Saturday, January 24, 2009

Embracing Writing with Bud the Teacher...
I must say I am sorry that I didn't catch this session from the beginning. It looks like Bud gave the folks in the room some quotes about writing to think about and write about and then spent some time reading and talking about it. At the end of the session time was given to write, so I am going to take advantage of that time and I am going to hit the publish button when I am done. You can feel free to leave me feedback.

One of the biggest problems I have with writing is that it really forces me to reflect on my thinking. All through school I spent a good amount of time writing to record information, but not necessarily writing to record my thoughts about that information. I saw it as important to get down the knowledge but not to think about it once I was done. In talking to Bud at the end of the session he stated something that I believe to be true as well. Writing is inquiry and I think I put a lot of pressure myself to keep up with everything....all that I am reading and thinking in my administrative certification program, all I see on twitter that strike deep thoughts, all the things I read online and comment to but want to thing about deeper. I think about it, I ask questions and yet I struggle so much to get these thoughts down, because I am afraid I am going to miss something in the process. I feel like my writing needs to be DONE before I publish. I need to start focusing on writing as a process in order to continue the conversation.

Keynote at Educon

SLA...Where you go to learn!

WOW! I am sitting here in Philadelphia reflecting on the beginning of my Educon21 experience and what an event it has been so far. I arrived at SLA too late to visit classes, but as I sat in the library looking around something that Kevin Jarret said to me the other day REALLY struck me...
SLA is a place where people go to learn....

As I watch the kids I saw individuals who are not afraid to engage in conversations with adults about what they are learning, how they are learning, WHY they are learning. They ask intelligent questions and they do so with genuine curiosity. During the panel as they were talking about the purpose of schools, and what schools should be one of the students turned to Chris Lehamann and said something along the lines, they are talking about our school. While I took my notes at the panel "old school" with a pen and paper...and will post them at a later time the thing that really struck me was that all of them described schools in whe the atmosphere infused creativity, collaboration, and learning with courage and confidence. Schools that build community, allow students to generate ideas...not regurgitate information. That foster creativity and are idea harvesters and make school a part of the global community. Schools shoud be based on inquiry and model the world that the students will inherit...and the SLA kids model this at every opportunity!

YES! SLA is place where folks go to learn....but when I say this, I am NOT just talking about the kids!

Folks like David Warlick, Gary Stager and Will Richardson who make their living talking about educational change, come to SLA to learn. Bud Hunt who I followed yesterday on twitter describing his experience in Mr. Chase's english class...comes to SLA to learn. Learning by collaborating, and building community. I have so enjoyed getting to spend some face to face time with my network and know this is going to be a great weekend of learning for us all. I want to thank Chris Lehmann and all of the teachers and students at SLA for opening the doors to their school, for inviting us ALL to continue to be learners there and to think about teaching and learning, and I look forward to the learning I will do at Educon this year.
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Video Contest: Flix for you Brain...

Check out the nationwide vocabulary contest that the MIT Alumni Association is sponsoring. Students compete by producing fun, creative videos that teach SAT vocabulary vocabulary in context. It was created as a community service project as a more fun way to prep for the big test. They are encouraging students to produce a video defining a standard SAT vocabulary word for a chance to win up to $600. The more videos created the greater the opportunity to win!

Visit to learn more about this project.
The rules are HERE
Word list HERE Try to pick words that don't already have a video submitted.
Students can submit entries until March 16th, 2009 but I'd do it soon...iTunes downloads available for first 1000 videos submitted.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The age of Citizen Journalism has arrived

is a historic day in the United States of America...a country built on it's diversity. Gone are the days were we must depend on mass media for news about what is happening around the world. Today tools such as ustream and cover it live give people the opportunity to take part in Tuesday’s events in Washington D.C. in ways never before possible. Wes Fryer pointed me to The “Voices Without Votes” project live inauguration coverage via CoverItLive which begins at 10 am EST.

Citizen journalists can submit media to CNN’s iReport website which provides an interactive map with geo-tagged photographs for the inauguration events today. If you are among the 3-5 million estimated folks lucky enough to attend in person, you can email your photos and videos to and they may appear linked on the official CNN iReport website.

I encourage you today to use the tags obama, inauguration09 to look at the news from different perspectives, not just what you see on the major network. I recently blogged about a student journalist project but was AMAZED this morning when I tuned in at what I saw--background on inauguration day, the oath of office in other languages, student perspective interviews on their first election...and up and coming...LIVE from the mall

Just think...these tools didn't even exist 4 years ago...AMAZING
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Student Journalism: Covering the Election 2.0 Style

I know it has been a while since I posted, but when I came across this large scale Inauguration project I just needed to give a shout out and share this as one of the most exciting projects I have seen in a while. It is being conducted by a fellow CFF school has already received recognition as it is going to be monitored for content by NBC news on both a national and local level. Knowing that learning like this is happening, well... I can't be more PROUD to be a part of this CFF Initiative.

So what is this project all about?
Ten students from Springfield Senior High School will be traveling to Washington D.C. for Inauguration Week and blogging to provide first-hand accounts of this much anticipated event. These students will interview their peers from all over the country who have traveled to Washington from all over the country to witness this historic Inauguration and, conditions permitting, stream live video back from the event in Washington D.C.. This video will show a student perspective of the Inauguration and also provide a grassroots “on the ground” commentary that may not be seen on the major news networks. All interviews will also be streamed live and archived as well for later viewing should anyone wish to do so.

The good news is not matter where you are from you TOO can participate in this exciting project! Simply visit this site is definitely going to be one blog I am monitoring over the next few weeks.

In addition to the ten students in Washington, as crew of five Government students and a group from the Broadcast Journalism and Journalism classes at Springfield will take the stage at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia right before and right after the Inauguration Ceremony, these students will be interviewing visitors to the Constitution Center to gain their perspective on the day.

The anchor of the project is a blog which has been included in the official PA Department of Education lessons plans for Inauguration Day. The students in Washington and at the National Constitution Center will assist in facilitating the discussion on the blog. This blog will pose questions and encourage commentary from all of the schools in Pennsylvania and hopefully even further. When you go to the blog you will be able to read a the students' postings that asks a questions or encourages a response. The teachers are hopeful that PA Governor Ed Rendell and Judge Marjorie Rendell may be able to participate in the discussion with the students as well as others throughout the Commonwealth and the Country. I am encouraging all teachers who read this post to visit the blog and have their students leave their thoughts. Please note, all comments are moderated there will be a delay before you can read them.

The Broadcast Journalism students at the school will be working to complete a set of short videos that can be used as reference materials during the week. These videos cover Science, Math, World Languages, Social Studies, and provide ties to Language Arts the videos will be archived on the internet (a link will be provided as soon as it is ready).

The only thing missing from the project right now is you!

Want to start now??? Visit the blog and comment on the January 12th posting and while you are there please take a moment to visit the blog and view a message from Judge Marjorie Rendell as check out this project which has already made local news.

Help make this project a success and show that student voice does matter!

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