Sunday, July 29, 2007
I have seen a Google Lit Trip created by Jerome Burg once before and saw a new application of it this week. The premise of the Lit Trip is to use Google to placemark locations in a book that the class is reading. This is such an incredible way for students to engage in the book. †The new application was not just for trips in books, but as either preparation or review of a field trip.
Why would anyone bother to go through the work of creating a trip in Google? Well one advantage you have in the literature world is that many other passionate educators have already created them. You can just use them to engage your students.
What I saw this week at the Apple Distinguished Educator Summer Institute was creating a trip for a trip. I immediately saw the additional potential of having the students being a creator of a trip either for the field trip or the novel they are reading in literature circles.
Creating the Lit Trip would provide an engaging assessment tool that would easily demonstrate students critical thinking through finding main ideas or key events in a story and finding ways to represent them. Students could also share their learning with their peers further deepening their own understanding of what they are reading.
Another of example of literacy in action.
Jerome Burg is an incredible Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Certified Educator in the US who has taken on the Lit Trips project.
Check out his site for more great ideas and ways to create and use this powerful mashup. http://www.googlelittrips.com/
Saturday, July 7, 2007
The short answer is NO.
The question begs a simpler question, can we prepare students with the skills they will need for their life. That answer is even easier. No.
The difference I will qualify is that we cannot prepare students with skills; however, we can prepare them with habits of mind and skills they can adapt to the not yet invented technologies.
I want all of our students to graduate being information and media literate. †Our IML capacities are not a set of skills to check off on a list. These are areas of capacity for students to grow in. †As the technology grows, they will need to grow and adapt.
A key point for me was at a recent spotlight speech at NECC2007 by Will Richardson. I recall the statement that IBM has 20 000 blogs and 50 islands in Second Life. †How many of our students are trained to cope with blogs and Second Life? I would hazard less than 1%. †Of those that are capable with Second Life or Blogs, how many have the habit of mind to shift that skill set to another application?
Students need to be literate in today's society; however, we need to prepare them to be literate for tomorrow's society.
Can we do this? I believe the answer is a resounding Yes. We have to be willing to spend time teaching students to be literate in more than just "reading text." (I am not against reading; however, to roll the metaphor further, at some point learning to read scrolls was given less time than learning to turn pages in a book.....)
I can hear the concerns from my colleagues with these statements; however, I will echo, "Students need to be literate in today's society; however, we need to prepare them to be literate for tomorrow's society."
IML prepares students to be 21st Century literate. Jeff Wilhelm (2000) supports this in his article, ìLiteracy by Design: †Why is all This Technology so Important?î by stating, "Technology has everything to do with literacy. And being able to use the latest electronic technologies has everything to do with being literate." He presents J. David Bolter's argument "that if our students are not reading and composing with various electronic technologies, then they are illiterate. They are not just unprepared for the future; they are illiterate right now, in our current time and context." (Wilhelm, 2000, p. 4)
Tim Tyson is principal at Mabry Middle School. For the past six years, the school has had a Film Festival engaging students in their learning.
Highlights from his presentation include the amazing videos created by his students. He mad them a promise that if they created perfect work and meaningful to the world, he would make sure it was published internationally. They met the challenge with excellence. He also made sure that what they created
"Making a movie is like learning on steroids." - Mabry Student
"We need to shorten the distance between children and reality" - Tim Tyson.
"We have an untapped wealth of ability"- Tim Tyson.
I was impressed by all the videos that were created by Mabry students. Some of the selected ones I highly recommend include:
-Genetically Modified Foods
-Storms on the ivory coast
-Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
They are all either Best Picture or Best Documentary form 2006 or 2007. Here are the direct links to these areas:
In closing, this session was incredible demonstration of what these students were able to produce for real audiences and meaningful topics. I think too often we underestimate to power of a curious student.
http://center.uoregon.edu/ISTE/uploads/NECC2007/KEY_39969231/Burdick_iMovie_portfolios.pdf This was a BYOL session that was well prepared and effectively hands on. The premise was having students create a portfolio of learning. The portfolio included images of work, video, and audio. The example of Cole was nice to work with. I think everyone left with the concept and how to combine the media. As I recall, Cole created the portfolio with minimal supervision. The handout steps through quite effectively on how to import the media, organize it and create a final presentation. I was impressed with the thoughtful reflection that Cole was able to share about his learning in several subjects. Using the combination of video and audio made the impact. This project demonstrated qualities in all aspects of IML.
http://www.gaillovely.com/ Gail's presentation was a treat. She moved very fast through her sites; however, the full presentation is available online at http://www.4shared.com/file/18743094/82208a4a/NEWpdf_handout_necc2007GailLovelySession.html I enjoyed this session for two reasons.
1. I have a 5 and 7 year old so I was excited to find new sites for my girls.
2. I often get primary teachers explaining how they don't have time to "do technology"
The websites shared specific activities on each site as they applied to learning for PreK to Grade 2. Highlights when choosing website activities for students included:
-Non cluttered interface
-Fast Loading time
-An interface that requires little user-support
-Being Curriculum based Being very clear and reinforcing concepts
-Being language independent (for early learners)
I have archived most of the websites that were showcased in del.icio.us as http://del.icio.us/amboe_k/primary I believe a site not listed in the presentation but were discussed includes:
Kinderkids podcast http://web.mac.com/agearrings/iWeb/KinderKids/KinderKids%20Podcast/KinderKids%20Podcast.html
I believe that Gail's presentation was very well organized. She highlighted a series of sites that would address each of the refreshed NETS-Student. Thank you Gail for a wonderful assortment of websites that are aligned with supporting student learning and appropriate for primary students.
I feel fairly confident with RSS. I found this session a great primer for getting into RSS. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.
I had been using Safari's Bookmark Bar. This was effective; however, I did not have the ability to transfer my feeds to other browsers. I have now switched most over to Google Reader.
Google has many benefits.
-I have put a direct link to the google reader in my bookmark bar
-I was able to import from my older RSS feeds at Bloglines.com
I haven't set this up yet; however, I know that Del.icio.us offers coding to send your daily bookmarks out as a blog. †I think that most of my feeds meet my interests and my bookmarks are more what I would share.
I have used RSS for my personal growth for about 1 year now. It is incredible the time that it has saved me in going to sites to see if things have changed. I know what for sites to change and notify me.
I can see incredible opportunities for use in classrooms and for continued professional development.
Here is a brief summary of the Ten Tips for your Classroom provided in this session.
1. Stimulate Interest - provides a fresh look at traditional content
2. Evaluate information - evaluate information from multiple sources for bias.
3. Compare Perspectives - students have easy access to several views on topics.
4. Critique the Critic - students provide critiques for news or blog items citing evidence of their reading.
5. Listen to the Literature -
6. Promote Global Understanding - News feeds from around the world provide different views and information on culture.
7. Differentiate with Audio - iTunes can aggregate your audio feeds for Podcasts and VodCasts
8. Learn Step by Step -
9. Connect a Context - Upto date RSS feeds provide true world context.
10. A Daily Dose - You can either subscribe to daily dose sites for poetry, images, and sounds, or your students can provide them for the class, school or world.
For the Surrey School District, we have developed Information and Media Literacy student learning capacities. †Publishing to the Web and using RSS feeds can build capacity as a user, understanding ones role with technology, inquiry skills, communication, creation and critical thinking skills.
Really Simple Syndication has made my life long learning timely and time sensitive.
Another resource worth looking at is this video in YouTube about RSS.
David Warlick presents a convincing argument for students being literate in the New Information Landscape. When Wikipedia first came out, many thought it would be incorrect information shared by a bunch of morons. It is true that it can be incorrect as was shown with the US Congress manipulating the information about their opponents.
When you compare Wikipedia to other encyclopedias for accuracy, it is basically on par with many big company encyclopedias. (Here is one example - I have not checked it for validity as it lines up with other studies I have read or heard about. http://www.nature.com/news/2005/051212/multimedia/438900a_m1.html)
A huge benefit to Wikipedia is its honesty. It clearly gives you warnings if information provided might conflict other information. (Print rarely does.) With the easy access to information, people need to be able to validate what they read. A famous example is that MartinLutherKing.org is a biased site hosted by Stormfront.org (A White Nationalist group)
In our new landscape, to be a reader Be able to Find it - in a digital networked landscape. Be able to decode it - regardless of format Be able to evaluate it - Be able to organize it Google can help us stay informed with what we need and want to be informed. It can help to sift the grain from the chaff. If you use Google News, you can enter your search, select sort by date and then select RSS. This will give you a self updating list of news in your domain of interest.
There are lots of views on Second Life. The reality is that is a major application that many people are using. Four quick examples include ISTE, National Science Center, NOAA, and IBM. These are respected organizations.
To be a published author used to be for the rich or well connected (or lucky or risk-takers). There are now opportunities to write a book online, sell a book online, and have copies printed and shipped with no risk. (One example of publishing on demand is Lulu.com)
Final comments from David Stop integrating technology - start integrating literacy. We are preparing students for an unpredictable future - learn to teach yourself and share learning literacy.
My conclusions Times have changed. People need to be digitally literate, or my term is information and media literate. To be functional in todayís digital society, one needs to speak digital. It is true that people can function today without being digitally literate; however, it is also true that people can function without electricity, health care, schools and many other things. If you are not digitally literate, are you engaged into today's and tomorrow's society?
Misc additional notes Any discussion of Literacy must include ethical considerations- is what I produce going to cause harm, who is it going to help? On Davids site - downloadable and adaptable code of ethics landmark-project.com/sl - David Warlick office in Second Life. Can download handouts from there.
Friday, July 6, 2007
This session by Will Richardson
BTW - Will is our Keynote presenter for CUEBCís conference held in Maple Ridge October 19, 2008. [ http://www.cuebc.ca/ ]www.cuebc.ca
This was a refreshing session to listen to Will. He is a great presenter and immersed in digital literacy.
Wikipedia may not be fully accurate - but neither are textbooks or encyclopedia. Wikipedia is current - how many books still have world trade center buildings as tallest buildings in USA
Wikipedia has over a million changes a day.....
Why are we teaching with keyboard and mouse? - that technology will be gone in a few years. This part was pretty enlightening. Will showed a standard office and then removed all the traditional tools. One view of what this might look like is from microsoft at http://www.microsoft.com/surface/ There is another view from Jeff Hann in TED Talks bookmarked in my http://www.youtube.com/kevinamboe Youtube account or here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKh1Rv0PlOQ
Blogging as ProD
Blogging is similar to journaling of years ago. The difference is the audience. I now belong to several communities and either post directly to communities or through this blog. I can agree with Will that reading what is available and then writing reflectively on it is fantastic professional development. I can learn more in a couple of hours reading and blogging than I learned from entire university courses.
Looking at Literacy
Why are we assessing traditional literacy to determine if new literacies make a difference?
-Cooperative learning is contrived and not fully engaging
-Collaborative learning has all members engaged
IBM has 26 000 bloggers and 50 islands in Second Life.
- A graduate is not literate to work with IBM and has be retrained.
Our understanding of intelligence, literacy, and knowledge has to shift from retelling of facts. Rather than testing students on how many children are in Japan, how about asking them to determine who owns this site and whether to believe as authentic. Anyone can access a website - Can they access relevant and accurate information on a topic when they need it?
Moving from traditional literacy to Information and Media Literacy is move to real work for real purpose for real audiences.
Lucie deLaBruere Lucie was articulate in sharing the history of social bookmarking. Her session notes are hosted http://necc2007.pbwiki.com/
My gleanings are listed below: While Del.icio.us was the tool of choice discussed, the merits of the following two were also included.
- allows to sent to multiple tools I am a fairly confident Del.icio.us user already but was reminded of several features and learned a couple more.
1. You can create a single account and have your whole class use that one to tag and create a classroom resource.
2. By checking who else has tagged the same sites as you, you can also see if they tagged other sites that you might find valuable.
3. Using the notes section could be used to assess students understanding of the websites they are tagging. If a site is already tagged, students need to find other sites that meet the original criteria.
1. Gary Toews in Abbotsford created a neat way to have classes working together and be able to assess individual student contributions as well. http://sd34.homeip.net/STaRT-Training/topic/infolit/settingupdelicious/index.html
2. While Del.icio.us may not be ëauthorizedí resource such as an encyclopedia, it has only links that someone sees as valuable you can see who submitted you can see how many also tagged the site you can view other sites tagged by other users.
3. Will Richardson shared in another session a way to view how your Del.icio.us network is connected. http://www.twoantennas.com/projects/delicious-network-explorer/
4. Teachers are starting to use Del.icio.us to search for valuable sites before going to Google as the sites have all been ëapprovedí by at least one person already.
How does Del.icio.us relate to IML? Del.icio.us can easily fit all 6 aspects of IML. Using this Web2.0 tool involves understanding the social creation of knowledge, building inquiry skills, communicating, critical thinking and even creativity in how the bookmarks are socially shared.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
I consider myself fairly forward thinking but I had not stepped into my second life. After visiting the playground, I did sign up for my own avatar.
I signed in, learned how to navigate, and changed my clothes. Then I visited the ISTE island. I am still a newbie in Second Life; however, I see the potential Second Life has.
Some tidbits I collected:
-People are earning a living providing services in Second Life
-Communities are growing
-People of like interests are meeting in Second Life, then meeting face to face because their similar interests brought them to NECC
-There are guidelines for offering and accepting ëfriendshipí in SecondLife.
I have a lot to learn in Second Life but I have started the experience. Second Life is not just for teenagers. Actually, it is not for teenagers. Second Life; you need to be 18 years to join. There is a teen second life that is set up to protect children. If a teacher wanted to create a learning space for their class, they could do so but adults other than the teacher are not allowed in that space.
I think one of the most interesting aspects of second life for teaching is that you can attend a lecture or meeting and you act your role. †Acting your role includes fidgeting, shrugging and answering questions.
So how does this relate to Information and Media Literacy?
Second Life is more than a game for kids. † As of today, it has 7 803 000 residents and more than $2 million real US dollars were exchanged in Second Life. †Students of today are graduating into a world that includes Second Life. †There are two sides to consider in preparing our students - make sure they are safe and make sure they can be successful in their second life.
While at the NECC 2007 conference, I spent several hours on the vendor floor. There are two aspects that provide value. First, if you have no direct interest in a product, vendors often tell you all the great ways to use their product to improve student learning. A wise teacher plows through the "product" talk and gleans the good teaching practices that they are demonstrating their product with.
Secondly, since our district already owns district licensing for KidPix, Kidspiration and Inspiration, both of these vendors offer 20 minute sessions on how to use their products. I use both them them quite well and provide training on the software and I still learn something new at every session.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Thoughts from Mary Cullinane:
How to teach and why - Microsoft school of the future
1. †Learning First
2. Focus on concept and power of the language - Principal is the Chief Learner
3. †Be comfortable not knowing †
A key to the design of the school of the future was the creation of adhoc gathering spaces.
Microsoft supported the school with human resources, not with funding. †Two concepts that flowed from Microsoft was that thinking is an activity and that you can spend time thinking and that there is a culture of being self critical (How can I get better?)
Dr. Francesc Pedro, OECD
Dr. Pedro shared some interesting statistics that are available through the OECD.
††††Percent of 15 year olds using computers at home and school †- Canada has the highest at home - but lower at school
††††More computers used at home, better at math, more computers used at school decrease in math
OECD.org - Understanding the brain (a report coming out soon)
Michael McCauley, Creative Director
We must have deep faith in technology and creativity and then the freedom exists to be creative
Imagine Innovation swimming downstream instead of getting tire swimming upstream
†† †This statement hit a chord for me. †I hadnít realized that much of what I do is swimming upstream....
Books to read
††††Whole new mind - Dan P
Elizabeth Streb - Strebusa.com
Elizabeth had a great energy and amazing stories to share. †My gleanings include:
††††Invent a mistake
††††Failure is an option - it is safe to fail
††††Get dirty, break things, go to the garage (where inventors go)
Listening to this panel and thinking about the questions from Andrew Zolli made this one of the best sessions I attended.
I donít recall who mentioned the next two comments
Ask a ninja.com - every teacher should check this out as most of our students are.
Goal of teaching - Make a positive indelible mark on someone's life.
So how does this session relate to IML?
I found this session to be empowering. †Learning doesnít have to be the way it has been for many generations. †We have the ability with technology to do more than ever before. †We could always be creative, but access to communicate beyond the classroom adds new dimensions. †
My two take aways
†† †I will try and make sure that I am not the barrier to others.
Invent a mistake
†† †What a great way to learn. †Why try and learn what is already known. †Trying to make something next work take critical thinking and perhaps a better understanding.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
This was an exciting event. ISTE has provided leadership with the NETS for more than 8 years. The NETS-Student was unveiled at the conference. I fully support the resulting work of refreshing the NETS-S. Being from Canada, we don't follow the NETS as requirement. Last July, I looked to many places for leadership on Information and Media Literacy. NETS-S provided some insight but it was missing something. As you have read earlier in my blog, we created our own IML Student Learning Capacities. It was wonderful to see our IML very closely aligned with intent and even wording to the NETS-S. After discussing the NETS-S at our table, the goal was to consider what NETS-T would look like. Our table was so impressed that NETS-T should follow the same idea as NETS-S. Teachers need to be information and media literate. Much of the existing NETS-T included what I see as just good teaching - NETS-T 2,3,4,5. I would like to see that NETS-T take the 6 aspects of NETS-S and add a layer of the Art and Science of Teaching. So much of what I believe so deeply is that we need to remove the concept of technology as something to learn. Teachers teaching so students can learn will involve the use of technology but the focus should remain on learning. Meeting the diverse needs of students can no longer be managed within the blinders of traditional literacy only. A synopsis of another session by Will Richardson is appropriate here. Students graduating today with skills taught traditionally will need to be re-taught when they are hired. Intel has more than 26 000 internal bloggers and more than 20 islands in Second Life. I don't know of a single Secondary English teacher preparing their students for this career opportunity. (I realize this is a strong statement - If you know of any teachers that grow students literacy that prepare them for this environment, please contact me and I will immediately correct this blog.) More from EdTechConnection blog http://www.edtechconnection.net/blog/2007/6/24/necc-2007-nets-refresh.html