Sunday, 31 January 2010

Key Skills, Literacies, Capabilities ...

Five Simple Skills | Betchablog:

Chris Betcher wrote;

"There always seems to be a lot of talk about the need for more teachers to embrace “21st Century skills”. Of course, there’s a lot of discussion about what these “21st Century skills” actually are. Many people have debated and discussed this issue, asking the question of what exactly should today’s learners know in order to function in the “21st Century”.

I’m sure there are a whole lot of really good answers to these questions that dig deeply into effective pedagogy and the deeper philosophy of education. This post is not about those things."

This post stimulated some thinking on my part. I noted that Chris Betcher listed the following:

I can only agree with ONE of Chris' list and that is "learn to search". I have posted on this topic previously in many references to the effective use of the full power of google search.

His decision to include basic photo and video editing, use html editor and learn to think in hyperlinks does not match most skills that I would consider vital for effective teaching and professional learning in this the second decade of the 21st century.

I do not use the term " 21st century skills". That horizon is another 9 decades to live through and to my mind it is impossible to predict skills essential for 2020 living let alone 2090 living.

After effective searching, I would include:
  • deep knowledge of effective teaching practice suitable for digital learning
  • a willingness to keep on learning professionally through relevant networks
  • the capacity to reflect on teaching practice and professional learning through short blog posts, wiki references or ...
  • technical knowledge and skills that facilitate online, multimedia student learning
Hard to stop at 5 ...

Your Kids Know More Than You!!! - Synthesizing Education Blog

Your Kids Know More Than You!!! - Synthesizing Education Blog:

The points Aaron Eyler makes in this post have interested me for a while and I have a few thoughts of my own.

"I presented at a conference today on educational technology and had a ball doing it. I love talking with people about education and educational technology. I also love being provocative and providing others with interesting ways to conceptualize revolutions and ideas in education, which is why I am going to provide you with some information I shared with the attendees today: your kids know more than you."

My comments:
First point, would be to ask: in response to the statement "your kids know more than you" - about what?

If it is about the latest "tech tool, gadget, widget or mobile phone ... well maybe and maybe not. If the response is maybe, then I say so what...

As a high school languages teacher, I am happy to be and needed to be the "sage on the stage" most if not all the time. I am not going to teach very effectively if I am not a content specialist.

I am a fan of direct, explicit instruction, coupled with inquiry and exploration as the basis for independent practice of what our students need to "learn about and learn to (do)" in each subject area.

Maybe I am out of step ...

Brain-waves: What's the Latest Thinking? (1)

I set up a new google alert during January to capture the latest on "brain learning". Every day, sure enough, someone has written something new on our wonderful brains.

It may be well-researched, it might be a nice theory. I am wanting to collate these posts and learn all I can about:
  • brain development
  • early learning
  • keeping our brain healthy
and any other related topic that any brilliant thinking comes up with.

Magnesium adds muscle to brain performance.
Strengthen your memory by taking a break
Why brainy is suddenly chic
Born to learn
An idle brain may be ripe for learning
Exercise, Brain Stimulation and Writing on the Move
An article on fish oil being good for our brains and happiness.
Taking It Literally: Testing How the Body Processes Information

Leading Digital Revolutions - Job Description Needed (1)

There have been an increasing number of posts on leadership of digital learning.

@langwitches has written a post from @educon

Leadership 2.0: Who Do We Need Our Leaders To Be? reports on a presentation by Chris Lehmann.

This toolkit of inspirations post from #educon on @slideshare by Ben Hazzard may be useful.
Field Guide for Change Agents

Is this innovation too disruptive for my firm. @HarvardBiz is worth a follow.

How to get along with frenemies.

Could you manage this style ...

Digital Kids: Dumber and More Distractable? Or Do Kids Learn Better Online?

PBS documentary questions tech and our future

Students Sound Off on School Tech Use

Educon 2.2 reflections- What do you think? post by Chris Lehmann

Shelly Terrell has written her amazing Goals 2010 Challenge Series and now has an ebook of the lot. This is a focussed an interesting way to jump into digital learning.

A work in progress ...

Laptops for Learning - NSW Experiences in the New Year (11)

@simonjob has written a post that hopefully will encourage more staff to dive into DET resources, including Laptop Wraps.

I commented:
"Useful post, Simon and great that you are using some of the valuable DET resources that have been created for learning (with laptops) by CLI and Curriculum Support. The questions you have posed to scaffold the thinking of colleagues is very wise also.
There are so many excellent resources on TaLe created by talented teachers that can be dropped straight into a teaching programs. Your idea of tweaking, modifying and adapting these resources, is the way to go."

Search out the Laptop Wraps yourself in the parent section of TaLe.

This listing, Learning resources for DER-NSW, will help too.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

#DERNSW - Warning to Browse Safely

Classroom of the Future
Correct Vibewire Youth Inc link
The article states: "It is a warning to all young computer hackers, as five Sydney high school students have been made an example of following their four day suspension, after compromising the security settings on their government supplied laptops only weeks after they were first issued by the Department of Education and Training.

According to a NSW Department of Education and Training spokesperson, “These devices have internet filters and other security measures…breaching the Charter can result in disciplinary action”."

The Digital Education Revolution in NSW

In English Speaking Countries are Languages other than English (LOTE) Really Valued?

Fewer schools hit language target

Another post in development.

Reputation: Building and Managing an Ethical BRAND

A Teaching Moment: Introducing Students to their Cyber-selves
is post about students and their online identities.

The Value of Brand in Education.

Protecting Reputations Online a Commoncraft video

A work in progress, my thoughts are percolating.

Information - do I need it?

Defining the problem
I started thinking about this topic again, after reading this post:
So what do we do with all this information?

Locating and selecting information
another via @sandynay Types of information: Gain an awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of some of the types of information available.

Educators in NSW have information skills support, here are 2 useful websites.
Information skills in the school
web 2.0 tools in the information skills process

Monday, 25 January 2010

Laptop Learning - More Global Buzz (10)

An interesting strategy in Arizona to keep students in public education.

Across Australia a number of programs are being rolled-out.

More detail on what is happening with 1-to-1 learning in Queensland, Australia.

Despite problems, laptops boost student test scores

More detail on what is happening with 1-to-1 learning in Queensland, Australia.

Wesley Fryer keeps us up to date with 1:1 program developments:
From One Computer Lab to 1:1 – Best Practices of Technology Integration by Katie Bader and Diane Bilcer

A 1:1 project in Yokohama International School with Apple computers.

Digital Native, NetGen, Millennial, iGen and so on ...

In a post entitled the Myth of the digital native, Terry Freedman writes:
"Angela McFarlane gave a talk at the Naace 2009 Conference which was quite interesting. The full title of her talk was:

"5 year olds never could program the video -- challenging the myth of the digital native"."

The full post is worth a read.

This January 2010 post, "The problem with the native/immigrant dichotomy" adds to the debate.

A July 2008 post tackles the terminology too. Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’

A more recent post, January 2010, looks at the use of various "i" devices by toddlers and younger children.

A few strong cases for ditching the paper and letting books grow digital wings

Miguel Guhlin writes: First Grade Media Literacy

You can do a quick search to find out what Mark Prensky and Don Tapscott have to say on this topic.

My thoughts:

I wonder does this language actually create artificial barriers?
How are the implied generational divisions of critical relevance to schooling?

I know that my grandchildren ( 7 & 11) are all already quite used to "finding and doing things online". This would include:
  • locating games sites, mostly arcade and dexterity practice only
  • google search for anything
  • locate and follow product auctions on ebay

I love Google Tools (5)

Top Tools For Tracking Topics on the Web

So do lots of other people. 100+ Google Tricks for Teachers

I plan to have a good look at the features of knol, since there have been some improvements reported.

Where can I ... search effectively? Is a very useful post. Although, in my view, for both students and teachers the more important question is probably how do I search effectively.

Additionally, the concept of safe searching must be addressed in the school setting.

I'll keep this post as a work in progress ...

Musings on the teaching of spelling

Musings on the teaching of spelling �:

@henriettami put this post together:

"I was really interested to read a blog post by The Principal last week where among other things he questioned whether spelling should be taught anymore. If you have yet to read this I suggest you do so, as it raises many interesting points. While I believe that his aim was to encourage discourse on the subject, many people commented and these too, make for interesting reading.

The Principal would argue that teaching spelling is a waste of our valuable time. I beg to differ."

This post and report is also of interest. Is texting valuable or vandalism.

My thoughts:
I am with Henrietta 100%. In primary school, the systematic and explicit teaching of spelling is a key component of effective literacy teaching.

This systematic and explicit approach must be continued into high school and be a core responsibility of every subject teacher with vocabulary specific to the learning in the subject.

In NSW, this is a syllabus and Department of Education requirement.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Sleep, wonderful sleep!

This article took my attention: Why children need more sleep

The first lines read: "Children sleep an hour less today than 30 years ago – and it's having a dramatic effect on their intelligence, behaviour and obesity levels"

"I just can't get enough", is how one of our grandchildren, this one 2 years old behaves.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Laptop Learning - More Global Buzz (9)

Don't forget to read the previous 8 posts.

A computer per student leads to higher performance

For many it is a budget issue: School budget cuts may delay laptop program in Hopkinton

This is news report on some activity from New Hampshire: Technology Brings New Tools To Classroom: Federal Stimulus Funds Will Increase Technology In NH Schools

A Nebraska Superintendent reports on a 1:1 initiative, Sioux County to implement 1-1 Initiative:
"Technology is another key area where the school can use the Title funds. Combined with funds from a separate REAP grant the district receives each year, Sioux County Schools is set to begin the 1-1 Initiative. The program will put a laptop computer in the hands of every high school student. The first computers are set to arrive this semester.
Gies said the students will be allowed to use the computers throughout their high school careers and will even have the possibility of taking them to college. This year’s juniors and seniors will have to turn the computers back into the school but after that the students will likely have the opportunity to either purchase the computers at a reduced rate or receive them free.
The increased use of distance learning is one of the driving factors behind implementing the program. “It really helps if the kids can have laptops right there when they’re doing their distance learning classes,” Gies said.

Chris Ludwig reports: 1:1 Laptop Programs: Shifting the Way Students Learn
"This week I was invited to write a guest blog for Edutopia on the #edchat discussion of 1:1 laptop programs and their impact on learning."

Science Daily writes on the same topic. A Computer Per Student Leads to Higher Performance Than Traditional Classroom Settings

@stuhasic reminded us on Twitter of the Teaching with Netbooks website, the videos may be of interest:

Every day, a new report from somewhere in the world.

October 2008 - Brave New Classroom 2.0 | Britannica Blog

Brave New Classroom 2.0 (New Blog Forum) | Britannica Blog:

This post begins with:
"Students at every level, from grade school to grad school, face dramatic changes in the institutions they attend thanks to new digital technologies. PCs, the Internet, whiteboards, presentation software, and other high-tech devices, once considered educational aides for the library, the media lab, and the home, are increasingly a central part of the classroom curriculum itself, with results that have yet to be fully understood."

The authors pose this question: Do the new classroom technologies represent an educational breakthrough, a threat to teaching itself, or something in between?

My thoughts:
This forum post interested me, since it was in "digital time" quite a while ago. There, I've said it.

I get up each day and I toss up if I will tweet a link I have found in an enews email or google alert, just that morning, for fear it is already "old news".

The pace and spread of global news is phenomenal if you are an "always-on networker"

Still, this post is still very relevant to bring the "late majority" up to speed with some of the key concepts whose time has finally come ...

Friday, 22 January 2010

Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8 to 18 year olds - Kaiser Family Foundation (1)

The study, "Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-year-olds," reports that:

Kids pack in nearly 11 hours of media use daily a report for CNET by Larry Magid.

George Siemens has written this:
"Kaiser Family Foundation has a new report available on youth and technology. Overall, it's not a surprising report - basically, if they're awake, they're online. Media consumption increased in almost every domain - web, TV, music, games, etc. Print was down. Two parts of the report were interesting - though mainly for lack of useful information or clear correlation: distinction in media use among whites, African Americans, and well as a bit of a psychological profile on high media users (basically, they're less happy, have poorer grades, and have more issues)."

From eSchoolNews this post: Technology gives kids constant media access

Plugged In and Tuned Out?

CMCH Weighs in on Kaiser Report of Kids’ Increasing Use of Media

Another post on the same themes. The Young and the Digital references the book: Watkins, S. C. (2009). The Young & The Digital: What the Migration to Social-Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

I'll post other commentary links as I find them.

A Peek Inside my Online Toolset by Angela Maiers

Angela Maiers Educational Services: A Peek Inside my Toolkit - Online Tool Set:

@angelamaiers writes:

"I have two tool sets in my traveling, teaching and learning toolkit. An online set of tools, and an offline set of tools. I find these indispensable in my learning life and the trade of teaching.

In this post, I'd like to open up my online toolset ... "

My thoughts:

This is an interesting post and an issue that I reflect on often myself. I have accumulated an online toolset in my social media professional learning journey. This toolset now is much more sustainable than it was in the heady-days where I signed up for almost everything that came along.

I have written about this previously, I only have time to effectively utilise the features of a toolset that is a mini-version of what I started with.

These tools are: Twitter, delicious, Blogger, google reader, google alerts, SlideShare and regular email.

This is a sustainable and enjoyable toolset for my ongoing, online learning.

I also enjoyed that Angela has included links to the toolsets of other thoughtful bloggers.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

My School: Government Commitment to "school transparency" (1)

The My School website will go live on 28 January 2010.

The government is keen to stress that schools across Australia are "being transformed by our Education Revolution".

Schools will receive an information package to assist. The media release stated:
"All Australian schools will today receive a comprehensive support package from the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA) in the lead-up to the launch of the My School website on 28 January 2010. "

The debate goes on: Tell off deficient teachers: Gillard

A post from Graham Wegner, Gonna be an interesting year

Scott McLeod from the USA has written about achievement gaps with reference to an Education Trust report.

My School website launched

This is just one arm of the "Education Revolution" across Australian.

Work in Progress, with additions as matters develop after the website goes live.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Digital Education Revolution - An Australian Success

Technology in the classroom:

The article begins with:

"Forget the chalk dust, the dog eared textbooks, even the more modern DVD player.

Today's school students are downloading homework on iTunes, listening to lessons via podcasts, communicating with other students all over the world through social networking sites, and even video conferencing with leaders of business and industry.

And it's not just high-school kids who are making good use of the fast-moving technology; Australia's primary school students are now being equipped with the skills needed for the digital age."

This article is useful overview of the DER-Digital Education Revolution in PUBLIC SCHOOLS in some Australian state education systems.

NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia are featured.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Project 2010 in collaboration with Educause

What are the technologies identified that may have an impact?

What are the issues this year?

Who is commenting?

How much do global trends may to us in Australia?

Is it important for other countries that examples come from North America?

What will the "late majority" of adopters think about these trends?

Technological gizmos to revolutionise study

@alacre has prepared this review post.

The story so far ...

Monday, 18 January 2010

#FETC and #BETT2010 Conference Reflection

I enjoy saving the hashtag search and following key global education and edtech conferences on Twitter as they come around.

BETT in the UK is one of the biggest and best. FETC is a useful lead in to NECC/ISTE

FETC Link-o-Rama offer a list of tools to try recommended at the conference.

You BETTer – You BETT! a post by @bevevans22

So far that's it ...

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Effective Teaching Strategies - A World of Ideas

Work in Progress. Not very useful so far ...

Daniel Willingham on Learning Styles

Effective Teaching Strategies - Connecticut

This website based on the work of Robert Marzano et al is a useful overview of strategies from "Classroom Instruction that Works"

Apple's Challenge Based Teaching materials.

Direct and Explicit Instruction, Virtually!

Interesting website on assessment strategies from Alaska

Autonomous learner model for programming.

A useful site for a explanations of a range of instructional strategies.

Interactive Whiteboards - The Debate goes on (2)

SMARTboards are work for Edmond teachers

Students, staff learning with latest in computer education technology an article outlining the use of computers and IWB in this Wisconsin school library and classrooms.

BBC article: Moving beyond the whiteboard

My Smartboard is not just a tool, it is a "Window"

As they are printed, I will post ...

Friday, 15 January 2010

NSW Police Force Media Release - Be alert to possible dangers associated with the use of mobile internet technology

Latest Media Releases - NSW Police Force:

"NSW Police are warning parents and teenagers to consider the possible dangers associated with the use of mobile internet technology.

Police are concerned about the potential for child sex offenders and other criminals to make contact with children through unsupervised internet-capable devices, such as new generation mobile phones, mp3 players and electronic game devices.

“Downloading smart-phone applications is proving very popular at present, but teens could be putting themselves into vulnerable situations and they could be at real risk of becoming a victim,” State Crime Command Sex Crimes Squad Commander, John Kerlatec, warned."

>>> Follow the link to read each point

My thoughts:
This is a very good way to connect with a wide audience to spread this strategic message.

Persons under 13 years of age are required to have a parent or guardian review and complete the registration process.

Do we in Australia, have to take notice of this?

Laptop Learning - More buzz (8)

Lee County Schools’ 1:1 laptop initiative, middle school teachers are receiving staff development ...

A story from Illinois:Reflection on our 1:1 and Day with Dr McLeod

A blog post on the topic: Are 1:1 Laptop programs the future of education? How does that change the way students learn?
This post is based on the latest #edchat and offers links to some additional 1:1 program information.

A report from Sanford, North Carolina on their laptop rollout.

Edina school leaders look to improve students' technology knowledge by providing 150 middle-schoolers with laptops.

Learning across the World (1) - Exploring Education Practice

Over the last two months, I have been revisiting UK and more recently Scotland LEAs, just to keep up with the latest in curriculum and teaching practice.

You can go back and check out my posts on this, to explore the links yourself.

Now, after about a year's break, I am ready to revisit all the State Education Departments in the USA, that takes a while.

I am just up to Colorado. I am amazed at how much is new. New websites, ne thinking, new teaching practices and resources.

I am going to enjoy this!

US State Education Agency (State Department of Education)

At the same time, I plan to do a quick tour of Australian education across each State system. Again, just to keep up. A lot has happened with the Digital Education Revolution over the last 2 years and many states were putting their own interesting change programs in place

A Work in Progress.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

I LOVE google tools (4): Google Reader Blog: Google Reader for Beginners

Official Google Reader Blog: Google Reader for Beginners:

"The Google Reader Team is proud to introduce several new help resources designed specifically at introducing beginners to using Reader: Google Reader Help Videos and the Google Reader Getting Started Guide, both accessible directly from our Help Center."

My comments:
Google Reader has continued to be one of my main sources of information over the past 2-3 years. I have not yet found a better way of keeping up. Although, I do still like google alerts too.

This post by @joedale is worth reading. The power of RSS for 21st century educators

Downsides of Open Culture

Findings - Jaron Lanier Is Rethinking the Open Nature of the Internet -

The first line of this article asks:

"When does the wisdom of crowds give way to the meanness of mobs?"

Phrases like:

"hive thinking" and this paragraph:
"He blames the Web’s tradition of “drive-by anonymity” for fostering vicious pack behavior on blogs, forums and social networks. He acknowledges the examples of generous collaboration, like Wikipedia, but argues that the mantras of “open culture” and “information wants to be free” have produced a destructive new social contract."

My thoughts:

I have been wanting to comment on this issue for a while, since in fact, I read about presenter s been harassed, bullied etc. by members of the audience using Twitter backchannels.

That worried me a lot.

England Learning Grids and Resources (3)

WMnet is one of England's ten Regional Broadband Consortia. It was established under the National Grid for Learning programme to enhance the quality of learning through the development of a distributed, regional learning network built on a broadband backbone giving all 2,500 schools in the region affordable and reliable broadband connectivity.

- East
- East of
- Lancashire and
- North
- South
- South
- West
- Yorkshire and Humberside:

Work in Progres - time to check the resources on offer.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

#edchat - Tech Tools and Student Learning Goals

Tech Tools and Student Learning Goals edchat / 1-12-2010:

"Tech Tools and Student Learning Goals"

This session had a large number of participants and the theme is currently topical.

Our teaching role is primarily determined by the "learn to and learn about" statements of our subject syllabuses.

The tools and techniques, digital or otherwise are the means, "the how" to ensuring that students acquire the identified knowledge and skills.

Have a read of this Twitter stream and follow the hashtag #edchat.

There will be some useful material for professional learning.

Scotland Learning Grids and Resources (2)

I have time to continue my sweep of some of the fabulous UK LEA websites.

Just found URLs for Scottish ones that I had never seen. Not yet checked. I will publish this post and let any visitors do the checking. Some may already be transferred to GLOW.

Laptops for Learning - "Techno-Critique" - Debate about ROI

The End of Techno-Critique: The Naked Truth about 1:1 Laptop Initiatives and Educational Change by Mark E. Weston and Alan Bain

Acrobat iconDownload the article (Acrobat PDF, 279 K)

This article responds to a generation of techno-criticism in education. It contains a review of the key themes of that criticism. The context of previous efforts to reform education reframes that criticism. Within that context, the question is raised about what schools need to look and be like in order to take advantage of laptop computers and other technology. In doing so, the article presents a vision for self-organizing schools.

My comments: This article has been doing the rounds of Twitter over the last week.

The |ifactor| - ipods, iphones - giving learning a hand (2)

Mobile learning in and out of school in an article promoting a feature of BETT2010.

Cellphone comes of age as a learning tool.

Cellphones in learning a wiki with resources and links to educators and projects.

From Angela Cunningham on using mobile technology in the form of the itouch in her teaching.

Ten educational ways to use ipods in high school ...

From the UK: Another step towards mobile for the classroom.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Posts with ideas I have liked (1)

Mostly I connect these posts to this blog using "BlogThis".

Brian Solis has written the Predictive Web in which he he explores a number of interesting ideas and concepts.

This post links to another of his posts: The Golden Triangle which references the notions that are his and as he states belong to others:

brands - information - consumers
people - contextual relationships - technology

Fred Wilson identified the state of engagement, connectivity and interaction and
"The three current big megatrends in the web/tech sector are mobile, social, and real-time.

This graphic is Solis' particularly interesting of The Golden Triangle.

The Forrester graphic in this post The Future of the Social Web is also relevant.

Finally in 2010, The Evolution of Social Media and Business.

My thoughts:
These factors are all relevant to education.
Worthwhile wondering if the thoughts are relevant if you strike out business and replace with education or learning.

Laptop Learning - More buzz (7)

Another US program: Laptop Learners, and the "I Create the Future" project, Tupelo City School, Mississippi

One of the most famous programs is covered on Maine Learns.

This article is a reference from the Maine website.

Digital wonder: Laptop computers at Mt. Blue High School

A Laptop program in Iowa: Laptops coming to South Page

Another view: Goodbye, Mr Microchips (or why computers should be banned from our schools)

The latest initiative from the UK, laptop Home Access.

Social Media Learning - Professional Learning Resolutions 2010

To ensure that my professional learning is sustainable and in line with my beliefs, I will:
  • not sign-up for any more gadgets, widgets, killer-apps or whiz-bang online tools.
  • remind myself and colleagues that online tools and applications can become obsolete, be sold, change format and functionality, stop being free and so on ... our teaching role does not disappear, just because one resource does
  • encourage colleagues to not use the phrase "integrate technology/ICT ..."
  • tweet any "best of .. lists" except for Larry Ferlazzo, if I do they will be about learning and not apps.
  • avoid using the term 21st century skills
  • resist worrying that I don't have or want to have an iphone, kindle, or any of the latest and greatest Apple products. I am happy with my Mac.
Finally, this post caught my eye: Education Technology is Not About Gadgetry

Now finalised for January 2010. This may be a worthwhile type of post for each month as new commitments arise.

The ifactor - ipods, iphones - giving learning a hand

There will be many more links for this topic and discussion about some other gadgets will intersect with this debate.

The article Tuning in to Technology reports on the ipod: Take My Teacher Home Program.

Keeping in Touch ipod touch program.

iphone in Education evernote links

Walnut Schools adds ipod touch to 3Rs

Smart Boards, iPods shove aside chalkboards

Schools adjust how writing is taught in text age.

So, what about books? Silvia Tolisano writes about the potential impact of ebook readers.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Children born after 2005. What digital technologies define their lifestyles?

The Children of Cyberspace: Old Fogies by Their 20s -

This article begins with:
"My 2-year-old daughter surprised me recently with two words: “Daddy’s book.” She was holding my Kindle electronic reader.

Here is a child only beginning to talk, revealing that the seeds of the next generation gap have already been planted. She has identified the Kindle as a substitute for words printed on physical pages. I own the device and am still not completely sold on the idea."

Another post referencing this article found via @ypulse
The Julia Allison Effect: Is Social Media Stunting Today's Youth

About teens, The teens who can barely talk - they only have an 800 word vocabulary

My comments:
I printed this article, just to read it at my leisure. Not very green, I know. Action of a bygone, recklessly indulgent, old-fashioned era ...maybe!

I have 6 grandchildren, with 3 born after 2005. I picked that date just to match with the sentiments and timeline of the article. Our children are all GenZ.

Concepts to explore: mass customisation, capacity to effectively use for learning, broadcast me >

... now to a bit more thinking about this topic before I go on ...

Games of any kind in the K-12 Classroom - What Value?

Some teachers and IT types are very passionate about the value of games - interactive, video, serious etc. in teaching.

I agree there are some wonderful individual games and games websites out there that can make significant contributions to the "learn to and learn about" requirements of syllabuses in NSW.

The challenge is to locate these games and identify them as critical resources for teaching to achieve particular identified subject-learning outcomes.

These safety tips are from Kidsmart.

Take this site via @k_ferrell: 60 Educational Games Sites That You've Probably Never Seen.

and this too:
10 free Educational Game sites

Jeff Utecht has provided this post: Games - What exactly are kids learning?

Some ideas for conducting a review of an individual game or a games site include:
  • identifying the subject-related outcomes playing a game will achieve
  • suitability of the game for the age-group
  • whether students have to login
  • Terms of Service age eligibility and privacy statements
  • noise nuisance rating of any arcade game
  • violence rating of action games
  • what the advertising on the site relates to or links to
  • the potential for links to mature content
  • in the country in which the site owner is based
Multi-user game sites need more careful consideration.

Another work in progress ... I will be back.

10 Things to Do When You Only Have 5 Minutes Left in Class -

10 Things to Do When You Only Have 5 Minutes Left in Class -

This post with many RTs on twitter, starts with:

"You’ve completed your lessons for the day, but you still have some time left and a group of eager students with nothing productive to do. What can you do in this time to keep your class under control until the bell rings? Here is a list of 10 things to do when you only have 5 minutes left in class."

The 10 listed items suggest: journal writing, comduct a poll, writing notes, the toilet paper game and now go to the actual post and read the rest.

My comments:
I was thinking how this strategy could be used in the last five minutes of teacher meetings.

These last minutes could be very valuable and achieve serious reflection on the way forward. Yet, so often the meeting time just fades to an end or people just wake up to go home or off to class.

What should school leaders and team meeting leaders do to make these last minutes valuable?

Will adults/teachers who may think they know it all, tolerate this type of strategy?

Laptops, Netbooks, Notebooks - All Go for mlearning (6)

I absolutely love my google alerts, google reader and Twitter. So many great links from so many talented and committed people, to so many wonderful reads and so many inspiring achievements.

Every day, something new ...

Are One-to-One Laptop Programs Worth the Investment? Successful programs require more than financing.

More from Maine. The Maine thing about 1-to-1 computing

There is a complementary yet competing topic on the boil also.

It is the |ifactor| - ipods, ihphones and so on. I will aim to keep them separate.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

What is it about CONTENT and teaching?

I too have strong views on this one ...

Here are three posts:

@larryferlazzo wrote How much "Content" knowledge do you really need to be an effective teacher?

This post stirred up a reply from @shhartley entitled content and pedagogy

Coming from a slightly different context but still relevant position, Silvia Tolisano @langwitches wrote It's not about the Tools. It's about the Skills.

My view and speaking as a high-school teacher of French, German and Italian:
Being a content expert for teaching subjects is pivotal to effective teaching. The capacity to be able to effectively teach subject syllabus outcomes based on students will "learn to and learn about" underpins quality teaching practice.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Interactive Whiteboards - Time for Reflection and Discussion (2)

This is my second post in this series, in a comment on an IWB article in the previous post, Gina Hale wrote:

" ... it seems that a key finding is being ignored: "Such a carefully designed rollout, featuring extensive professional development and ongoing support services, does not always occur when districts decide to put the whiteboards in classrooms, critics say." This correlates strongly with the research findings in "Professional Learning in the Learning Profession" ( that job embedded, long term, intensive professional development (70 hours or more) is needed to support significant change in teacher practice. The thing that makes Interactive Whiteboards work, when they work, is a teacher who is willing and able to support collaboration and interaction. What people forget is that at the heart of teaching is a teacher, and these are not interchangeable parts (see The Widget Effect: I would so much rather districts invested in teacher development than expensive widgets. Treat the widgets like interchangeable widgets and strong teachers like the irreplaceable human capital that they are. "

The Interactive Whiteboard Revolution ning has lots to read and review.

This one highlights Decisions to be taken by school leaders.

Wasting Money on Whiteboards and on this, Bill Ferriter post Miguel Guhlin has this to say.

Interactive Whiteboards Alone are not Interactive.

Interactive Whiteboards: Engagement is not Interaction.

Laptops, Netbooks, Notebooks - all go for mlearning! (5)

This is number 5 in my series on laptop learning.

Netbooks or not? Which way mobile learning? by @mikeherrity from #BETT2010

Back in September 2009, this article about some Miami-Dade students learning during their holidays.

Van Meter Community School is thinking differently with a motto: Think. Lead, Serve.

SAI121 programs wiki with @DeronDurflinger principal, looks like many interesting are happening.

Spa City fifth-graders first in region to learn on smart phones

Friday, 8 January 2010

Creating a Class Blog- Identifying Current Effective Practice (1)

One of the best models around is the Edublogger experience, start here:

Week 1 – Create A Class Blog | The Edublogger:

@suewaters has begun to write support and how-to posts for the latest "Student Blogging Challenge". Her blog, posts and in fact anything that Sue puts her mind to are must-reads for educators.

"The next Student Blogging Challenge starts in March and this time we’ve decided there are tasks that need to be done BEFORE your class actually takes part in the challenge.
So each week for the next six weeks we will give you a new task, with how-to info, to help you with your class blogging.
This week’s task is to create a class blog"

The week 2 task is to set up blogging rules and guidelines.
My comments:
I particularly like the "Blogging Cycle" graphic that she has created. This graphic makes explicit the key elements of the blogging process. It is a useful beginning and has started me thinking about ways to connect this Cycle to literacy and subject-related outcomes in a more explicit way for bloggers in NSW public schools.

This elaboration is a Work in Progress.

My talbertsedusites edublog is unsustainable. The End.

Starting a second blog using a different platform was a little experiment I ran last year. The purpose was to separate references to useful websites for teaching from other types of posts that I write.

I haven't closed the site down yet. I have copied and pasted the posts I had made.

Thinking, Literacy and Learning Ideas
August 13th, 2009 by talbertsedusites and tagged , ,

Useful mindmapping website

A collection of literature guides

A website to assist with differentiating lessons.

Two sites found through tweets on Twitter.

Interactive graphic organisers

Literacy strategies worth a view

August 13th, 2009 by talbertsedusites

An interesting science site.

Maths/Science Pathways middle school ning group.

Interactive Whiteboard Resources

August 10th, 2009 by talbertsedusites and tagged IWB

UK Birmingham Grid For Learning is a fabulous website for learning.

Here are some IWB resources.

A useful blog called Get SMART with SMARTboards.

Education Network Australia (Edna) - Vast Resources for Teaching
August 9th, 2009 by talbertsedusites

Against All Odds is an online game created by the United Nations Refugee Agency. The game allows learners to experience what it is like to be a refugee in various scenarios.

Sugar Labs is a free and open source computer environment composed of activities designed to help children from 5 to 12 years of age learn together through rich-media expression.

Loads of Lesson Ideas
August 9th, 2009 by talbertsedusites and tagged ,

The Discovery Channel has a creative way to help students remember the names of the planets in our solar system. It’s called the Solar Symphony Game.

ReadWriteThink - says it all!
August 7th, 2009 by talbertsedusites and tagged , ,

This is a fabulous literacy for learning website.

The interactives are user-friendly for all sorts of literacy tasks.

So you want to write?

August 6th, 2009 by talbertsedusites and tagged ,

The BBC has wonderful sites for almost everything educational.


August 6th, 2009 by talbertsedusites and tagged

I plan to post about interesting products and services online as well as suggesting a visit to interesting websites that are more subject related.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Interactive Whiteboards - Time for Reflection and Discussion

Interactive Whiteboards and the Future of Educational Technology - Synthesizing Education Blog:

@Aaron_Eyler wrote:

"After participating in my first #edchat, I have spent some serious time reflecting on the difference between how others feel about Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) vs. my own personal opinion. My opinion on IWBs is that they are useless when considering interactivity simply because the only individual interacting with the device is the one using it. Rather than dwell exclusively on “why” my opinion is different, I feel as though the discrepancy should be analyzed to understand the deeper root of the problem."

My thoughts:
This is a thread that has encouraged a lot of comment and 18 RTs at the time of reading this post. A discussion about IWBs is topical for NSW considering the Connected Classroom investment. This will be another program where ROI will be keenly monitored.

Other views:

Whiteboards impact on teaching seen as uneven by Kathleen Kennedy Manzo.

I have been following two hashtag searches to keep up with this IWB tweetathon:
#edchat and #edtech

This is a Work in Progress and I will return to add articles that the arguments.

Laptop Programs - Global Perspectives (4)

I am trying not to repeat programs. I'll set the links up nicely asa. Just like to get them out there.

Edgecombe students 'more engaged,' thanks to laptops

Students in rural school get their own computers

Missouri school district launches a 1:1 initiative that will put mini-laptops in the hands of 5,600 students : Netbooks All Around

What we are learning from One Laptop per Child - I may have referenced this one in a previous post.

On a slightly different yet too similar note:
This "Using ipods" tweet by @paulawhite is of interest.
Paula is worth a follow too, she comes up with lots of good ideas, websites etc.

A Blissful Techy Start to my Day

It has been about a year since I gave this title to a post. If the truth were known, I start almost every day with tech catch-up. Ok, so I am boring, I need a life ... not.

I am on holidays, so if I choose I can spend hours and hours in between food, outings, visits etc.

On work days, it is just before and after. Whatever the timing, the process is almost the same. For the record, this is a general outline of how I keep up.

Today, for the first time in ages, I went backwards on Twitter to catch-up with tweets from the other side of the world. It took me about ten minutes to do three hours.
I learnt about snow-days, world events, new posts, great websites, school news and so on.
What else:
I starred about 20 tweets to come back to.
I found three new educators to follow.
I recommended someone for a Shorty Award
I checked my google reader and favourited about 5 out of over 400
I did my email about 20, including google alerts and blog updates.
I check out any new Twitter follows I have, to see if I will follow them, block them or just have them follow me.
Occasionally, I will check what's doing with my family on Facebook.

That's about it.
Having done that sifting and sorting, I go back and update Twitter, start to check starred items throughout the day, with occasional repeats of the others.

New Research Reveals PreK-12 Educators Increasingly Value and Use Digital Media -- ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ --

New Research Reveals PreK-12 Educators Increasingly Value and Use Digital Media -- ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ --:

The introduction to this media release reports:

"Annual Grunwald survey for PBS shows educators integrating more digital media into instruction; pre-K use mirrors strong interest of K-12 educators in digital media and social networking

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a new national research report, 'Digitally Inclined,' compiled by Grunwald Associates LLC for PBS, teachers are making significant progress in adoption of digital media and Internet use. These findings clearly signal widespread changes in both early childhood and K-12 education, including more effective individualized instruction."

My thoughts:
This report has caused as bit of a flurry on Twitter with many retweets. I can't comment yet, since I have not yet read the document. It is creeping up my reading list.

So much to read and so little time to do it. I'll be back with some thoughts asa.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Teacher and Student Zones at Newspaper & Media Websites (1)

This is another Work in Progress. I'll add as I locate.

Times Educational Supplement has a very extensive site with login.

The New York Times also has the Learning Network for teaching and learning.

Washington Post has KidsPost section.

Newspaper in Education organisation has teacher resources.

NBC Learn is the education arm of NBC News.

Rethinking School 101: Seven Ideas to Inspire Conversation � Constructing Meaning

Rethinking School 101: Seven Ideas to Inspire Conversation � Constructing Meaning:

Gregory Thompson , on Twitter @akamrt started this post with:

"I am regularly amazed at the effect that Twitter can have on my thinking. Actually, not so much Twitter itself, but rather the links, shared by others, that I click through on. Today I came across an article by Maria Lorena Lehman at the web site titled 7 Ways to Keep You Inspired for 2010. Right away the title caught my attention. Isn’t there a constant lament heard from teachers, “How do I inspire my students to learn?” The initial thought is what can teachers do “to” students that will cause them to be inspired. Instead, what if the thinking were turned in the other direction, “What can I, as a teacher, do “to” myself that will cause my students to be inspired?”

My thoughts:
This post is worth reading, as is the original article. In summary:
  • read a lot
  • bend boundaries
  • streamline your organisation
  • switch your perspective
  • get out more
  • set your goals

Researching using Effective Online Search Techniques

Seems topical in the twitter- and blogospheres.

A number of twitterati are addressing this issue in posts.

Springfield Library wiki has an amazing glog dedicated to google search options.

google itself has many online resources to assist with effective searching.

Set yourself a challlenge - google and find all their tips for basic, advanced and more scholarly searching.

All of this support does not leave much room for excuses for poor search practice by teachers or the students they are teaching to find reputable, authoritative and relevant information.

Finally, after having selected the information you need, here are some "Creative Ways to Present Internet Research"

Monday, 4 January 2010

How many light bulbs does it take to change teaching? � Parallel Divergence

How many light bulbs does it take to change teaching? � Parallel Divergence

This Stu Hasic post is a must-read for #NSWDET teachers.

My comment amongst many comments, went like this:

A great read, Stu!
Love your imagery and how it has inspired yet more interesting images in comments.
The choice of "sledgehammer" to describe the DERNSW approach is in my view, accurate and I applaud the courage and will, that has underpinned the emerging success of our model.

I replied to Larry Ferlazzo last week in the context of "what did I learn in 2009":
This is one of the points I wrote: 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.

Finally, the three "sledgehammer" points you articulate are spot-on!

I anticipate much more debate on this topic in 2010.

HOW TO: Measure Social Media ROI

HOW TO: Measure Social Media ROI:

Christina Warren wrote:
"Last month, we reported on a survey that found that 84% of social media programs don’t measure return on investment (ROI). The comments in that post indicated that a lot of individuals and businesses want to be able to measure the ROI of their social media strategies and campaigns, but they don’t know where to start."

I like the sound of the concept ROI. It will be a goal in 2010 to:
  • research the ROI concept
  • assess its applicability to education programs
  • translate some of what Christina is saying in this article to make her take on social media ROI a little more generic

Laptops all go: 1:1 Learning Initiatives across the World (3)

If you just start searching for research and general information about laptop, netbook, notebook etc programs, there is no shortage of links.

What is in short supply is recent research, by that I mean from 2008 onwards and studies that are longitudinal.

I have selected 2008, because by this date just taking Australia, laptops had become:
  • more affordable, powerful, portable and
  • wireless connections had become more reliable
  • internet access more reliable and faster
these factors just for a start.

From the Edmonton Journal: High-speed networking changes how we learn our ABCs

Various Microsoft laptop and associated technology programs in Canada are linked here.

This blog would seem to be a must follow for leadership on this 1:1 topic.

Interesting work on OLPC by Mark Warschauer: OLPC: How not to run a Laptop Program.

Laptops all go: 1:1 Learning Initiatives across the World (2)

This post is a continuation of a collection on global activity with 1:1 laptop programs for schools.

Here is the link to my part 1 post on the topic.

In the USA when 1:1 projects are implemented it is often a single school district or occasionally a statewide project.

Soroco High school considers laptops

Weld County School District RE-1 laptop program

A program from Pleasanton, Canada.

Henrico County Public Schools

Professional development to support teaching. Effective questioning is one element.

There is always a focus on evaluating laptop programs. Some of these programs go back to the early 2000s. Lots has changed in the context and nature of these programs during that time.

Writing about "Benefits", we have this reference, that begins with:
"After more than 10 years studying laptop computing in schools, Saul Rockman (2003) concludes that one of the most important benefits of a laptop program is an increase in 21st century skills."

to go with this the complete index: "The Laptops for Learning Task Force has finished its report assessing the use of mobile laptop computers in all learning environments as it relates to student success in grades K-12"

From Andy Carvin, back in 2007. He wrote: "Schools drop laptop programs - but are they dropping the ball as well?"

But watch, there will be much more ...

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Wikipedia: “Wikipedia is not a reliable source” at Beyond School

Wikipedia: “Wikipedia is not a reliable source” at Beyond School:

Clay Burell @cburell writes:

"I wrote recently about how many of my otherwise sharp students were “Google fundamentalists” who argued, to simplify a bit, that “if it’s in Google, it’s valid.” These are often the same students who insist they should be able to use Wikipedia as a source for research."

My thoughts:
This is a must-read post for all teachers at all levels. In the context of online resources and content, I have concluded that too many teachers are not up to date with effective research practice and are in dire need of a learning program in the area of information literacy and skills for effective searching.

Service Web 3.0 - The Future Internet Video - STI International

STI International - Service Web 3.0 - The Future Internet Video - small:

This is the creation site for the video "The Future Internet: Service Web 3.0 Video"

With over a billion users, today's Internet is arguably the most successful human artifact ever created. The Future Internet, an initiative driven by the European Union, has become a prime research focus of STI International and the Service Web 3.0 project. In order to explain, promote, and attract new contributotrs, we created a video to be viewed by stakeholders, who may be non-experts, in a new generation Internet. The video outlines the basic themes of the European Union's Future Internet initiative. These include: an Internet of Services, where services are ubiquitous; an Internet of Things where in principle every physical object becomes an online addressable resource; a Mobile Internet where 24/7 seamless connectivity over multiple devices is the norm; and the need for semantics in order to meet the challenges presented by the dramatic increase in the scale of content and users."

Watch it here in Flash and QT formats.

Check the authentic information out and forget YouTube.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Larry Ferlazzo 's blog - Best Content, Latest Tools

Larry Ferlazzo wrote that there are now 388 categorized entries in his "Best of ..." categories.

He has probably moved on from that number by now.

These lists are a must-follow, read and use for teachers not just those teaching ESL or EFL.

Also worth following:


UK National Strategies: Excellence for All: A Gifted and Talented approach to whole-school improvement

Excellence for All: A Gifted and Talented approach to whole-school improvement:

The UK National Strategies website is a great source of informative resources, this is one of the latest. Read the blurb then focus on the document for download.

"This Excellence for All guidance assumes that good provision for G&T pupils is good provision for all pupils. It explores the characteristics of successful G&T learners and considers how those characteristics can be developed in under-achieving or potential G&T pupils, particularly those from a disadvantaged background.

The leadership team has a fundamental role in establishing this priority in school. They need to make clear the expectation that all pupils will benefit from a high-challenge curriculum and high-challenge classroom teaching, with support as required.

By raising expectations for all pupils, schools will be in a stronger position to:

* narrow any achievement gaps between pupils from different backgrounds
* narrow gaps in effectiveness between departments and classrooms."

This will be a WORK in PROGRESS and place to collect links that lead to current effective practice resources for G&T students.

The Future of PCs: Vision of the OLPC Version 3

How the OLPC Version 3 Predicts the Future of PCs | Technomix | Fast Company:

The author, Kit Eaton writes:

"One can easily argue that Nicholas Negroponte's OLPC XO computer predicted the entire netbook phenomenon. Now the company's revealed its vision for the OLPC XO3 in 2012--Is it similarly visionary? You betcha.

Designed by Yves Behar, the XO3 is a totally different 21st-Century beast compared to the classic notebook design of the original XO: It's a super-skinny plastic tablet/slate PC. Suited for its intended use out of the normal comfort zone for PCs, the screen is actually plastic, so it's resilient and slightly flexible. It's also a multitouch device, laden with sensors so it can transform into book-reading or Web-surfing mode."

See also: the fuseproject blog post and the Forbes article "The $75 Future Computer".

My thoughts:

There was lot of conversation and debate about laptops, netbooks and similar handhelds in 2009. Frequently this was in the context of school-based 1:1 laptop programs.

The arrival of this device - tablet, slate or having another nifty name will initiate another level of possibilities regarding the personalisation of learning.

I look forward to these developments in 2010. Interested eyes will also be on the release of further Apple "i" devices.

Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day: My predictions for Top Tools in 2010

Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day: My predictions for Top Tools in 2010:

Jane Hart is one of my favourite writers, in this post she writes:

"At the end of 2008 I produced a list of tools I thought would make it onto the 2009 Top 100 Tools list. They were: CoolIris, DimDim, Evernote, Friendfeed, Posterous, Qik ScreenToaster, Seesmic, Sliderocket and WiZiQ.

I got 5/10!"

In looking ahead she has made some predictions for 2010 as follows:

"... here are some other tools that just failed to make the list this year that I think might make it in 2010.

Would you like to predict a tool that you think might make it onto the Top 100 Tools list in 2010?"

My thoughts and predictions in answer to her list will be another WORK IN PROGRESS.

As a taster, let's just say my list will not have much in common with Jane's.

Still More Reflections, Resolutions and Predictions 2009-2010

Jane Hart, Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies and Internet Time Alliance has provided insights into her thinking with this overview:
The State of Social Learning Today and Some Thoughts for the Future of L&D in 2010

Will Richardson has written some thoughtful material in his post: 20-20 Vision?

This NZ teacher, Jenny She has a year that was 2009 reflection in two parts.

More on 2009 and plans for 2010 by @jdeyenberg Jen's 2009 Year in Review post.

@rdelorenzo makes a contribution with the post: Reviewing 2009: Reflecting on this Blog, on PLN’s & on Using Web Tools

@ignatia has written "My 8 Learning Predictions for 2010"

That's all folks ...