Wednesday, August 04, 2010

So-Called 'Digital Natives' Not Media Savvy, New Study Shows -

"In Google we trust." That may very well be the motto of today's young online users, a demographic group often dubbed the "digital natives" due their apparent tech-savvy. Having been born into a world where personal computers were not a revolution, but merely existed alongside air conditioning, microwaves and other appliances, there has been (a perhaps misguided) perception that the young are more digitally in-tune with the ways of the Web than others.

the findings showed that students are not always turning to the most relevant clues to determine the credibility of online content...
As I continue to work with my own children 10, 8, and almost 4 I find that technology IS like oxygen to them...don't know something? Just look it up...and yet the nature of the world online allows them to take the first thing they find as positive fact.
In a day and age of high stakes standardized testing though, where are we teaching kids to "read digital text"? Where are they learning reading and comprehension strategies to deal with hyperlinked text? How are they learning to "read around" the page, tuning out ads and focusing on content? Why is computer class an extra or add on? How do we share the results of studies like this with our curriculum teams and administrators to make this an important subject in schools? #amitheonlyone?

Posted via email from The Connected Classroom Posterous

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Keystones the Cornerstones of Leadership

A keystone is the architectural piece at the crown of a vault or arch which marks its apex, locking the other pieces into position.[1] This makes a keystone very important structurally.[2][3] In an arch, the keystone is usually larger than the voussoirs that make up the arch and may serve primarily an aesthetic purpose. Some say that a keystone is not as important structurally as the voussoirs, since the removal of any of the voussoirs would cause the arch to collapse but this is not necessarily true of the keystone.[4]

The term is used figuratively to refer to the central supporting element of a larger structure, such as a theory or an organization, without which the whole structure would collapse.

Those of you who follow me regularly know about the PA Keystone Technology Integrators. Each year in the summer, a group of "tech savy" teachers are invited to participate in a week long intensive professional development program called The Keystone Summit. Most people arrive at the summit thinking they are going to learn a lot of stuff about great new tools...but they come to learn something that folks in the blogosphere have known for a long time. It is not about the's about doing new and innovative things to "Turn up the HEAT" in your classrooms. I was invited to that summit in 2005 and have been returning every year as a staff member sharing with the teachers not just technology. Every year that is, until this one. This year I had to make a difficult decision. I am working on my Administrative Certification and I needed to complete 180 hour internship. I knew that I couldn't commit the time and the energy needed to dedicate a week to be on campus for the experience and boy was I disappointed, but I did offer to do whatever I could to help create a virtual presence this year.

As I set up the wiki and ustream channels and coveritlives, embedded content and fix formatting I realized, this was just as much work as being there...without the face to face connections of being on the Bucknell campus to be with the group. Boy was I disappointed. As I listened in on some of the sessions, I missed the learning and I missed the connection. I listened in as Chris Moersch talked about ways to turn up the HEAT (Higher Order thinking, Engaged Learning, Authenticity, and Technology Use) in your classroom. I was able to sit in on many of the sessions, but this year it was different...not just because I wasn't there, but because I was thinking about all of these things through the lens of an administrator. I started to think about how as a principal or curriculum leader I could use some of the LoTi principles to change a building culture, to change the way teachers think about teaching an learning

At the last minute, a presenter was unable to make it for their workshop on Professional Development Models in the 21st Century so I, I could teach that in my sleep so I pulled together a presentation titled 21st Century Professional Development through PLNs (with the help of my PLN) and asked if I could come and spend the day. It was what I was missing...the chance to connect, explore and innovate with some REALLY amazing teachers some teachers that will soon be leading the way in their district not because of a certification, but because of the skills they learned this week and how they reflected on these ideas...Connect, Innovate, Explore and Lead.

One of my favorite activities at Summit is during small groups where each group member is given foam blocks with the words lead, connect, innovate, and explore and think about how these 4 ideas are connected to change in schools. Back in 2007 after the summit, I wrote a post Connect, Innovate, Explore, Lead...which comes first? that shows how my group viewed it.

Each attendee is asked to think about envisioning a school that would meet the needs of students in 5 years. To build this school would require all of the ideas listed on the bricks. They were asked to "build the school" stack the bricks so to say in order of importance.

I wish I had my new "livescribe pen" to jot my notes as a pencast, way back then;-) but you can see by the pictures that I took that year,,,every stack is different, every story is different, and each day I think about these 4 cornerstones: Lead, Connect, Innovate, and Explore in how I am going to affect change.
Although EXHAUSTED, I got home and saw Scott McLeod's tweets and realized that today was Leadership day, Last year I wrote about Leading By Example and again this year, I reflect that leadership NOT just what principals need to do, but something we ALL can do to lead in school innovation and change.
Yes...this week, I finished my administrative certification September I will be returning to the classroom. What this week has taught me is that whether I am facilitating student learning in a classroom, working in a professional development in guiding teachers, or acting as a principal guiding a shared vision if I remember to connect, innovate and explore...if I think about was to Turn up the Heat...great things will happen.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010


Create Your Own Personal Learning Networks for PD

Session Notes

Creating your own personal learning networks is one of the easiest things to do.
Finding the right resources for you is also not difficult, but with all of the resources out there

so how do we get start to learn the same way our students do....
This session will look at some social tools for your own personal learning

Posted via email from The Connected Classroom Posterous'

I was so impressed with how the participants took to twitter and diigo and CHECK OUT THE POSTS that the participants left via email on my posterous site


If someone new from PA is following YOU ...consider adding them to your PLN ;-)

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Monday, July 26, 2010

DMCA updated: My thoughts....

Now, in a new set of exemptions pushed for by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the legal rights of those looking to do those things have been made clearer and – dare we say – more palatable. That includes the proviso that jailbreaking a device to run an app that has been made incompatible by the handset manufacturer is fair use, as is bypassing copy protection on media (such as DVDs) to excerpt sections for derivative fair use works

This is some big news, news I have been waiting for! You can read more about it here, and here, and here, heck do a google news search to see what is being written or search twitter to see what folks are saying about the news. What concerns me frankly with all of the hype, is that folks aren't going to take the time to read the whole 262 page document of recommendations from the Copyright Office. It is scary but I am sure Renee Hobbs will help put it in plain English for us! In the meantime, you may want to read this shorter Statement of the Librarian of Congress Relating to the Section 1201 Rulemaking

I read in one article "this doesn't make piracy legal. It just means that bypassing DRM to reach a legal goal -- i.e. fair use of things you own -- is now protected by common law."It is therefore becoming INCREASINGLY important for folks to have a better understanding of fair use and all that it encompasses as well as the process one needs to go through in determining whether their use is fair. Things are BOUND to get really interesting

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

We Don’t Do That Here ...or do we?

Thanks to Jabiz Raisdana for pointing out something that has really been troubling me lately in a great post about what happens when one cuts and pastes another's work as their own...
I am curious if this was a case of misunderstanding or laziness.
Here is my comment to Jabiz's post...

Thanks so much for sharing this post….I have been thinking about this a lot as I start to use posterous. For me it has been a way for me to instantaneously take ideas from a site, and reflect on it and post simultaneously in a number of places. It has jumpstarted me back into blogging a bit. But it definitely raises some questions. I wanted to share a story…
This week I have been working on a tremendous program called Powerful Voices for Kids. In trying to create an atmosphere of sharing, I have been trying to find articles related to the ideas of using media literacy strategy. The other day through google alerts I came across this article I wanted to share with the team. While there was a citation at the top “This is from an excellent website: Checkout the links below to help you Navigate your way through the Lies of Media Trickery!” in reading the page you would think that it was a collection of resources put together by the author… HOWEVER, when I scrolled to the bottom of the page there was a link return to the Propaganda in the Classroom page . When I navigated to and through that page, I found THIS PAGE which was word for word what was posted on the blackbox page…and frankly, I was a little uncomfortable. here is what I ended up sharing with the team, but it caused me to ask….when we have the ability to copy and post with the click of a button, how do you ensure that it is clear the source of things you post and what implication does it have in other places? Hope you don’t mind that I repost this on my own site ;-)

Curious what others think....

Do tools like posterous justify plagairism in the google generation


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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Educate yourself (& your students) about Media and Government Propaganda

Propaganda Resources on the Web
Check out the GREAT resources on the site below for developing critical thinking with this list of about 30 great advertising and propaganda resources
via Bill Chapman's Classroom Tools Propaganda Resources
Thanks to a comment left by Frank Baker on my media literacy resources yesterday, I was reminded of how many state's standards include media literacy and the many different ways it can be included in a traditional classroom. Today I found this great post listing all kinds of resources, links and activities to help navigate the ideas behind advertising and propaganda. There are print ad galleries, presidential campaign ads and Historical Radio Advertising... I hope you find something useful!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Media Savy Kids

Great article I found at during today's Powerful Voices Open Door session...

“How do we prepare kids for living in a society where almost all their information and entertainment comes to them through a screen?” asks Renee Hobbs, Ed.D., director of the Media Education Lab at Temple University in Philadelphia.

  The answer: We teach media literacy, which trains children to think critically about both the overt and subtle media messages that wash over them every day. Media literacy — the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and produce communication in a variety of forms — is growing in importance in schools across the country.

Click on the side link for additional resources including...

5 Media-Savvy Questions That Kids Should Ask

  1. Who created this message?
  2. What creative techniques are used to get my attention?
  3. How might different people interpret this message?
  4. What lifestyles, values, and points of view are in this message? What was left out and why?
  5. Why is this message being sent?

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Searching for India's Hole in the Wall | A World Bank Blog on ICT use in Education

Thanks to Will Richardson for sharing this story about street computers in India. I have heard of this before and am still fascinated by things like the author references below:
The contrast here was for me pretty stark: One the one hand, you had two computers set up outside which received minimal maintenance, and which anyone could use from 9-5 each day.  There was no direction on how to use this equipment, but that didn't stop kids from figuring it out via trial and error (or, more often, from other kids).  On the other hand, you had a dozen computers locked up in a school just a short walk away, gathering dust for lack of 'qualified teachers' to use them, and direct their use.

The image of a locked school computer room door, and of an educator explaining why the door had to remain locked, however, and the image of a bunch of children animatedly using computers on the street less than a hundred meters away, is not one that I will soon forget.
Connect this to finding other kinds of "technology" on the street....Kids can find picture books on the street and they learn to hold the book the right way to have the pictures tell a story. That doesn't mean they can read and understand the written text, but they can figure out how the book "works". I know from my experiences with my own young children that the ease with which kids acquire the skills to manipulate technology is quite different from their ability to critically find and analyze information and use that information to create new things. Yes kids can find and USE this technology but are they really building the skills that they truly need without guidance? I wonder...

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

And the research says...

Today is going to be a really fun day for me. Today is the day that Andrew presents his final project based on the research he was doing and the request that he shared, What do you see as the Future of education, last month on my blog. Thanks go to my local friends Jimbo Lamb, Jim Gates and Chris Champion for sharing some of their experiences. I was humbled by the number of folks in my network: Sylvia Martinez, , Liz Kolb, Doug Johnson, Steve Hargadon who took time to reach out and share information with Andrew. He got a video and note from Dorothy in New Zealand demonstrating how far information can reach. Andrew really took the ball and ran with it, contacting these educators and corresponding with them in a very professional way. He initiated a visit to SLA where he had the opportunity to see Chris Lehmann's high school in action. The work he did was phenomenal and I can't wait to see his presentation.
Here are his slides as a teaser...but if you would like to see it for yourself...

Andrew has asked me if I would be willing to stream his presentation and run the backchannel.

So today, starting at approximate 11:10 EDT he will be broadcasting on The Connected Classroom on Livestream. Please come join us and show his classmates how truly connected we all are.

Time in King of Prusia


Thursday, March 18, 2010

What do YOU see as the future of Education

I read George Sieman's request for help Defining the Future of Education at the same time a student at my school came seeking my assistance doing the same. He is working on his State Mandate senior graduation project and is examining learning theory, how people learn, and how technology is impacting schools. His original plan was to do an "in school" panel and have the teachers at our 1:1 high-school share their thoughts, but as he started his research he realized that he wanted to use the tools and ideas he was reading about and bring in a larger audience of educators for his application project. He asked me to send the following out to my network:
Subject: My E-mail to the educators

My name is Andrew Wisniewski and I am a senior at Upper Merion Area High School in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. For my end of the year project I have decided to explore education and how technology is changing how students learn. Ms. Hokanson has helped me by creating a drop box and by forwarding this email to all of you. You can help me by visiting, and leaving me your thoughts about the future of education. In my, you will see that you can upload a picture, a text note or even call the dropbox.
Here are some ways you can share your thoughts
  • Go to and upload a file, record or add a note
  • E-mail a note, picture or video clip
  • Call 646-495-9205 x 95270 and leave your message via voice-mail
Please describe your role in education and let me know how you feel technology can change education; not only presently but also in the future. If it is fine with you, please state your name and with your permission I may contact you again regarding this subject. This will be an excellent addition to my presentation and I appreciate your insights about education.
I would be grateful for any input you can provide.

Thank you so much for your time,
Andrew Wisniewski

You can see the beginning of Andrew's work here...
• Andrew Wisniewski • Mr. Schurtz •

His classroom teacher has a closed ning community where the students are documenting the process of this project. Andrew has taken a number of classes through Virtual High School (VHS) so has had some unique experiences. His plan is to take the ideas, images, video clips and calls to create an iMovie to share with his classmates and perhaps have his classmates leave messages for future students (using some of these tools as well) about how to be successful in a 21st Century Learning Environment. Really his project will evolve as he gets more feedback from all of how about it? Why not visit Andrew's and leave YOUR thoughts about the future of education.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ten Ideas 4 Using Tech in the Science Classroom

Patty Duncan
Ten Ideas 4 Using Tech in the Science Classroom

All resources are on this webpage
Several new site for me Lab Out loud-podcast site by nsta
Great content for classrooms
Pete's Power Point Station
Good place to start - take as a base.

Patty has a great list of interactive sites GREAT ideas for using the water cycle...interactive, labs, make pamphlets...

Great idea flickr images for Data collection- creating groups
Voicthread....DE Streaming video put into a voice thread that the kids comment on FUN first grade.

Here is Patty's class wikispace with examples of student work

Once again Evernote has come up - I MUST investigate this further

Clusty clustered search engine! We NEED to share this with our teachers!

One more thing to chck out- SHARE TABS aggregates sites that you want kids to use visually

all linked on Patty's site from the top!
WOW...this is why I come to this conference

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Web 2.0 for Reflection and Assessment

Sunday, February 21, 2010

PETE & C 2010

Am using this year's PETE &C conference as a way to get back to blogging. It is going to be a BUSY week as this year we have launched several exciting additions of the Social Network Lounge and the PETE&C ning. Check back for session notes and ideas!