!!!
WORKING ON EMBED, but here is the URL link

08:08 khokanson-1 : can someone verify that audio and video is good? I'm going to broadcast for on sec
08:12 khokanson-1 : steve is waiting in the wings
08:14 lorips : cell phone poll
08:14 khokanson-1 : txt 41411
08:14 lorips : poll everwhere, how cool
08:14 khokanson-1 : it isn't working :(
08:15 khokanson-1 : the network here
08:17 ustreamer|24529 : Good Morning Kristen
08:17 ustreamer|24529 : chris Harbeck here
08:18 ustreamer|31423 : morning Chris
08:18 ustreamer|31423 : streaming well there?
08:18 ustreamer|31423 : Speaking with an "accent"
08:19 ustreamer|24529 : loud and clear. Who is up
08:19 ustreamer|31423 : Steve Dembo @teach42
08:19 ustreamer|24529 : ah
08:19 ustreamer|24529 : love the storytelling
08:19 ustreamer|41570 : love that expression...cut off the tentacles
08:19 ustreamer|24529 : no notes just ..... on a roll
08:20 ustreamer|41570 : our learning environment different from theirs....
08:20 ustreamer|41570 : if you REALLY want to reach the kids the educators & kids need to change...JUST DO IT!
08:20 lorips : "just do it" love it, so true
08:20 ustreamer|41570 : Makes me think about the 6 year curriculum renewal cycle...6 years things are differnt in 6 MONTHS
08:21 ustreamer|41570 : Educators are getting better at speaking native fluently
08:21 ustreamer|41570 : Information Explosion
08:21 ustreamer|34656 : ?nick mrsdurff
08:22 ustreamer|24529 : Off to school and bball practice.... Thanks for the ustream. Congrats I think on your award??? or nominations
08:22 ustreamer|34656 : what was the name of that poll website?
08:22 ustreamer|24529 : I will check this out later
08:22 ustreamer|4840 : Thanks for streaming classes starting (njtechteacher)
08:22 mrsdurff|3326 : ok
08:22 mrsdurff|3326 : type /nick
08:22 mrsdurff|3326 : and desired name
08:22 mrsdurff|3326 : to change it
08:22 khokanson-1 : steve will upload his slides later
08:23 mrsdurff|3326 : thanks kriwsten now we now where all the internet went
08:23 mrsdurff|3326 : not flat
08:23 ustreamer|52893 : hi
08:23 ustreamer|47071 : hello K Hokanson
08:23 mrsdurff|3326 : it is wrinkled
08:23 ustreamer|47071 : it is Kim
08:23 ustreamer|80041 : My neighbor just said it would go to the sun and back 16 times!
08:23 mrsdurff|3326 : hi kim
08:23 ustreamer|80041 : Lisa, how do you change the name?
08:23 ustreamer|47071 : Jim sent me the link
08:24 fifer1863|1828 : hi
08:24 mrsdurff|3326 : type /nick
08:24 ustreamer|31423 : Hey kim better tham am tv right :)
08:24 mrsdurff|3326 : +desired namew
08:24 ustreamer|47071 : Hello Jim
08:24 fifer1863|1828 : hey
08:24 mrsdurff|3326 : i'm listening live
08:24 fifer1863|1828 : I'm surprised this is still streaming
08:24 mrsdurff|3326 : will this be recorded too?
08:25 fifer1863|1828 : @khokanson are you recording?
08:25 ustreamer|31423 : but of course
08:25 mrsdurff|3326 : yeah!!
08:25 ustreamer|31423 : will be posting it on my blog
08:25 ustreamer|47071 : Jim, I want to be an @ too
08:25 ustreamer|31423 : and the reporting back wikispace
08:25 mrsdurff|3326 : will's book?
08:25 loonyhiker : thanks for the link in twitter!
08:25 mrsdurff|3326 : hi loony
08:25 ustreamer|31423 : ha ha kim you can be fifer1864 :P
08:26 ustreamer|47071 : hahaha
08:26 mrsdurff|3326 : 21st century schools
08:26 mrsdurff|3326 : this is how conferences need to be done
08:26 mrsdurff|3326 : ustreams, backchannels
08:27 mrsdurff|3326 : this holds my interest
08:27 lorips : sooo much to blog about!
08:27 mrsdurff|3326 : thank you kristin
08:27 ustreamer|31423 : Durff not just conferences...but ALL professional development opportunities
08:27 mrsdurff|3326 : hyperlinks
08:27 Anne|5566 : I love that idea
08:27 ustreamer|31423 : recorded and shared
08:27 mrsdurff|3326 : yes ALL PD
08:27 mrsdurff|3326 : i soo agree
08:27 ustreamer|31423 : innovation is the idea of perpetual beta
08:28 mrsdurff|3326 : but my school isn't ready for it
08:28 mrsdurff|3326 : i scare them
08:28 ustreamer|31423 : people are releasing their rough drafts....but it out there to get feedback
08:28 mrsdurff|3326 :
08:28 fifer1863 : hello @kimbeeghley
08:28 mrsdurff|3326 : anyone ever publish there?
08:28 kimbeeghley : to funny
08:28 Anne|5566 : This is so different from the way I learned to write. I would have been so much happier
08:28 ustreamer|29982 : Does anyone know who's filiming and what kind of camera they are using?
08:29 fifer1863 : Hershey is filming
08:29 Anne|5566 : Nice idea, seal of final draft-dom
08:29 mrsdurff|3326 : kristin is
08:29 ustreamer|31423 : Jim the stream is coming from Chris's camera
08:29 ustreamer|29982 : Thanks , I'll ask Kristin
08:29 mrsdurff|3326 : too far away
08:29 khokanson-1 : jvc dv cam from
08:29 lorips : ah, Mrs. Fifer is in the house :)
08:29 fifer1863 : No, it's comign from @khokanson
08:29 mrsdurff|3326 : what kind of camera?
08:29 ustreamer|29982 : Thaks Kristin - how can you film and chat?
08:29 mrsdurff|3326 : i do it
08:30 mrsdurff|3326 : with camcorder
08:30 ustreamer|31423 :
08:30 khokanson-1 : @chrischampion is filming...
08:30 mrsdurff|3326 : get an account at ustream
08:30 ustreamer|31423 : so It is all embedded in one place
08:30 mrsdurff|3326 : hi chris
08:30 khokanson-1 : hi durff
08:30 smeech : @teach42 That hurts... We are close man!
08:30 smeech : :)
08:31 mrsdurff|3326 : hi scott - you see where i am
08:31 lorips : Hello, smeech!
08:31 smeech : Hey everyone
08:31 khokanson-1 : <-- is chris this am
08:31 fifer1863 : YEAH Twitter!
08:32 Anne|5566 : God, I love (LOVE LOVE LOVE!) Twitter
08:32 kimbeeghley : Jim I want twitter now
08:32 mrsdurff|3326 : true
08:32 mrsdurff|3326 : i have never met Steve
08:32 mrsdurff|3326 : but I knew who Aiden was immediately
08:32 khokanson-1 : lol durff
08:32 smeech : Raise your hand if you are watching this because of Twitter!@
08:32 Anne|5566 : Except my tech director made fun of me for tweeting at 5:26am
08:32 smeech : That is the question
08:32 mrsdurff|3326 : that's how i got here
08:32 Anne|5566 : Yup
08:32 lorips : point well taken smeech!
08:32 ustreamer|29982 : i got here through twitter as well
08:32 smeech : Thanks @durff
08:32 Anne|5566 : Though I'm in the room too
08:32 kimbeeghley : Jim sent me the link
08:33 loonyhiker : i think i'm addicted to twitter
08:33 fifer1863 : he is showming my Tweet
08:33 mrsdurff|3326 : thank God for twitter
08:33 mrsdurff|3326 : the embodiment of my network
08:33 smeech : Jealouse Eye Darts at those in the room
08:33 lorips : addiction, absolutely!
08:33 smeech : Ok... school start!
08:33 mrsdurff|3326 : thanks scott
08:33 smeech : later for now
08:33 mrsdurff|3326 : we're closed
08:33 mrsdurff|3326 : bye scott
08:33 lorips : @fifer is on screen!
08:33 fifer1863 : On top of the screen!
08:34 smeech : @durff Get back to me about firestorm of emails we have had... :)
08:34 lorips : twitter = sharing
08:34 mrsdurff|3326 : ok later
08:34 smeech : @durff have a great day!
08:34 mrsdurff|3326 : you too scott
08:34 smeech : everyone ... learn ... learn ... share... learn... learn
08:34 kimbeeghley : bye have a great day everyone
08:34 smeech : shared
08:34 ustreamer|31423 : bye kim
08:34 khokanson-1 : bye kim
08:34 lorips : see you on twitter kbeeghley
08:35 kimbeeghley : Jim has to set me up
08:35 fifer1863 : need to set her up with Twitter :)
08:35 ustreamer|31423 : anyone using wiziq?
08:36 loonyhiker : i haven't used it yet but it looks great
08:37 ustreamer|31423 : having a good time and learning
08:37 scmorgan : It's fairly simple..wish it did desktop sharing
08:37 ustreamer|31423 : sothat we can create authenic learning opportunities for students
08:37 hbwenger : anyone using ning for upper elementary? How young is too young?
08:38 scmorgan : Kim cofino uses it with 4th and 5th
08:38 ustreamer|31230 : checking in
08:38 Anne|5566 : Should I be a bit more "forward"? I'm always a little intimidated by the people I find on Ning and Ed2.0
08:39 hbwenger : @scmorgan how is she using it? a specific content area?
08:39 ustreamer|41758 : woo hoo
08:39 ustreamer|34656 : I lost connection
08:39 ustreamer|34656 : and a name
08:39 scmorgan : I'm looking for the link...
08:39 ustreamer|34656 : there
08:39 ustreamer|34656 : nope
08:39 ustreamer|31423 : I think Kin's are private nings...
08:39 mrsdurff|7261 : there?
08:39 mrsdurff|9344 : arrg
08:39 mrsdurff|9344 : better
08:39 ustreamer|41758 : thursday
08:39 ustreamer|44439 : hey from California!!
08:40 Anne|5566 : Hey CA!
08:40 ustreamer|41758 : iste social is Thursday
08:40 ustreamer|41758 : DEN workshops are wednesday in SL
08:40 mrsdurff|9344 : i hope thq at doesn't happen again
08:40 hbwenger : most of the ning networks for elem are private, so it is hard to find examples
08:40 mrsdurff|9344 : learning by hqving fun
08:40 ustreamer|43727 : good morning
08:40 khokanson-1 : extremely social
08:40 mrsdurff|9344 : that is a key
08:40 hbwenger : @mrsduff what a concept!
08:41 ustreamer|43727 : <-- @diannekrause
08:41 khokanson-1 : that's what steve meant by "that one"
08:41 ustreamer|41570 :
08:41 ustreamer|41570 : if you want to log in
08:41 scmorgan : Yes, it's private...she uses it for the kids to discuss books ...they review, add videos...pretty cool
08:41 mrsdurff|9344 : there are laws in usa
08:41 mrsdurff|9344 : so that is why nings are private
08:41 scmorgan :
08:41 Anne|5566 : You know you are online too much when you have twitter open, skype, and are chatting here...
08:41 alytapp : thanks for link, KH
08:41 mrsdurff|9344 : but at home these ele kids....
08:41 fifer1863 : i'm guilty of that Anne
08:41 ustreamer|44439 : -- it is private but you can join -- k6 ning for teachers
08:41 lorips : pondering.... are our brains changing with all of the multitasking
08:42 fifer1863 : and iChat
08:42 Anne|5566 : ;-)
08:42 hbwenger : @scmorgan thanks for the link
08:42 ustreamer|41059 : can't wait to send some of my colleagues to this page for viewing the archive
08:42 scmorgan : @lorips...mine is spinning most of the time
08:42 fifer1863 :
08:42 ustreamer|31423 : how many of you are in second life?
08:42 hbwenger : thanks ustreamer44439!
08:43 ustreamer|56473 : We're also working with Kim and other fourth grade classrooms on
08:43 ustreamer|41059 : (raised hand for being an older digital native)
08:43 hbwenger : I'm not in second life
08:43 alytapp : 59% seems low - wonder what definition is of "creating content"?
08:43 ustreamer|41059 : I was in second life, but then my little macbook couldn't handle the space it took
08:43 fifer1863 : yeah @khokanson
08:43 Anne|5566 : I am, but not deeply, just wandered around a bit
08:43 lorips : Kh is poster child for adult digital native!
08:44 ustreamer|44439 : @hbwenger -- you are very welcome -- please join the NING regardless of yoru grade level
08:44 Anne|5566 : My MacBook was pretty happy, but my kids' webkins have sucked up my Macbook
08:44 Anne|5566 : Kristin, how do you feel about being a poster child?? ;-)j
08:44 alytapp : I was in that session f2f that day. It was cool to watch.
08:44 fifer1863 : Anne, reminds me I need to do my Daily Kinz Care ;)
08:44 ustreamer|44439 : MacsMom Alcott in SL --
08:44 ustreamer|41059 : I've been able to get a 250HD for my Macbook and a RAM update! :-) Guess I should look back into SL.
08:45 hbwenger : I'm in the keynote f2f, but this is just as cool!
08:45 alytapp : there's always a block and there's always a way around.
08:45 hbwenger : teachertube blocked?
08:46 khokanson-1 : just ask a teenager
08:46 alytapp : exactly, KH
08:46 mrsdurff|9758 : back
08:46 fifer1863 : SSH proxy thru the network ;)
08:46 ustreamer|44439 : I wish my teachers would try to get around our filters -- that would show an interest :)
08:46 mrsdurff|9758 : i hate the internet here
08:46 fifer1863 : then they viotate the AUP
08:46 hbwenger : @khokanson does this back channel get archived somewhere?
08:47 kpruitt : why my tech dir and I don't get along
08:47 ustreamer|44439 : fifer -- then it would be time to rewrite the AUP -- :)
08:47 alytapp : what are we teaching when the game becomes "find a way around"? We are turning them into cheaters.
08:47 fifer1863 : I agree, but how many AUPs address Web 2.0?
08:47 fifer1863 :
08:47 alytapp : and we are resposible for that message. Sad.
08:47 ustreamer|44439 : all I mean is when my teachers see a site blocked -- they don't call to unblock and then don't think of finding an alternative
08:48 kpruitt : some AUPs are decades old (ahemm DuBois)
08:48 alytapp : Most teachers assume the answer will be no.
08:48 ustreamer|44439 : alytapp -- yes, at my school, for the last 10 years -- the answer was NO
08:48 ustreamer|41059 : yay!
08:48 alytapp : several backchannels
08:48 ustreamer|41059 : hello all!
08:48 ustreamer|44439 : but NOW -- grins, the answer is YES
08:48 ustreamer|8070 : Hey all!
08:48 fifer1863 : CoolCatTeacher recently blogged about somethign to the effect of allowng teachers to unblock at random
08:48 ustreamer|56473 : He's talking about us!
08:48 scmorgan : But sometimes the main url is open and the suburls are blocked so it gets even more compicated
08:49 hbwenger : he does want to know what we are saying!
08:49 alytapp : Big skype chat in the room
08:49 lorips : synthesize, connect!!!!
08:49 fifer1863 : how are they defining "backchannel"? this stream?
08:49 fifer1863 : or Skype?
08:49 Anne|5566 : This stream, twitter, skype
08:49 ustreamer|44439 : twitter
08:49 Anne|5566 : all going at once
08:50 ustreamer|44439 : google chat
08:50 scmorgan : all can be backchannels
08:50 alytapp : both?
08:50 ustreamer|44439 : ALL :)
08:50 hbwenger : @fifer1863 skype chat and ichat and twitter and ustream
08:50 fifer1863 : :)
08:50 khokanson-1 : "whispering" at the back of the room
08:50 fifer1863 : thanks
08:50 Anne|5566 : He was a kindergarten teacher, cool!
08:50 scmorgan : LOL @khokanson
08:50 khokanson-1 : (define:backchannel)
08:50 ustreamer|34656 : back
08:50 fifer1863 : :p
08:50 ustreamer|34656 : the backchannel = synthesizing
08:50 ustreamer|44439 : eavesdropping in on the conversation and then sharing it
08:50 alytapp : I learn a lot from the whispers
08:50 mrsdurff|9484 : define it?
08:50 lorips : backchannel enhances learning 4 m3
08:50 mrsdurff|9484 : wow
08:51 alytapp : backchannel is authorized eavesdropping
08:51 hbwenger : is that @blutz01's picture?
08:51 mrsdurff|9484 : metacognition
08:51 mrsdurff|9484 : yes
08:51 mrsdurff|9484 : i like that
08:51 lorips : @michaelbaker calls this chatbacking
08:51 kpruitt : @ durff did you find polleverywhere?
08:51 mrsdurff|9484 : authorized eavesdropping
08:52 ustreamer|44439 : encouraged eavesdropping
08:52 ustreamer|43727 : im trying to do too many things at once - and twitter people search is not working :P
08:52 ustreamer|41570 : have you all seen this image
08:52 mrsdurff|9484 : will this chat be archived?
08:52 mrsdurff|9484 : no ken thanks
08:52 Anne|5566 : This hitchhiking I think worries people... afraid no one will spend $$ to be there irl
08:52 alytapp : Plus, it's a recorded conversation to go back to later
08:53 ustreamer|44439 : SNOW -- in PA -- ahhh say it isn't so
08:53 fifer1863 : Yup and freezing rain
08:53 khokanson-1 : The chat will be archived on my blog ( )
08:53 alytapp : in many cases
08:53 scmorgan : @anne maybe conferences won't take place f2f at all...only here?
08:53 Anne|5566 : Not enough real snow swhere I'm going
08:53 hbwenger : thanks @khokanson
08:53 ustreamer|44439 : I still enjoy F2F -- as an addition to this
08:53 ustreamer|44439 : but some of you -- I will never meet F2F
08:53 alytapp : f2f is crucial. We're still human. We need to meet and eat.
08:54 Anne|5566 : I think f2f is still valuable, but what is the object of a conference, for the presenters?
08:54 Anne|5566 : and DANCE! alytapp
08:54 scmorgan : yep, f2f at educon was so valuable
08:54 kpruitt : ask a ninja!!!
08:54 hbwenger : @ustreamer44439 are you on twitter?
08:54 ustreamer|44439 : @hbwenger -- I am JLWagner on twitter
08:55 ustreamer|44439 : and grins -- I am going to be soooo late for work today!!!
08:55 ustreamer|41570 : JEN I didn't realize you were here :) good to see you <<---khokanson
08:55 ustreamer|41570 : am recording the session
08:55 ustreamer|44439 : Hello KHokanson -- thanks for hosting this!!!
08:55 ustreamer|44439 : clapping
08:55 loonyhiker : great speaker!
[08:56] * RiptideFurse applauds
08:56 hbwenger : clapping for Steve
08:56 alytapp : that was fun. Thanks!
08:56 ustreamer|44439 : just LOVE the ability to do this kind of thing
08:56 fifer1863 : thanks @khokanon
08:56 hbwenger : Thanks all...great learning as usual!
08:56 scmorgan : thanks kristin
08:56 ustreamer|44439 : @hbwenger -- are you on Twitter??
08:56 RiptideFurse : @khokanon Thanks for streaming this
08:56 ustreamer|44439 : Ohhh -- a laptop!!!
08:56 hbwenger : yes...I'm hbwenger on twitter, too...I just added you :)
08:57 ustreamer|44439 : excellent --
08:57 kjarrett : I have on of those - it's an Asus Eee PC - it rocks!
08:57 ustreamer|44439 : do you have to be present to win the laptop??
08:57 ustreamer|44439 : one of the perks for being F2F I guess
08:57 scmorgan : @kjarrett We are about to order one to test...glad to hear you like it
08:58 kjarrett : @scmorgan Yes, I can fill you in via email, DM me...
08:58 khokanson-1 : can someone please copy this chat and email to Kristin
08:58 scmorgan : @kjarrett great, thanks
08:58 kjarrett : How many people were in the keynote?
08:59 ustreamer|44439 : can't wait to see who wins
08:59 kjarrett : Was this recorded?
08:59 ustreamer|44439 : APPLAUSE
08:59 ustreamer|41570 : kevin
08:59 khokanson-1 : This was recorded.
08:59 kjarrett : Barry's one happy camper!
09:00 ustreamer|44439 : have a great day everyone
09:00 ustreamer|44439 : thanks for posting this in twitter
09:00 kjarrett : Thanks Kristin!
09:00 hbwenger : have a great day!
09:00 khokanson-1 : You can find the address at later today.
09:00 kjarrett : Ok all, gotta go teach! Kindergarteners here soon! WOOT! Bye, have a great conference!

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Testing the tools: Coveritlive

I have started testing tools to see what would work best for live blogging in a classroom or doing a "fischbowl" as described in my earlier post.

Here are my thoughts about Coveritlive....covered in a test with some of my twitter friends just in case you weren't able to make it:) Click on reply session to see what we thought of this as a tool.
I like this as an option for "covering" a confernece session but not so much for having kids "uncover" information.
Your thoughts?

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Engaging Conversations by using the tools

I sat down the other week to watch Front line's special Growing Up Online
I quite disturbed as I watched this skewed views of what is happening online when a message popped up on my twitter of my colleagues in my twitter network had started a chatroom, and the conversation about this show was flying.  I was amazed at how quickly the conversation had gotten started, how heated the discussion, how engaged we all were and how much more I learned from this show by having the opportunity to "discuss" in this manner

Then I had the opportunity to "live blog" about A Whole New Mind with Anne Smith's class... Kids home sick deciding to "blog along" with the fischbowl. I was able to listen in to the inner circle via Skype (unfortunately their MeBeam room was blocked at my location) but to hear the kids talking and see the comments that were being written was absolutely fascinating from the outside.  The thread of comments is definitely worth a read...

Time passed...
and I found myself sitting in on a conversation in a classroom that  had to do with perceptions of the US, to answer the question "Can America based on past & current events  be defined as an imperial power?"   Kids who were born in other countries, describing their views of what they expected America to be...Side conversations trying to find their voice...coming up to me at the end of the period to defend their ideas...a teacher wishing the period, the discussion could have gone further...28 kids, engaged, but many ideas left unarchived, many kids left frustrated that they couldn't be heard

...and I started to think about how powerful this medium of "chat" can be in relevant, authentic, well structured activities and I started to investigate some of the tools.  While I enjoyed  fishbowl with "live blogging" I started to experiment with some emerging chat rooms and tools for live blogging to make the experience more realtime and authentic for the students. 
Top on my list...chatzy and coverit live... which I will cover in my next post....but, before I do, let me paint a new picture....

Looking to the future...
there are 28 kids in a classroom, 2-3 students have prepared to lead the conversation with 8-10 of their peers.  Surrounding this group is a circle of 10-15  more students...."discussing" online their thoughts about what the "inner circle" is saying.  Perhaps this outer circle has an audience using ustream from another school, state, country...perhaps they have a participatory audience, where these folks have been invited into their chat room to engage and challenge.. and let's say this conversation was archived so the inner circle could go back and read and comment on how they were being challenged.  Let's say that this method of discussion continued so all kids had the opportunity to lead, to be in the inner circle, as well as the outer circle.  And let's say at the end they needed to reflect on the experience.... to defend a point, to support their ideas to persuade us to take some action. 

Is this a good use of these tools that are often blocked in schools?  Is this a lesson that is rigorous and causes kids to have to think, learn and participate at a higher level?  Does this activity hold ALL STUDENTS accountable and give them voice?  Is this responsible protected use that teaches kids to use technology appropriately and productively? 
Think about having an archived record of these ideas and thoughts upon which they can reflect further...
Think about whether or not the students would would be engaged in the learning process...
Think about the skills that would benefit them both in the real world AND for the test...
Just it worth having these conversations at your school?

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Wikis get more WONDERFUL...

So it is not big secret that I am a HUGE fan of wikispaces. The one feature that has always bugged me is working in tables. Have no fear, they have added a new table editor which makes working in wikitables a snap.
  1. From the “Edit This Page” mode, place your cursor in a cell of the table that you wish to change.
  2. A table icon will appear at the corner of that cell.
From this dropdown you can edit a cell, row, column, or your entire table.

The BEST part is the ability to add rows and columns which could not be done before AND to change alignment


Not using a wiki you say, click here to get your own ad free wikispace for teachers.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

The Jott Experiment


I think I have just found the killer act ap to keep my blogging voice flowing and that is Jott. Jott enables speech to text capability all from the convenience of my cell phone. I have never considered podcasting because I am not a linear thinker. Often ideas come to my mind but I can't get them out orally in a clear concise manner. Too often I would be driving in the car when I have an idea or thought with no ability to write it down and then an another idea enters my brain and things begin to..... listen

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And another thought...

...then another thought enters my brain and things begin rattling around with no resolution. Enter Jott. With a simple phone call I can Jott myself deep thoughts and ideas. Jott gives me the freedom to start to express myself and organize my ideas. Even in writing, I find myself jumping around not taking the time to organize my ideas and thoughts, but with Jott, can return to the Jott page or my gmail at any time to look at the ideas I had, and begin to organize the text and come up with a complete and concise post. listen

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Jott also has the ability...

Jott also has the ability to connect other accounts like Twitter or Google calendars to easily post to those accounts or set up reminders. Although blogger(?) also has a plug in. I don't know that I will use it that often because my inability to speak, my thoughts linearly and concisely, but I'm sure I'm going to find myself with a very full inbox and a lot more blog post on the web. listen

Powered by Jott

ADDED LATER...Jott has only a 30 second time limit which is why this post was broken into 3 sections. It does enableyou to set up folders...I think my strategy will be to Jott 1 paragraph / thought at a time to a folder. When I get to my computer, I use my flock browser and drag & drop the individual jott paragraphs to a new post. Yes, multiple steps, but still very cool and will provide me a way to get "text" from my thinking time during my daily commute