Thursday, 31 December 2009

Laptops all go: 1:1 Learning Initiatives across the World

Laptop learning across the world. My google alert is sending me links to projects and reports each day. These links provide insight into the conversations and learning being generated by the many 1:1 projects across the world.

The Enhanced Learning Strategy, a mid 90s project in Canada looks interesting.

Orono High School and the Maine Learning Technology Initiative’s 1-to-1 laptop program for schools

Wesley Fryer, @wfryer wrote a series of posts on an Oklahoma 1:1 project. Speakers from other states and countries were involved. Take the time to read all the posts and follow other links.

In NSW, Australia, not everyone was convinced at the end of 2008, it appears.

School head slams NSW netbook plan | The Australian:
"The head of one of the biggest public high schools in NSW has launched an extraordinary attack on the state government over its plan to spend commonwealth money on giving a mini-laptop or netbook to every senior student."

My thoughts:
Hopefully, the huge amount of resourcing and support for DERNSW as laptops arrive in schools will be removing any lingering doubts.

During 2009, the momentum and excitement generated in schools as this program rolled-out has been noted in the media and across professional networks.

2010 will be a telling time for this change-forcing, paradigm-shifting project.

In the short term, I predict very positive outcomes through quality teaching and increased student engagement. In the long term, time will tell and all eyes will be watching.

DERNSW is a work in progress.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

My comment for @larryferlazzo One more day to share

"One more day to share, what I learnt in 2009."

I am a techy-type teacher and always-on learner from way-back. In 2009, I have learnt that:

*the pace of change in what constitutes effective teaching practice is seriously challenging most teachers. This has resulted in a dire need for many to update their practice. The notion of being a lifelong learner has never been so relevant for genuine educators. This is a non-negotiable, individual responsibility.

*web2.0 social media tools should be thoroughly assessed before teachers consider there use with students. This assessment would incorporate all the standard website content, functionality, age-suitability and eligibility criteria.

*being youngish does not necessarily mean that effective teaching practice using computing technology will automatically occur. The capacity to select online resources and tools that will achieve identified learning outcomes is the key.

Finally, 2010 will be even more exciting.

I look forward to Larry's post, that summarises what educators have said.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Tech-Savvy Young Teacher - Let's Unpack and Critique this Concept

What does it mean?

To whom does the term refer?

Is it a generational thing?

What do these teachers know?

What can these teachers do?

Is the reference valid?

What are the shortcomings, if any?

WORK in PROGRESS

Just One Post Left in the Pipeline-Forward to 2010

Finally, holidays. I have just one post to complete.

I may be boring even strange, but in the first two days of my holidays, I have:
  • had time in the last two days to catch up, to do what I enjoy online.
  • finished posts I started in October.
  • started to think about how to proceed in the New Year with posts that promote the very best of #NSWDET and #DERNSW achievements.
  • begun a reflection on my learning in 2009, more on this in following posts.
2010 will be a VERY big year for the Department of Education and Training in NSW.

I can't wait to report on the innovations and achievements.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Catching up with DERNSW Laptop Action-Work in Progress

Classroom rules. Ideas that support the Laptop User Charter.

Warrick Mole has devised a "new set of class rules" to guide his students in using their laptops successfully.

Simon Job has also prepared a set of Student Expectations with Laptops in a form consistent with his school's PBL-ROAD beliefs.

The following DET teachers have also contributed their thoughts and actions.


From the USA, I have noted there are an increasing number of 1:1 laptop programs to report on.


Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Arizona schools chief warns that ‘massive layoffs’ of teachers possible due to budget troubles

Arizona schools chief warns that ‘massive layoffs’ of teachers possible due to budget troubles:

The article begins with:

"PHOENIX — Arizona faces the prospect of large-scale layoffs of school teachers next year due to the state’s budget problems, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne said.

He said the “massive layoffs” of teachers are possible even though school districts’ actual job cuts for the current school year fell short of reductions indicated by early layoff notices. The vast majority of those notices were rescinded, he said."

My comments:
This is the third article this week that I have seen about drastic measures that involve teachers in cuts and changes to working conditions as a result of budget cuts in the USA.

I will add links to articles about Hawaii and other states too.

More Sites2Review

Latest Sites2Review-Finally Finished

This is another " post-in-waiting" that I now have time to complete.

What do they have in common? The short answer is they have:
  • value to teaching particular subjects
  • relevance to esafety
Britney Wilkins wrote: Chartophiles and students, have you heard that Google has made it incredibly easy to generate your own slick-looking charts? It’s true, and all it takes to make one is the ability to read and edit a URL. This has made it possible to get creative with charts and wow the audience for your next classroom presentation. Read on to see what’s been done, and how you can easily do it yourself.

Creating Learning Platforms

This useful wiki resource states: There is a growing desire to rethink education and learning, and the phrase "School 2.0" is being used to think about what schools will look like in the future.

The edorigami is a very valuable resource blog and should be followed to maximise professional and student learning benefits. This is just one example, check out the whole site, especially the work on Bloom's Taxonomy.

Subject-related Learning Links, will enhance teacher learning.

Last but not least, this website provides a wealth of resources for K-12 science educators, Science NetLinks is your guide to meaningful standards-based Internet experiences for students.

Latest on Google Tools (3)

Google SketchUp Teacher Guide full of fun activities.

Google Squared: a Complete Guide, a recent post on Tom Barrett's wonderful blog.

Google liberalises Google Docs
Google wrote: "A couple weeks ago, the Google Docs team launched a multi-file uploader to make it much easier for you to put files into the cloud. Today we’re launching a new feature to make it much easier to get your content out: “Convert, Zip and Download.”

More tips for Google use can be found at these sites:
100+ Google Tools that will Save you Time in Schools
http://thumannresources.com/2009/10/27/have-you-looked-at-google-docs-lately
This blog has a number of posts relating to Google tools.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Sites2Review - latest best from the Blog and Twittersphere

via@larryferlazzo on Twitter

Creative Kids Central is a very interesting music creation interactive.

Another wonderful NASA product, Planet Quest is a multimedia timeline of space exploration that begins at 500 B.C

The Fantastic Food Challenge is from Michigan State University and has four engaging online games designed to teach various aspects of food health and nutrition. This page has the link to play the online games.

If you aren't following Larry Ferlazzo's blog you are missing on a day to day basis, some of the best educational sites for students. He provides in his daily email a short review of each site.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

UK Learning Resources - So many Gems ...

I take a look at UK websites every couple of months.
Many Local Education Authority (LEA) websites have well-developed education pages and resource collections. They are often called "Learning Grids". Here are a few:

Cumbria and Lancashire Education Online

North West Learning Grid is a regional body consisting of 18 Local Authority Members who can access licenced content as well as the many free resources we make available to schools nationally.

They have also produced this valuable resource on digital media literacy.

The South East Grid for Learning

Yorkshire & Humber Grid for Learning

In this area you can find NEN Teaching and Learning resources. Enter a keyword in the search box to the right to search for resources or use the Grid below to find the resources that you need quickly and easily by Subject Area and Key Stage.

A nifty resource that is not a LEA:
Material World
This eLearning resource has been created by the Museum Network. The Network is a partnership of five museums, one national and four regional, that work together on the care, presentation and use of its collections, including digital and on-the-ground projects for schools.

I'll back to update you on other UK learning grids and resources over the coming months. If you pass by here and want to help me find these best, leave your finds in comments.

Exploring UK Local Education Authority (LEA) Websites

Over the past years, about once every 6 months, I have done a quick tour of all UK LEA websites.

What the heck for ... you might wonder? Well, it is simple. The UK in general and some LEAs in particular have been developing fabulous learning resources for many years.

I really enjoy checking out new developments on the many Learning Grids across the country.

I was reminded again today of how many valuable and often interactive websites there are already and more being designed as I write.

ArtisanCam is one I saw tweeted today.

In the coming weeks, I will post about all the interesting websites I rediscover in my LEA tour.

I am up to R and have collected about ten of the best so far to write about.

If I only had the time and inclination ...

I would love to write more about the links I share on Twitter.

I have just finished up a couple of draft blog posts that go back to August, so I know that TIME to write more is unlikely to materialise any time soon.

At the same time, I am aware that it may be more than just being time-poor. Maybe it is worse. Perhaps, I have finally reached the time in my career when I just don't have a great desire or motivation to do more.

In spite of this, I am still quite active and all the information, that I "pull" to me each day still makes it easy to be a little productive without a huge energy or time commitment.

Check out my tweets and join the chat of DET twitterati via #DERNSW and #DETNSW

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

How much should schools filter Internet content? | Edutopia

How much should schools filter Internet content? | Edutopia:
The article states:
"The vast majority of schools receive some form of government funding for their computers, which requires them to filter obscene Internet materials. But whether intentionally or due to confusion about the technology, schools frequently set their Internet filters so broadly that they block not just pornography but also mainstream sites like MySpace, as well as wikis and reproductive-health resources."

My comments:
The context is the USA. It is worth looking at the poll.
For the many issues and risks associated with using the internet during school hours, this poll is a little simplistic.

Still, the topic is keenly discussed at the moment and everyone has some view.

Monday, 12 October 2009

The Social Media Golden Triangle

The Social Media Golden Triangle

Dan Beldowicz @danbeldowicz wrote: "If you have been baffled and confused and just don't know where to start with social media, you must not have heard of the Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle was lost thousands of years ago... Wait! That's a different story, this one was discovered within the past two years!

This is a story of how the Social Media Golden Triangle can completely transform the way you communicate with your clients and customers and your business. We all know that economic times have changed. You have been hearing about Social Media, Social Networking, Viral Video and many other social media outlets that you wish you could leverage and turn into business.

What I'm about to discuss is nothing new, but it is a strong force that if used properly, will change the course of your business.

You have undoubtedly heard a lot of hype and hoopla around Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. These three sites make up "The Social Media Golden Triangle". Now is the time to put them to work for your business. Using the Golden Triangle can help you identify, attract, and interact with your target audience. This powerful combination of websites can take you from just barely surviving to thriving in the current economy."

This is a must-follow and develop concept. Lately, I have also seen this notion explored in a triangle with broader concepts at each angle. I am still trying to relocate this diagram ...

Read Dan's post and think about the ways to explore the idea. For education, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as discrete sites won't fly in K-12 education. At the same time, the power and potential of connectivity and interactivity is what is significant.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

How Speakers Should Integrate Social Into Their Presentation � Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing

How Speakers Should Integrate Social Into Their Presentation � Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing:

Jeremiah wrote: "Whether you’re a professional speaker, company representative, or panelist at a conference, you must develop a social strategy during your speaking.

The Audience Continues To Gain Power Over Speakers
A few years ago, the first major eruption occurred from the audience hijacking the attention at SXSW during an ill-fated interview on the main stage. Even weeks ago, Kanye’s debacle was commented on by Twittering attendees despite them not even having the mic.

This week, an audience revolt happened at the Higher Education Conference, you can read about it here, here, here and here. Although I was miles away, I was watching it unfold in real time on Twitter search –I felt horrible for that speaker who likely didn’t even know what was happening till someone posted his phone number on Twitter and people were texting him how horrible he had done. Ouch, the audience was vindictive and felt injured and wanted to get back."

My comments: This post gives a number of useful tips for presenting to any audience. The time has come, people don't have to listen, they can talk publicly amongst themselves on a backchannel.

Glad my presentation days are over ...

Paula White has also some useful Tips for Presenting.

drezac: Google Apps for Education and the Teacher's Process

drezac: Google Apps for Education and the Teacher's Process

@drezac wrote: "As teachers, we all use Gagne's steps, for the most part, but what I've found is most teachers may not even remember where these steps came from, me included, until recently: American Educational Psychologist Robert Gagne.

Gagne's steps were based around the Information Processing theory, where the goal was to maximize retention of knowledge (most likely- rote knowledge)."

I like this post since it is firmly about quality teaching. It is in the same category as Andrew Church's fine work with Bloom's Taxonomy.

Our focus as teachers should always remain with how any tool will improve our teaching and student learning.

This post based on Gagne's work is a must-read.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Expressions to Eliminate from our Professional Dialogue

Terms and concepts that appear to have passed their use by date

Computer and computing linked with: room, education

Technology linked with: education, fluency, infusion, integration,

Even the (over)use of ICT should be evaluated. For instance:
Integrate ICT

This list is just the beginning ...

Just me thinking about why we still use these words and concepts ...

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

NSW students tear through 40TB a month - Networking - Technology - News - iTnews.com.au

Hungry for bandwidth even with filters turned on.

Interesting interview with Stephen Wilson, CIO Department of Education.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

More about Using Wikis in Teaching

Wikis in the classroom offers a series of tips for using wikis in teaching and learning. At the moment, there are ten interesting ways to look at.

More Tips for Better Blogging

http://blogwalker.edublogs.org/2009/09/12/five-borrowed-tips-for-helping-students-become-better-bloggers

http://docs.google.com/previewtemplate?id=0AZ2TLTNub3z9YWg1bTlxanRrYndmXzU5ZnA4OTRiZHA&mode=public

Educating for Digital Citizenship

Some additional sites to explore:


http://digicitizen-wiki.com/

https://saisdparents.pbworks.com/


Sites reviewed by edna.edu.au
Hector's World
A new cyberbullying episode of Hector's World has been launched by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Hector's World is the ACMA's flagship program for young children aged 2 to 10 years. It explores a range of online issues including protecting personal information and now, cyberbullying.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

ReadWriteWeb's Top 5 Web Trends of 2009

ReadWriteWeb's Top 5 Web Trends of 2009:

"Last week we ran a series of posts outlining the 5 biggest Internet trends of this year: Structured Data, Real-Time Web, Personalization, Mobile Web / Augmented Reality, Internet of Things. Effectively this was ReadWriteWeb's State of the Web 2009.

We've now compiled the main points into a single presentation, available on Slideshare and embedded below. You can view the presentation in full screen by clicking the 'full' button at the bottom of the presentation."

Those who like to be "on trend" will enjoy this RWW update.

If You Printed The Internet …�|�CreativeCloud

If You Printed The Internet …�|�CreativeCloud

Check out this interesting graphic via Jane Hart.

Of more interest would be:

How much of what is written or displayed on the interest would be worth reading?

Off the top of my head as someone who works daily with a wide variety of websites in diverse content, service and product categories, I would suggest too little is reputable or authoritative enough for use by the education industry.

Just thinking ...

Friday, 11 September 2009

Students registering to use web2.0 tools at school

What are the issues and concerns?

After a quick think, I came up with an initial list to use when assessing a website that requires students to create accounts to access functionality.

  • Is the website, service or product directly related to the education market?
  • What are the risks? What can be done to eliminate or control those risks? Risks will include: duty of care, communication, information sharing ...
  • Terms of Use, Service and privacy statements of the product
  • Age of students. There are often statements about 13+ and 18+
  • Nature of information required to create an account
  • Controversial Issues in NSW public schools and other relevant DET Policy.
  • Is there any sorted or unsorted mature or adult content available on the site. Media rating and student viewing regulations to to be understood.
  • How toxic or disruptive is the advertising on the site?
Just a starting point ...

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Continuous Partial Attention

What an interesting concept! How can visualise exactly what that means.
This quote neatly summarises:

"I believe attention is the most powerful tool of the human spirit. We can enhance or augment our attention with practices like meditation and exercise, diffuse it with technologies like email and Blackberries, or alter it with pharmaceuticals. In the end, though, we are fully responsible for how we choose to use this extraordinary tool."

Visit this site to learn more: http://www.lindastone.net

Sunday, 23 August 2009

NSW Education Twitterati-What Concerns Them? Part 2


What's being mentioned in the Twitterverse?

Often, it is about "change" and how hard to is to get traction.

Horse to water etc versus don't let them get you down!

Also, various tweets about DETNSW:

DETNSW laptop rollout.



My thoughts? It's all good!

Must-read for Teachers Evaluating Online Products

Fine print.
We were always told not to forget to read the fine print for any service, product, contract etc.

What about the fine print at the bottom of websites in truly tiny print?

Website review checklists are in abundance on the net. Caution, most of them were designed for reviewing regular content-based web pages.

What about the web2.0 or social media websites?
Those that are in fact commercial services or products.

It's all in the Terms of Service (ToS) and Privacy requirements.

Much, much more to follow.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

10 Most Dangerous Things Users Do Online, The Staff of Dark Reading

10 Most Dangerous Things Users Do Online, The Staff of Dark Reading:

"End users — god bless ‘em. You can’t live with ‘em — but without them, you wouldn’t have a job. They’re the reason you have an IT infrastructure; they’re also the single greatest threat to the security of that infrastructure.

Because, in the end, most users have no idea how dangerous their online behavior is.

No matter how many times they train them, no matter how many classes they hold, most IT professionals still watch helplessly as end users introduce new malware because they 'just couldn’t resist looking at the attachment.' Security pros cringe as their users download software for personal use, turn off firewalls to speed up a connection, or leave their passwords stuck to their laptops."

My comments: Follow this link to read the whole article. It is a must-read if you are an end-user in any enterprise.

It is also vital reading for teachers as they review website products and services for student access.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Online Safety: Opportunities for Learning with Social Media Applications


Great UK interactive esafety website

The site reports:
"The keynote addresses were all well-received, and these can be found on the ICP website. The one from Michael Furdyk was particularly interesting in this digital age, and one should check out http://tigweb.org/ to see the value of social networking as a learning tool. It is extremely powerful and would be worth sharing with teachers and students. Let’s hope that the nanny state mentalities of some politicians and media commentators don’t prevent Australian children from being able to use this wisely as part of their learning, as social networks can be there for a social good. Michael also referred to a site that could be useful for young people in handling
cyberbullying, so you might like to see what your students think of http://www.thatsnotcool.com/

My comments:
My delicious bookmarks for online safety are a starting point for gaining the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions.

I love Google Part 2

A wiki devoted to using google docs

34 Interesting Ways to Use Search Engines in the Classroom

Google Images Adds Usage Rights Filters, Simplifies SafeSearch

PC World - USA writes about how Google has made explicit image filtering much easier.

Google Apps Case Study - Maine Township High School District

Lucy Gray's Google custom search engine


Easily incorporate Google Apps into your curriculum with these classroom-ready lesson plans.

Look at all Kevin Jarrett's google links on the left side of his blog.



12 best places to get free images for your site

12 best places to get free images for your site:

Another set of useful Jane Hart finds:

12 best places to get free images for your site, TechRadar, 12 August 2009

Social Media In Learning: This week's blog postings

Social Media In Learning: This week's blog postings: "

Check out these useful links via Jane Hart on her Social Media in Learning Blog .


Thursday, 13 August 2009

The National Safe Schools Framework

The site explains:
"The Australian Government has a strong interest in the wellbeing and safety of young people. It believes that all students have the right to learn in a safe and supportive environment that is free from bullying and victimisation.
This Government continues to work closely with state and territory education authorities to ensure that all measures are taken to deal with bullying. There are a number of initiatives being undertaken to address this issue in Australian schools. "

Read the advice at the SafeSchools website.

'Teens Don't Tweet,' Study Says

Does it matter? Why?
Who cares exactly?
What are they missing?
Why is this conversation important?

Chronicle of Higher Education study.

I am not sure students can benefit greatly from using twitter. I am sure there are lots of opinions out there.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Future Thinking-Vision Works

Vision Mapper
If you are embarking on school redesign, planning a curriculum change or need support for long-term strategy setting, then Vision Mapper, a free online resource, will help. Vision Mapper has a wide range of practical group activities and inspirational materials, including six possible future scenarios, current trends to consider when planning for the future and case-studies of successful long-term planning initiatives to help you create a reliable long-term vision and strategy for your organisation.

Try the Beyond Current Horizons for scenarios too.

More school related thinking comes from Wes Fryer in this post.

Professional Learning- Topping up ICT Skills

More sites to enhance professional learing with ICT skills.

HP and intel "Digital Learning Environments and Resources" has a range of resources to explore on professional learning with web 2.0 tools, laptops and other tools.

This link highlights some Twitter users whose tweets are worth following.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Learning about Wikis and Blogs - Great Resources Abound!

Introduction to wikis, a useful YouTube video.

Anne-Maree Moore has a useful wiki dedicated to IWB tips and tools.

A very comprehensive web 2.o tools wiki by Sondra Munro.

The following are some super wikis by American teachers.
http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/
http://www.digitalpencil.org/Wikis.aspx
http://t4.jordan.k12.ut.us/t4
http://www.jabernethy.com/portfolio
http://monarchlibrary.wikispaces.com/dialastory
Using wikispaces tutorial

Team blogging ideas for professional learning.

Managing your personal brand through blogging

Using YouTube for Teaching

Why not set up you own page for saving favourites?

YouTube also keeps you up to date with what is new from those people whose videos you like.

Check out my page and you may want to follow some of these people too.

http://www.youtube.com/user/etpet900

How to Use YouTube in the Classroom
Offers a brief video tutorial about educational uses for the video-sharing Web site.

Other video sharing sites include:
http://edublogs.tv
http://vodpod.com

Online Safety-Useful Links and Concepts

Security company McAfee has an advice centre useful for parents and teachers.

A useful site for educators on being net savvy.

My delicious links on online safety will also be a good place to start to find out what guidance is available nationally and internationally.

Miguel Guhlin has written about revising AUPs to keep up with threats and issues related to social media learning.

A school district internet safety links

More on cybersafety.

Exploring OneNote for Learning

I don't know anything about this Microsoft product. These are my finds so far.

I'll be keeping an ear open to what functions this tool will be put to by students and teachers in NSW public schools.

http://blogs.msdn.com/onenote_and_education/

http://blogs.msdn.com/descapa/archive/2009/07/14/onenote-included-in-all-office-editions.aspx

http://www.iheartonenote.com/#meteor=mTyDfezLjkb

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdi67tnx6nA

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Should I create a new blog on a different platform?

I have been thinking about setting up a new blog.

In fact, yesterday I even got the edublogs sign-in page up and ready to go!
But, at the last minute I hesitated, thinking, do I really need another blog?

The sensible answer is probably no. The emotional answer continues to be yes.

I believe, I can separate my posts into websites useful for learning for my new blog and other types of posts to remain with this blog to ensure I do justice to two blogs.

I still use "Blog This!" an awful lot as the lazy person's way of blogging topics of interest.

I will spend time checking out the useful information at these sites.

Getting started

Check out these class blogs

New edublogs features

This is a work in progress ... what are the issues?

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Sunday, 26 July 2009

NSW twitterati-What concerns them?

I am keen to share a few insights from some influential NSW education bloggers and twitterati.
I ask:
Are there opportunities for learning?
What are the issues?

Over to you for solutions.

So you have a blog, a wiki or both... What now?

Deciding how you want to use your blog and wiki sites in your teaching and professional learning is a key question. Nothing needs to be set in stone, the purpose and content can be evolving. One thing to remember is that ideally the personal and professional should not overlap on blog and wiki sites being used in teaching.

It is always useful to keep up with how other teachers use their sites. Some of my previous posts have links to top blogs and wikis for teachers. At this exciting time, with the rollout of DERNSW laptops for teachers and Year 9, it is vital to keep up with what the Department is putting online to assist teachers with resources for lessons.

On her Edublogger blog, Sue Waters, from Western Australia talks about emerging technologies and provides assistance to those wanting to use edublogs.

Andrew Churches, educational origami wiki is fabulous. The Starter Sheets for various tools are extremely useful as is his work on Blooms Taxonomy.

This website, Ideas to Inspire, compiled with the assistance of bloggers and twitterati has an amazing range of useful ideas and tools. Each section is a google docs presentation.

Angela Maiers writes a number of blogs including Chalk Talk Friday where she records posts and links that have caught her attention on the networks.

A wiki by Wes Fryer, entitled Teach Digital has a section: Safe Classroom Blogging to Improve Student Writing that is also very useful.

This site offers numerous resources and quality teaching ideas including useful materials on Bloom's Taxonomy.

Miguel Guhlin has collated many useful resources on various blog/wiki sites. This one, Creating the Walled Garden: Setting Up Web 2.0 Apps on School District Servers is particularly valuable.

Ricahrd Byrne has insprired with a slideshow: Blogs, Wikis and File Sharing. Oh My! and his Free Technology for Teachers blog is a must-follow.

Ning groups are worth considering for professional learning. Classroom 2.0 is a free, community-supported network and states: "We especially hope that those who are "beginners" will find this a supportive community and a comfortable place to start being part of the digital dialog. If you feel that you are a beginner and want some extra help, please click here to join the Beginner Group as soon as you've registered."

This site offers many interesting lists of sites to explore, this one deals with web applications that may entice.


Seven e-Learning and Teaching Resources

Seven e-Learning and Teaching Resources:

ReadWriteWeb writes:
"While the down economy continues to hurt funding to our schools, more and more teachers are looking to web-based services to help educate their students. Whether it's through open resource projects like CK-12, virtual classrooms like those in Second Life, or through the repurposing of tools like Twitter, millions of teachers are finding innovative resources to engage their students. If you're a teacher, here are seven great tools to get you started."

My comments: This is a small, manageable list of must-review sites for teacher and student use. Busy teachers could reasonably review each site and achieve some valuable professional learning goals without spending a huge amount of time.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Creating a wiki for your students. Why and How?

This is a Work in Progress.

I am preparing this post as a reflection of my previous post on "Creating a blog for your students". Have a quick read of this post before you jump into your "wiki work".

I have recently found this great site, newtoolsworkshop through Twitter. For most social media tools, this is a wonderful launchpad for learning.

This social media learning wiki is also very useful. Useful to explore the main site for other tips.

I have a wikispaces wiki. As you will have learnt from the site above, there are a number of reliable wiki creation platforms.

Click for the wikispaces tutorial, for help and for help + index.

This is another very useful post for teachers getting started with wiki work.
8 Ways to Use a School Wiki to Increase Communication, Collaboration and Enrich Instruction

A useful slideshow on SlideShare, that is an introduction to wikis.

8 ways to use wikis

wiki learning

10 technologies to use in a laptop or tablet classroom

Got the time ... here's more

Get Going with Wikispaces

Wikis in Plain English, a video by commoncraft.

Valuable wiki, called webtools4u2use, with a glogster start page.

50 Ways to Use Wikis for a More Collaborative and Interactive Classroom

Using this wiki you can learn about the many aspects of web 2.0. It has been designed for the staff of the Hamilton and Alexandra College, in Victoria.

This interesting wiki is called Perk Up your Projects with Web 2.0

Practical Applications of Research: Wikis for learning – what to expect by Dr. Irene Bolan

Facebook Leads Sharing

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Creating a blog for your students. Why and How?

My digital learning journey began in 2007.
The steps are documented in one of my very first posts in 2007. My November post outlines the steps I took.

I settled for a google blog. At that time it was blogspot, soon to be renamed blogger.com

Click to begin to set up your blog using google Blogger platform or the edublogs platform.

This YouTube video may also assist.

Commoncraft produced Blogs in Plain English video.

Learning with Blogs and Wikis is a worthwhile read by Bill Ferriter in Educational Leadership.

50 Useful Blogging Tools for Teachers says it all- almost ...

Blogging: Basics and Beyond is worth a view on SlideShare.

To blog or not to blog? A post by Graham Stanley.

Nik Peachey has written Blogging as part of the community.

This post discusses blog safety

These blogs show what teachers are doing:

Global Teacher is a virtual blogging environment which exists to promote curriculum excellence through the use of Web 2.0 technology. This directory acts as a 'front door' to a virtual staff room that is filled with rich resources, global projects and examples of teachers and students using Web 2.0 technology in exciting ways.

Feeling ready to delve more deeply into the possibilities, check the blogs of these top users.

Mrs Wyatt's inspirational work on several blogs with global blogging projects.
http://tbarrett.edublogs.org/
http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2009/07/17/the-best-practical-ed-tech-blogs/
http://electriceducator.blogspot.com/
http://mrslachance.blogspot.com/
http://classroom-technology.weebly.com/
http://marynabadenhorst.globalteacher.org.au/thinkingbrainstorming-tools/

Resources for blog posts
http://gallery.nen.gov.uk/gallery-swgfl.html



Who Blogs and Tweets Fantastic Learning Resources?

Twitter is now my major source of social learning and leadership sites, tools and related resources.

This is only my start-up list. They each have a blog, but this is an opportunity to find and follow them on Twitter.


@russeltarr
@keisawilliams
@Larryferlazzo
@paulawhite
@skipz

This post by Paula White gives some additional twitterati to follow. I was pleased to find my name on her list.

Another work in progress ...

New Visions for Learning - Over to You to Paint your Picture

Here is a collection of resources to guide and stimulate action to ensure maximum learning impact by the Digital Education Revolution NSW.

More about Victoria, Netbooks for 10000 Students

It now possible for teachers in South Africa to receive a subsidy to purchase a laptop. Teachers may have many questions about owning a laptop. This page serves as a point of reference to some of these questions.

Challenges, Change and Trends by David Wenmoth, NZ

Harnessing the Power of Social Networks in Teaching & Learning is a stimulating slideshow by Dr. Alec Couros

The Redback Project, a self paced journey of discovery of 21st Century tools specifically designed specifically for Victorian Educators, but potentially relevant to any teacher.

For a little more horizon gazing, check out Jacqui Sharp's wiki on ipods, iphones in education.

Enjoy this deep investigation of other teachers' journeys into social media learning.

Monday, 20 July 2009

A Technology Facilitator's Perspective

A Technology Facilitator's Perspective:

Julie LaChance writes:
"I encourage anyone that is, or works with, a technology facilitator to take a look at the Tech & Learning article, 'The Five Essentials of Technology Facilitators: Successful On-Site Help for Technology Integration'. It was written by Cheryl Whitfield back in 2005, so it is a little older, but I like the view of the position that it gives the reader.

According to the article, there are five things anyone hired for a technology facilitator position should possess."

My comments:
These five points are right on the mark. There may be other points, skills, capabilities to add, while acknowledging this substantial start.

What would you add?

Twitter / Home

Twitter: A Tweet with Message by Suzie Vesper

@suzievesper
"Have just protected my updates due to targeting by online cyberbully. Will go back to not doing so when this dies down."

My comments:
I have been wanting to explore "Blog This!" with a tweet.
Picked this once since, it relates to important issues - privacy, security etc.
All the more significant when we ask students to register for online tools.

Sign up for Twitter, while you are there and enjoy your choice of tweets to follow with to your browser professional learning.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

PinDax - Online Message Board

PinDax - Online Message Board:

"Why choose a boring message board for your website? PinDax offers a fun real-time alternative to the traditional message board. Sign up for free, you will be up and running in minutes."

My comments: Just broke my commitment of a last post not to sign-up to any more tools.
I always loved the eboard facility of many years ago. I am a sucker for post-it note functionality.
This little app. was originally brought to my attention by @larryferlazzo. If you are not subscribed to blog feed or following him on Twitter and you are an educator, then you are missing a great number of learning opportunities for you and your students.


I'll get back to you on what use I make of this nifty tool.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Plan puts 'super teachers' in worst schools | National News | News.com.au

Plan puts 'super teachers' in worst schools | National News | News.com.au:

"RADICAL plans to boost exam results by enticing a new breed of 'super teachers' to work in the worst performing schools have been unveiled by Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard.

An initial batch of 100 of the so-called Highly Accomplished Teacher positions will be advertised in NSW in October before the plan is rolled out across the rest of Australia.

The elite teachers will earn a higher salary than their colleagues and teach fewer classes."

My comments: It will be very interesting to watch this program through implementation and development. The language used to describe the program and individual teachers will need to be carefully chosen.

Words like "elite" and "super" may be a more a hindrance than help.

Many people will remember the derogatory comments that the Leading Teachers of the 1990s had to endure.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Change ... so much to attend to and so little time

Harsh .. maybe not.
It's about time, isn't it, that we all in education started mostly talking about getting with it rather than how to get around things that are new and a little "challenging" to our dearly held beliefs and current practices.

I am ready to say, enough!

On leadership: simply, lead or leave. It is more than being aware of the latest quality teaching principles and practices, especially in the context of the latest online social media learning tools. If you don't know and don't practise use of these interactives, websites and tools, then forget it. This is not an area that can wisely be left to others, no matter how much that method appeals.

On mobiles and mlearning: The mobile phone in all it new forms and with all the potential for valid, engaging and fulfilling learning must be used by educators for 24/7 learning. Laptops, netbooks, notebooks, it's just marking time and delaying the inevitable.

Signup, login: What are the implications for us and our students if we are guiding them to signup for accounts at multiple web sites? Are we asking parents for permission? The situation is critical for under 13 and not without danger for under 18.

New tools, applications: Have you seen or used this ....? I still read this frequently on Twitter and I am occasionally still tempted. But, I have concluded enough is enough. I cannot adequately attend to my presence on any more networks. I have accounts and abandoned "real estate" on so many networks, I sometimes worry about squatters.

Widgets: Why do we need them? When I first started my "digital learning journey", I set up an igoogle page as my lanuchpad. I enjoyed exploring and changing the widgets and gadgets on my pages. If I were still a classroom teacher, I would continue to identify practical learning uses for these little apps. I can see now it is easy to be distracted by them too. You will see the gadgets I have limited myself to on this blog.

I will be back to complete the rest ...
participation
expectations
guest11111111
no picture
protected content
teens skills and getting their attention

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Infinite Thinking Machine

Infinite Thinking Machine: "Released at NECC 2009 are a new series of education friendly lessons .

Lucy Gray wrote:
Looking for something? First stop might be the Google search box. Becoming a skillful searcher is an essential skill for teachers and students in our media rich environments. The search box provides abundant amounts of information quickly at our fingertips. So, how do you use the Google search box to get just the right amount of information, analyze it for authenticity, and get it quickly? The new Google Search Lessons are aimed at helping teachers and students learn the inside scoop about skillful searching."

Subscribe to her blog, read the full post and check the lessons.
Follow her on Twitter @elemenous

You will be kept up to date with many aspects of social media learning.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

NSW Secondary Principals' Council- DER Update from the President

Jim McAlpine, President of the NSWSPC wrote 1 July 2009, in the SPC Bulletin, these comments about DIGITAL EDUCATION REVOLUTION (DERNSW:

"This is about to change the landscape of all of our schools from the start of next term, and a huge amount of time, energy and expertise have been expended this year in gearing up for it. Nearly all regional directors have arranged for briefings with their principals this term in anticipation of what will be one of the greatest challenges and one of the greatest opportunities that most principals will ever face.
I know that there were some well-intended criticisms of the SPC by some of our members early last year when we put our support into this program, and no doubt as difficulties emerge I will be reminded of these, but with a positive outlook by principals and teachers, this program should be a great educational benefit for our children, our schools and our educators.
I was given a laptop by our Chief Education Officer Stephen Wilson yesterday so that I can take it to meetings with principals around the state and explore its potential with colleagues. Congratulations to all who have been involved with this program, especially the SPC Digital Revolution Task Force, Stephen Wilson, Dianne Marshall, Terry O’Brien and Barbara Bober. There are many others in DET, including those in Bridge Street, in PLLD, in Curriculum and in CLI who have contributed and who will continue to contribute to make this a success!

My comments: I have also been following NSW public school teachers' comments on Twitter. Essentially, these are thrilling times for teaching and learning. Hasten slowly, but do not waste any opportunities to improve student engagement and learning.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Under construction: Posts on DER-NSW Laptops for Learning

Over the mast month, I have been collecting links and formulating posts on DER-NSW.

I finally spent some time today finishing them. Nothing too adventurous or innovative. Just some information about what is happening and who is posting and tweeting about it.

When you save posts as drafts, they keep that date. As a result, my posts go back in time from 10 June 2009.

A future goal will be to get posts to publish stage a lot faster.

It's good to dream ...

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Social networking booms as Twitter grows by 1448% | Blogs about Broadband, Technology, Telecoms and the Internet

Social networking booms as Twitter grows by 1448% | Blogs about Broadband, Technology, Telecoms and the Internet:

"Social networking is growing at a considerable pace. In May 2009, Nielsen Online –an internationally known online statistics measurement company, reported that it identified an 82% increase in total minutes spent on social media and blog websites year on year.

The average time spent per person on social media websites also increased by 67% year on year.

Twitter.com, the micro blogging platform where users are able to post ‘tweets’ of no more than 140 characters, was the fastest growing web brand in May 2009, increasing 1448% from 1.2 million unique users in May 2008 to 18.2 million in May 2009.

The average time spent on Twitter has also increased from 6 minutes and 19 seconds per session in May 2008 to 17 minutes and 21 seconds in May 2009."

Are we surprised?
Read about the rest ... or maybe not.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Laptops for Learning-Building the Best Lessons

Here are some links to resources that may be of use.

Intel® Teach Elements: Project-Based Approaches

Free Teaching Tools and Resources

K–12 Teaching Resources
Free resources for educators support collaborative student-centered learning. Our 21st century teaching and learning resources help teachers play a critical role in facilitating learning activities and posing questions that take student thinking deeper.

skoool.com
A new concept in e-learning solutions another valuable intel Education product. This is the main site with links to the specially developed sites of individual continents and countries.

skoool science and mathematics resources
A collaboration between Intel and NSW DET has delivered more than 200 high-quality interactive learning resources for science and maths to NSW schools through the Teaching and Learning exchange (TaLe).

The Le@rning Federation develops digital curriculum content for all Australian and New Zealand schools. The project is a collaborative initiative of all Australian and New Zealand governments. Since 2001 our high-quality, innovative content has seeded and supported schools' moves into 21st-century education, and has begun the digital education revolution.
http://www.thelearningfederation.edu.au/for_teachers/for_teachers_intro.html
http://www.thelearningfederation.edu.au/for_teachers/teacher_ideas/secondary_english_ideas.html

Hot Twitterati for Data Visualisation, Infographics and Interactives

You can google for the blogs of these super surfers and set up an RSS feed to tap all their gems.

You can also follow them on Twitter. This is a very easy, timely way to share their top finds.

@russeltarr
@Larryferlazzo

These are some of the latest tweets:


http://www.eyeplorer.com/eyePlorer/


http://www.airtightinteractive.com/projects/related_tag_browser/app/

http://scimaps.org/maps/browse/

http://scimaps.org/maps/map/visual_elements_peri_77/

http://scimaps.org/maps/map/the_millennium_devel_90/

http://scimaps.org/maps/map/impact_of_air_travel_24/

http://moritz.stefaner.eu/projects/relation-browser/

http://marumushi.com/projects/newsmap

http://newsmap.jp/

http://flowingdata.com/2009/03/23/little-red-riding-hood-the-animated-infographic-story/

http://coolinfographics.blogspot.com/

http://universe.daylife.com/

http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/

Laptops, Notebooks, Netbooks - Local and Global Views and Action

Views from NSW public school teachers

http://simonborgert.edublogs.org/2009/05/31/chhs-maths-department-towards-l4l-part-2-some-key-issues/

Simon writes: "Lets hope that the teacher rollout is before the school holidays start on 10 July as this would allow staff to “play” with their machines over the holidays and for the staff day at the commencement of Term 3 to be dedicated to Professional Learning on the Laptop."

NSW Curriculum Directorate has launched
Digital Education Revolution NSW. Welcome to the world of teaching mathematics with laptops. Looking like a valuable resource collection in the making.

Hunter Region is very active with professional learning. Here is a link to Pip Howell's blog.
and another with a school leader focus.

This post from an Australian teacher looks at the good and not so good things teachers need to know about laptop learning.

On the international stage, the USA has lots happening with these tiny, technotools
This a is a lead-up to NECC 2009 post by Wes Fryer. It has links to other articles and posts on netbook classroom experiences.





National eSafety Week in Australia


http://wazzup-web.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-to-protect-kids-from-entering-bad.html

http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/693900

An Australian Government initiative.

Lots of countries have their own cybersafety and online safety programs.

Use my cybersafety and online safety bookmarks on delicious.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Laptops for Teachers across Australia

Across Australia, may states are using Federal Digital Education Revolution funds to purchase laptops for students.

Many states have already used their own money to fund laptop programs for teachers.

What's happening in Queensland?
Computers for Teachers-Online Community
Thinking Digitally
Delivering Content
SMART Classrooms
SMART Classrooms planning
SMART Classrooms ICT Leaders

What's happening in Victoria?

ICT support services for netbooks

1-to-1 Learning

Netbook Trial wikispace posted by Helen Otway

What's happening in Western Australia

Notebooks

Related Programs

Cybersafety in WA








About Telstra - Media Centre - Announcement - Productivity concerns trigger crackdown on social networking sites

About Telstra - Media Centre - Announcement - Productivity concerns trigger crackdown on social networking sites:

"Australian businesses are cracking down on their employees accessing social networking sites in the midst of a tightening economy as managements aggressively seek productivity gains.

New figures released by Telstra Business and managed internet security specialists MessageLabs, now part of Symanetc, show a four-fold spike in the number of times employers have blocked worker access to social networking sites between June 2008 and April 2009.

Telstra Business has now released a range of security tools to allow employers to block or restrict the use of social networking sites during office hours, provided through MessageLabs services."

Make sure you click to read the full article. It is aninteresting read for all

Edutopia article-some useful social learning links

A Digital-Literacy Maven's Favorite Web Links

Excerpted from Edutopia Magazine:
As a professor of education, Michele Knobel uses the sites referenced in the website below. She believes that teachers-to-be must be savvy users of online technologies in order to be effective classroom teachers. She gives her students ample opportunity to create and collaborate through Web-based tools.

http://www.edutopia.org/dg-resources

Friday, 29 May 2009

Laptops for Learning - Teach to Maximise Learning

How are teachers of Year 9 feeling about this "paradigm shifting" initiative?

enthusiastic? nervous? ready? fearful? All of these and more, I am sure.

We have taught through IT, ICT and lots of combinations of the same. Have we seen much impact on learning outcomes? At this time, I am inclined to reply: mmmmmmm

The world has seen OLPC, 1:1 laptops and again many other combinations and variations.
In Australia, most states are conducting some laptop trials. We are hearing about laptops, netbooks, notebooks in a market where many companies are looking to get the big $$$.

Graham Wegner has made some observations about laptop roll-outs.

In the USA, some edubloggers have been keeping us up to date:

Miguel Guhlin has made a number of contributions about learning with netbooks.
Netbooks for students
Usability for netbooks
Netbooks go viral

Wesley Fryer has written about creativity and netbooks and getting attention in a laptop classroom.

Scott McLeod has also penned a relevant post on using the ipod touch in the classroom.

Smaller, yes and at the same time related. Laptops, ipods, iphones etc. it's all about mlearning. The students will be the winners here.

Jeff Utecht in Bangkok has also written about the laptop's impact on learning.

There are also some sources of thinking on laptop pedagogy. We need to have the debate about what that means exactly?

The "Learning in Hand" blog identifies some possibly suitable web applications for netbook computers.

The countdown is on in the State's public high schools, it is just a few weeks before teachers become the proud users of their own laptop for learning.

That day cannot come fast enough! The possibilities and potential are yet to be fully explored.



Monday, 25 May 2009

Social Technographics Ladder � Lucacept – intercepting the Web

Social Technographics Ladder � Lucacept – intercepting the Web

Jenny Luca has posted about a really useful infographic.

My comments:

I think this is one of the top infographics around at the moment.
The Brian Solis "Conversation Prism" is still Number 1 in my mind.
I have seen some nice slide decks on SlideShare by Charlene Li. She is worth a follow on Twitter too.

It is worthwhile reading all the posts of those who have picked up on this graphic through blogs, Twitter or other social media connections.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Laptops for Learning: NSW Public Education Leading the Way

The Laptops for Learning Project is moving forward. You can catch up with all the developments in Bulletins on the Department's intranet.

In addition, sign up to follow the blogs or tweets of a number of informed teachers who are either involved in L4L projects or as important keen to map, monitor and generally "build the field" for the successful implementation of laptops for Year 9-12 across the state and in their particular schools.

Darcy Moore's blog
Kelli McGraw's blog
Melissa Giddins's blog
Simon Job's blog
Anne-Marie Moore's blog

Head of EdTech at the Learning and Teaching Centre, Macquarie University, Dean Groom in his "Design 4 Learning" blog, has some interesting points to make.

In the past, others have contributed with experiences across the world:

Pamela Livingston writes a very useful blog, entitled Helping Laptop Programs.

More to come as teachers' work becomes available.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Are you building community through SlideShare? � Online Community Strategist

Are you building community through SlideShare? � Online Community Strategist

My comments on this post:

It is great that SlideShare picked up your post. I ♥ SlideShare too and use its functionality almost every day.
I have a search on various terms running through Google Reader, so I get an ongoing feed of shows that match my learning needs (education, technology, social media and ...) and I find many others that are of peripheral interest too.
I started groups that I post other people's slide shows to and I follow those who post decks that match my topics of interest.
I join other groups that match my interests and I post useful decks I find to those groups as well.
I always tag shows using my top search terms, when I favourite and when I check them out through google reader.
I comment very briefly on great decks as often as I can.
Now, I also post the best ones to Twitter and I try to add the creator's Twitter name, in the tweet.
I always look at my home page to see if there are shows that I have missed, since SlideShare throws up the shows of those that you follow as they are posted.

If you aren't following SlideShare, go now and have a quick look. It's more for the knowledge than the presentation style. Although, in that regard, you can pick up many nifty ideas.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

What Is A Good Parental Control Software Good For A 12 Yr Old That Is Going To Singles Sites And Chat Rooms.? | YourWebsiteSolutions.COM

What Is A Good Parental Control Software Good For A 12 Yr Old That Is Going To Singles Sites And Chat Rooms.? | YourWebsiteSolutions.COM:
"K9 Web Protection is the best free parental control and monitoring software.

K9 Web Protection is easy-to-use Parental Control and Internet filtering software that helps parents protect their children online. K9 Web Protection has the ability to block adult, porn and other offensive content, prevent spyware infections, and monitor visited sites on any Internet access connection (AOL, MSN, Yahoo, Earthlink). Based on commercial-grade Web filtering controls from Blue Coat Systems, K9 Web Protection is unique among content filters and it is free for home use. K9 can be configured as a porn blocker, a spyware stopper, a gambling filter or various other configurations based on our over 55 Web categories."

Here are some links to explore this tool.

http://www1.k9webprotection.com/support/check-site-rating.php
http://www1.k9webprotection.com/index.php
http://www1.k9webprotection.com/support/faq.php
http://www1.k9webprotection.com/aboutk9/index.php
http://www.bluecoat.com/news/pr/53
http://www1.k9webprotection.com/aboutk9/product-features.php
http://www1.k9webprotection.com/resources/online-safety.php
http://www.internetsafetypodcast.com/
http://wiki.internetsafetypodcast.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

More about online safety to follow ...

Saturday, 9 May 2009

April 2009 Web Server Survey - Netcraft

April 2009 Web Server Survey - Netcraft:

"In the April 2009 survey we received responses from 231,510,169 sites. This represents an increase of over 6 million sites when compared with last month, with Google and nginx accounting for almost all of the changes. Apache remains in the lead, as it has since 1996, with a total of over 106 million sites, followed by Microsoft-IIS with over 67 million and QQ with almost 29 million."


The internet is BIG, dynamic, constantly enlarging ... endless!

Keep an eye on this site for updates!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Twitter - Following and Followed

I am keen to look more closely at the concept of "ambient followers".

The reality and power of this concept is apparent on Twitter.

Another concept I want to explore and apply to current buzz tools and applications in education is the "Gartner Hype Cycle".

Fascinating to see some posts about this over recent days.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

iGoogle

iGoogle

What happened to my nifty little Blogger widget?

All week, every day, I read my feeds, emails, A list blogger posts and pages of tweets with diligence. Keen not to miss a beat or useful tweet. It takes hours. I still love it!
At the same time, I wonder if I can keep up this pace. Is there any way to filter better what I like to read? At this time, I have not found a way.
All ideas, will be well-received.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Leadership 2.0 «

Leadership 2.0:

Dean Groom wrote in his "teaching and Learning Design" blog, a post that will stimulate another round of valuable discussions by blog and twitterati on what needs to be done.
"I listened this week to people talking again about the ‘skills’ students need as 21st Century Learners. They spoke of their frustration that their community leaders didn’t ‘get it’. This made me think about the polorisation they were discussing; advocates talk of media literacy and collaboration while many schools focus on ‘skills’ that deliver the current measure of attainment – examinations. So what makes a ‘great’ leader?"

Several other well-known bloggers have been posting on this over the last years. The time has come to sort this out. The pace of change in schools just has to pick up.
Go and read Dean's post and add your voice to this urgent need. Frustration about the "glacial pace" needs to be translated into proactive action and active agitation about what really matters in school leadership.

I'll publish this post as Version 1 and over the coming days I'll add the links to the other powerful posts. If you want to do the search, start with posts by: Scott McLeod. Miguel Guhlin, Wes Fryer, Karl Fisch, Darcy Moore ... add more if you read this.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Loisath-My ICT Journey » Blog Archive » “Webpage” to Weblog #3

Loisath-My ICT Journey » Blog Archive » “Webpage” to Weblog #3:

"This is the final blog of a series about using Web 2.0 technologies in the classroom. This section looks at our school’s “practice run” using blogs in the classroom and the lessons we learnt.
BEGINNING BLOGGERS

We had a clear purpose, and support from the school leadership to move forward on the weblogs. Once we started our blogs, eleven in all, it became clear that we needed some guidelines to define the tone and purpose of the class blog pages. One of the surprising comments from teacher who looked at the work the others were doing but wasn’t actually a participant was that “this could be used by parents to compare teachers.” Clearly this wasn’t the tone that we wanted."

http://loisath.edublogs.org/2009/01/25/webpage-to-weblog-3/

Dr. Z Reflects: The Horizon Report for 2009

Dr. Z Reflects: The Horizon Report for 2009:

Leigh Zeitz wrote:
"The Horizon Report for 2009 has been released.
The Horizon Report is an annual report that is produced jointly by the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. This account charts the existing and future trends in emerging technologies."
This post is one of many I have seen tweeted over the last weeks on this topic. Dr. Zeitz links to the Report and also provides an overview of the previous two Reports and their predictions. I am keen in 2009, to monitor the realisation of these predictions. This should be a "Tipping Point" year.

Now, go to the post and check out what he has written.

Here is another link to check out. This one from @mamk entitled Mobile Learning Foresight is also worth a look.

Directions, Goals and Influencers « Darcy Moore’s Blog

Directions, Goals and Influencers « Darcy Moore’s Blog:

Darcy Moore wrote:
"I always like to start the school year with a clear sense of direction and personal professional priorities and goals; a sort of pre-reflection, if that makes sense. It goes without saying that one needs, as an educator, to be a:
- better learner
- better teacher
- better leader
My comments:
Thanks for the mention Darcy. It is an absolute pleasure to be of any assistance.

What a joy it must be for the school to have you as a DP. I like what you have devised as goals and priorities. How refreshing it would be to have such a balanced blend of thinker and doer in one person.
The E program sounds fabulous. I'll stay tuned.
Very nifty use of wordle too.

It is an absolute certainty that I will post on Darcy's achievements during 2009.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Technology in the Middle » Blog Archive » Hands-On Learning is “Grand”

Technology in the Middle » Blog Archive » Hands-On Learning is “Grand”:

Patrick Woessner wrote:
"I’ve spent the better part of the last two weekends helping my fourth grade son complete a series of “hands-on” activities designed to teach him about the southeast region of the United States. These activities were developed by a well known publishing company (not to be named here) whose materials were described by their distributor as “…developed by teachers with hands-on classroom experience. All of the materials are developmentally appropriate, educationally sound, and fun! They are committed to simplifying teachers’ lives by providing them with resource materials that save time and enrich the classroom experience.”

I’m not so sure about that.

For this assignment, my son could choose to complete either three, five, or seven activities corresponding to “grades” of good, great, and grand respectively from a list of 12 possible options."
Patrick lists the seven tasks and the outcomes of his son's work and learning.

I commented:
Interesting post and quite a dilemma for you.

Your comment: "there were no learning objectives or assessment rubrics included with the assignment." is the essence of the problem.

Does your state have curriculum standards? What "subject" was this task for?

I wonder will you raise your concerns with school leaders?

More educator-parents who are well-informed need to consider doing exactly that.