An edublog about integrating technology into the classroom.
Stories of Learning
Stories of Learning is another new blog I am launching this week. I interact with teachers every day who are innovative, creative, and doing transformative things in education. We need to collect these stories in one place. Stories of Learning is (I hope) a place where we can record all of these. ...
Happy Friday!! To all of you who are making your way to Philly for ISTE11, I wish you safe travel, fun and learning. I wish I was there with you! Someone will have to Flat Stanley me so I can pretend I am there with you all. For those who are missing ISTE with me, we have started a Twitter support group Use the hashtag #missingISTE11 to find other peeps who can’t be there this year.
What it is: On October 7, 2010, FETC is offering a FREE virtual conference for educators. The virtual conference will feature new presentations that originated at the FETC live event, with a focus on the latest educational tools, technologies, and services in learning. Educational experts will be passing on inspiration sharing best practices and successes. A virtual exhibit hall will put you in touch with exhibitors and let you learn about the newest in hardware, software and solutions, there will even be some free downloads and content. In the virtual networking lounge you can chat and interact with other educators from around the world. The Keynote presentation for the virtual conference is titled Mobile Learning: The Game Changer for k-12 it will be hosted by Elliott Soloway and Cathleen Norris. I saw these two present a similarly titled session at ISTE 10 and if it is anything similar, it is definitely worth catching (click here to view my notes from their ISTE 10 session)!
How to integrate FETC Virtual Conference into your curriculum: Okay, so maybe you won’t be integrating the conference itself into your curriculum, but this virtual conference is sure to offer plenty of great ideas, inspiration, and a shot of enthusiasm that will carry into your classroom. If you teach older students, you might let them sit and listen to the keynote session. I know my students were always fascinated to find out that educators talk about innovative ideas for learning. They assume that every teacher wants to teach in the current system. Most are pleasantly surprised and encouraged to find out the contrary.
Tips: Register for this Free Virtual conference today by clicking here. Hope to see you all there!
Please leave a comment and share how you are using the Free FETC Virtual Conference in your classroom!
This weekend is the Reform Symposium eConference, 48 hours of free learning! I am going to do my best to keep notes of all of the great conversations and learning when I am not moderating or sleeping
This was the opening keynote by Steve Hargadon:
Information overload vs. Web as a conversation
We have to get past our perception that participation is only for the elite. Everyone is a participant and a creator.
The answer to content overload is to create more content because our paradigm shifts and we start seeing everything as conversation.
Our students hold in their hands technology that was the stuff of dreams when we were growing up. They are incredible devices for learning. Learning is everywhere.
We are seeing an amazing shift toward openness. Consider Wikipedia that in a relatively short amount of time an open encyclopedia took the place of a cultural institution.
MIT is now providing classes to free when anyone goes online. The value is no longer in the specific content but in being actively engaged and they are doing something that is valuable to humanity by providing this openness.
Flexbook- online open virtual textbook initiative. This will bring value and save money.
Participation is being reinvented, it is a return to participation. It is a pre-broadcast, pre-factory, un-consumer model. This is dramatically changing the lives of youth because their lives are largely interactive.
Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, and Myspace are showing us a new model of growth and success that is driven by consumer demand instead of top down economics.
Linux is running Google’s servers. This is incredible!
Volunteerism 2.0- we have always recognized value of volunteering but we are now seeing the opportunity to volunteer and participate in ways that weren’t possible before. Clay Shirky calls this the “Redistribution of Our Cognitive Surplus”. We are spending time creating instead of consuming. This is unleashing energy. Clay Shirky Ted Talk.
This is a change in structure it is participative (like democracy). The Internet is doing this for content and knowledge. We need the same structure in education.
We have to move toward the freedom end of the structure in schools. We aren’t used to thinking this way. It is possible for students to be their own driver in education.
We are organizing without organizations. What used to take financial resources to pull together to get something happening, doesn’t require that any more. (Case in point the Reform Symposium conference!!)
Wikis let us organize information the way we want them, post at our convenience (not every day like a blog), but social networking has been widely adopted in a way wiki’s and blogs weren’t. Social networking opened the door to the participation and conversation and made it easy to come in. Blogs take longer to get the conversation going. Wikis are a little more complex and have a learning curve. Social networking aggregated web 2.0 tools in a single location. Facebook is now up to 500,000,000 members.
Steve started Classroom 2.0 and it now has 45,000 members, social networking is valuable to the education world. It gives peer-to-peer practice sharing and conversation.
We have to get over that social networking is a dangerous place to be. It will become the framework structure of the educational experience.
Communication platform: social networking + learning management system + live collaboration
It makes us rethink how teaching and learning take place.
We have to ask how well are we preparing students for this world and how prepared are we from this world?
Principles of school 2.0: contributing, collaborating, creating.
The best way to predict the future is to be it: Be a learner first, we need great teachers to be a part of the conversation and figure out how to harness web 2.0′s inherent capabilities, keep perspective-students need really great teachers more than ever, join an educational or social network (lurking is allowed), become a part of the conversation and encourage others to do so, help collaborate to build a new playbook and be a voice in the public discussion (Twitter #edchat!!), embrace the change process (this is going to be a wild ride, it is going to challenge the way we think).
One of the sessions I attended at the ISTE 10 conference was Elliott Soloway and Cathie Norris’s entitled: “From Add-on Technology to Essential Technology: Constructing 1-to-1 Aware Curriculum”. It is hard to go wrong with a session by Elliott Soloway, his humor is contagious.
I was interested in this session because I am currently working on a proposal for a 1-to-1 iPad pilot program and study for next year. I came away with some new perspectives on mobile technologies that I will share at the end of the post. To begin, here is the gist of the session:
“Within 5 years every child in every grade will be learning with mobile technology, it will be bigger than the Internet”- Elliott Soloway
There are 7 billion people on the planet and 4 billion mobile devices.
The greatest challenge we face as educators is to teach ALL kids. We need to teach kids “brain jobs” not “back jobs”. This is 21st Century skills and content.
“Right now looking at all the school data is just like moving deck chairs around on the Titanic.” – Elliott Soloway
Mobile technology is the game changer.
In Singapore, Nan Chi Primary school saw a significant increase in tests scores after introducing smart phones in the 3rd grade science classroom.
In a classroom using 1 to 1 mobile devices, not a single child failed to turn in a single homework assignment all year. Why did that happen? Because they are engaged.
Time on task = success
The tools have to be used as essential tools, not supplementary. Supplementing with technology doesn’t move the needle. Essential means that technology is in hand 24/7 students have complete access to the tool. Essential means that students are actively engaged in doing and creating. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other tools being used.
Most things can be done on a mobile phone device.
Mobile devices connect students to the real world. Learning doesn’t end when school does.
When you look closely at the studies that show that technology has no impact, you will see that it is because technology was used as a supplement.
Technology should be like oxygen, invisible but essential.
Mobile devices like the cell phone are ideal because the cost of the device is $0 and what you pay for is the connectivity. It is a cheap solution.
It is about the kids, not the technology. Let them use their own tools.
Mobile devices are growing at a rate of 50% a year, this is the fastest growing technology. We used to tell teachers to get on the technology bus, now we have to say get on the technology bullet train because it is moving!
Elliott mentioned that he doesn’t think that the iPad has a place as a learning device. His reasoning is that it isn’t what kids are using. He argues that kids are using cellphones and mobile devices, that the iPad isn’t natural for them.
Elliott was an excellent presenter. He made some great points about using cellphone technology in the classroom. I have to disagree with his assessment that the iPad isn’t a good device for kids. While I like the idea of using cellphone technology and just paying for connectivity, it isn’t what every classroom needs. The conclusion that I kept coming to is that no classroom situation is the same. While an inner city school with low access to technology and resources might benefit best from a smart phone for learning, it might not make the same sense in a suburban school with more ubiquitous technology access. In a poorer neighborhood you will find homes that lack wireless Internet access, putting an iPad in the hands of those kids might not be as successful as giving them a cellphone that they could use to access a cellular data network. But in a wealthier, suburban neighborhood where wireless Internet is around every corner, an iPad is the perfect device. What I realized is that there can be no one-size-fits-all approach to education. One solution isn’t going to solve the education problems of the world. We need to look at each population and each classroom and choose the solution that makes the most sense for that instance. Education has to be tailored to the individuals, not the masses.
Soloway is right, we keep trying to make the data tell us a new story. Policy makers implement new standards and tests as a way to save education. But that is like moving deck chairs around on the Titanic. Sure things look different, but it is still a sinking ship. We need to cut our losses and build a new ship all together. That new ship should be tailored to fit the needs of the students who are boarding it. For some that means mobile phone technology, for others iPads, and for some netbooks. I can argue all day long for the benefits of the iPad in learning but when we get right down to it, the reason I hold that view is because it is perfect for the student population I work with. It makes sense in our situation. That may or may not be true of you.
ISTE 10 was an incredible conference and experience. Learning didn’t only occur during the sessions, it happened in the conversations and collaboration between the sessions. As I mentioned in my last post, it was so much fun to meet members of my PLN in person. We seemed to fall into conversation and joking like old friends (which I suppose is what we are). Edublogger Alliance member Buzz Garwood orchestrated some excellent conversations that can be viewed in the following videos:
I was honored that Buzz included me in these videos, but absolutely floored that I got to be in a video with David Warlick. David’s blog, 2Cents Worth, is the first educational blog that I read. Corey, Amy, and I got a mini keynote right there while we listened to Buzz interview David. Once again, as I listened to my peers speak about teaching, learning, and technology I was overwhelmed by the greatness I am surrounded by daily in my PLN. You guys are amazing!
There are two parts to our video: 21st Century Classroom. In part one we share our insights on teaching and learning in a digital age. In part two, we discuss the challenge of using IT to make the classroom relevant and engage students in a learning lifestyle. (As a side note, I love the idea of ditching the phrase life-long learner for learning lifestyle.)
Personal Learning Networks is another video that Buzz took during the conference, in it he interviews some of the members of my PLN as well as members of the iLearn Technology blogging alliance.
Thank you Buzz for collecting all of this on video, it was a pleasure to meet you and work with you in person!
And Now for something completely different, take a look at this ISTE10 fashion video that my colleague Amy and I got roped into. Good for a laugh anyway!
This week I am at the #ISTE10 conference in Denver! The conference goes from June 27 to June 30. ISTE stands for the International Society of Technology in Education, the goal of the conference is to share proven ways that technology can improve and enhance education and learning. People from all over the world have come to Denver to learn together. It is truly an amazing sight to have so many passionate educators in one place!
Today I got the chance to meet my PLN in person, what a wonderfully bizarre experience. We interact on Twitter all day every day and it feels like we are already old friends. But we had no idea what the other really looked like, what facial expressions they make, what their voice sounded like. To start putting all of that together was pretty cool. I got the chance to spend the day with @kylepace, @amandacdykes, @thenerdyteacher, @MrsBMG, @buzzgarwood, and briefly met many other of my awesome PLN. All I can say is that I wish you all lived closer by so we could hang more often. We had a blast!
This week things are going to be a little different on iLearn Technology. My posts will be focused on what I am learning at #ISTE10 that I want to share with all of you. For those of you new to iLearn Technology, my posts are generally dedicated to quick easy ways to integrate technology into the classroom. Those posts will resume on Thursday. Until then, join me on my ISTE journey here and on Twitter. You can follow me @ktenkely or follow the #ISTE10 hash tag.