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24 Mar 08

Web 3.0 and how the web is evolving is a part of current discussion. Some say Web 3D is more likely with Second Life like environments merging with the Semantic web.

This is a great site for those working on inventing and predicting what will happen.

  • Semantic Web, which seeks to give computers the ability--the seeming intelligence--to understand content on the World Wide Web.
  • Today's primitive prototypes show that a more intelligent Internet is still a long way off.
  • Chatterbots from MyCyberTwin can respond to questions about you when you're not online.
19 May 08

This 10th grade student has written an exceptional post-project reflection. I hope you'll take time to read it. Here is an excerpt:

"There is no doubt that this technology is dangerous. It is apparent that few people, not adults, not teenagers, truly understand how collaboration, conduct, and manners affect the internet. This project has to teach others that as well. It is necessary to know how to handle yourself on the internet. That’s why Horizon Project is so important. We have to educate tomorrow’s leaders how to use new technology without abusing it. The highlight of this project is the education we are giving every single person who has been a part of the Horizon Project."

19 May 08

I am really enjoying Julie Lindsay's discussion about games in the classroom on this video. (Please forgive the student typo at the end.)

19 May 08

Wow! This student says so much very eloquently about Don Tapscott's keynote:

My tenth grader says in this blog post:

"A teacher should, as Don Tapscott said, no longer be a transmitter of information, but a regulator of educational settings. Our teacher Mrs. Vicki could stand in from of the class room all day and lecture us on exactly what to do and how to do it. We would ace tests and learn a lot . . . for a while… However by next year about 65% of what we learned will be irrelevant due to technology changes and development. Instead, she gives us projects to complete that pose challenges to us that can repeat themselves. Such as giving us a project to make a video by using a program we are unfamiliar with. Though we may not ever make another video, it is inevitable that we face the challenge of having to use an unfamiliar program, ergo, we will be prepared to deal with this for the rest of our lives.

So in conclusion, the role of a teacher is now: to regulate the educational environment; to introduce students to the realm of ambiguities; and to no longer evaluate our overall knowledge, but our constructive, creative, and adaptive capabilities."

Wow! I am humbled and impressed at what students have to say when asked and challenged!

14 May 08

I enjoyed this video a lot from Ren at Goodland High School. I particularly liked the contrast of the computers at the beginning of the video. I think he did a nice job.

06 May 08

Google for Educators launches Geo Education today! Cool. It includes information on Google EArth, Maps, Sky, and Sketcup and lesson plans from teachers. It also includes tips on getting started with these tools in your classroom.

As you plan your summer PD, Geography teachers simply must get this on their list for fall!

05 May 08

the 31 day comment challenge is a program to promote effective, meaningful comments run by several amazing edubloggers -- this is an example of something that those interested in facilitating effective communications should discuss and participate in.

30 Apr 08

This page outlines how we are sharing video on the Horizon project this year. After literally hours of testing to overcome the "youtube barrier" we have worked out how to use Ning as our video sharing and embedding platform.

Using tools like a firefox plug in that allows downloading of any video AND zamzar, these 7 videos literally show you how you may "snag" and edit any video. Just remember to follow copyright laws when you do this.

This innovation was quite an epiphany for us and the videos were our effort to make it easy and take the video sharing aspect of the project out of the teacher's hands.

24 Apr 08

Business people and management should read this article about the transformation of business by using workplace communities.

"Workplace communities are designed to solve workplace-related challenges" -- they focus on tasks. I would find it interesting to see a business REALLY use technology to change things.

Having the business in a business network (OK a NING) and let people tag their posts with the business related PROBLEMS they are having and blog, video, or photograph it-- the tag cloud would tell the business IMMEDIATELY what the problems are in the company.

The problem with this model is that there are few corporate executives who REALLY want to know the problems within their organizations. They don't want to be problem solvers, just opportunity creators.

However, when managers open their eyes (and I'm a former General Manager myself) and see that two things give business opportunity: problem solving and innovation. And they are directly related. True innovation solves problems.

Read this article and think about how you may solve problems using the networks you may now create. If you don't want everyone to know, keep it private and only allow people in your company in.

  • What has not changed significantly, however, is the nature of human interactions in business – email, conference calls, and presentations by experts to non-experts are still the dominant means of interaction
  • the Internet has morphed from a presentation medium to an interactive platform in just a few years
  • a leading web analysis site

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24 Apr 08

Microsoft Popfly lets you make mashups and build web pages without knowing code. I am to the point I don't teach the detailed web site creation coding I used to. I teach RSS, embedding, creating wikis, uploading media of all kinds, but I just don't know how important coding is any more at the basic level.

I want to spend some time tinkering with this.

24 Apr 08

Excellent overview from Jeremiah about the use of twiter to backchannel at a conference. Backchanneling is something I think that is very important, but there is very definitely a best practice.

Here were my comments to Jeremiah:

"I am a classroom teacher and LOVE the backchannel (they are great for test reviews -- like group notes and more) and won't do a conference presentation without one, that being said, I wouldn't use twitter for it.

Like you said, many people don't use twitter or get it.

I like to create a "backchannel room" so that it is archived and recruit ahead of time at least two people:

1) A backchannel "moderator" - they answer questions and I call on them several times to ask for their summary of what is going on in the backchannel (this is when I'm the main presenter)

2) A google jockey -- they drop the links I'm talking about in the backchannel chat.

I also like to ask the people in the backchannel to share best practice and what they are doing. I've had people comment that the one hour with a backchannel and me presenting was more meaningful than a whole day at a conference. (More compliments to the backchannel, I'm sure.)

I've seen backchannels handled very poorly and it was TERRIBLE. It was chaos. And actually downright rude to the speaker. (More like backstabbing than backchanneling.)

I've also seen it used well and it was incredible!

The archiving of the backchannel gave me rich links as a presenter and participant AND also feedback on the session which I referred to later as the presenter.

The backchannel is great -- I just like to use a backchannel ROOM especially for the session (inviting "friends" from around the world who are also watching on ustream) -- and then creating an archived copy of it.

I think backchannels are very important and you've hit on the core of what is happening in the evolution of professional development and conferences. "

  • I was watching twitter in real-time to gauge the audience reaction (a best practice I prescribe in how to moderate a panel) and saw two tweets, in particular this one:

     

    “I agree with @nickionita…community building panel is a snooze”

  • so I acknowledged them in twitter, and let everyone know we would quickly shift to questions, so the audience could drive the agenda. We received over a dozen questions, and I hope the audience was satisfied, lots of good hard questions from many folks on the ground that are trying to solve these problems: getting management to agree, measuring roi, dealing with detractors, etc.

     

    After which, I think we won him over:

     

    Questions made the panel: Love hearing viewpoints from people with boots on the ground

  • Now, the next panel (Greg Narain, Brian Solis, Stowe Boyd) wasn’t traditional by any sense, it was an experiment, where we crowd-sourced the agenda to the audience –they used Twitter. Greg Narain setup an application where members from the audience could message (@micromedia2) and their tweets (comments, questions, requests, answers, and sometimes jokes made at Scoble’s expense) were seen live on the screen.

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24 Apr 08

This is a website where tv enthusiasts are sharing videos and collaborating. This is an example of how television and all of our entertainment is evolving to become more customized.

In addition to creating personal learning networks, we will also be creating personal entertainment networks (PEN's) -- all via this amazing thing we call RSS. Understanding RSS is not only important for learning but just living your life.

User created content is here to stay.

20 Apr 08

Incredible wiki page about online surveys and forms. I highly recommend that we begin to have our students conduct surveys as part of authentic research. This is an excellent page about this topic. (The rest of the wiki is nice as well.)

17 Apr 08

Open professional development by Darren Draper and Friends. These opportunities will let you open up your classroom and join in with others to learn collaboratively about blogs, wikis, and more. Take a look at it.

17 Apr 08

This site claims to be the largest student arts gallery on the web! Looks fascinating. Not sure how they use first names and locations and get away with it. I'd like to know what those who have used it think about it.

16 Apr 08

Elementary classrooms connecting about the Iditarod. From USA, Canada, and Lebanon. They will be re-running this project again next year.

  • Iditarod Collaborative Project.
16 Apr 08

An excellent project for 4th - 6th grade sudents from Jennifer Wagner called the Prince Caspian project which will allow teachers to collaborate with other teachers around the world about the book and the upcoming movie "Prince caspian."

  • This project is open to all FOURTH to SIXTH GRADE STUDENTS Worldwide between the months of April to June, 2008
  • The main purpose of this project is provide a way for teachers to collaborate with other teachers all over the world about the book (and soon to be released) "PRINCE CASPIAN".
16 Apr 08

A great way to get started with technology is to join in an exciting project. this project by Susan Silverman was designed using the principles of Universal Design for Learning. I've heard her present and she is a pro. (Along with my friend Jennifer Wagner.)

  • A Collaborative   Internet Project for K-5 Students
  • Essential Question:   Why are ladybugs considered to be good luck?
  • This   project will demonstrate lesson plans designed following   principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and   examples of student work resulting from the lessons.  As   teachers we should ask ourselves if there are any   barriers to our students’ learning.  We should look for   ways to present information and assess learning in   non-text-based formats. 

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16 Apr 08

Online program that has second life presence and many other things for promoting global awareness.

  • Global Kids - Creating Leaders Through Experience
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