Had a great conversation a few weeks a go with Don Wettrick and his students. They filmed via Skype and my students got a chance to share what they learn and about my classroom. I enjoyed the conversation and have to admit that my students were quite jealous of the recording studio Don has. I met Don at the Microsoft Innovative Educators conference in Seattle. He's a great teacher and teaches with video.
An interesting guide from edutopia for parents that you can share with your parents and PTO. They share a lot of examples of 21st century learning and as you work to build support for these things, this is a great document to share. (Full Disclosure: The digiteen project is listed for middle school - after this was listed, we saw such an inundation of schools wanting to do the project, we created the DigiTween project for kids aged 10-12 and Digiteen is still for kids aged 13+.) There are a lot of other great sites including the World Peace game, information on Skype in the Classroom, World of Warcraft in School and the Digital Youth Network. Download and share.
An article hotchalk did that talks about some of the habitgs I have in my classroom. One of the biggest is taking and making time to learn.
"Davis used her daily break time – 15 minutes – two to three times a week to do this. First she’d discover what she wanted to learn about and make a list – from wiki to QR codes and beyond. Then she’d spend her next breaks working her way through the list.
“Break it down,” she said. “If you want to eat a watermelon, you don’t eat it whole. You eat it a bite at a time.”"
A reflection on Digiteen by @meywong
A wonderful book review for the Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds book cross posted on Technology and Learning
I've begun work on the website companion to Collaborative Writing in the Cloud: An essential guidebook aligned with Common Core standards that will be published this winter. (The draft is due now.) I'm referencing some of these pages in the book and am asking for your help if you're involved in teaching writing, collaborative writing, or helping teachers.
Right now, I've drafted the pages on Twitter hashtags, chats, and lists for writing teachers and also networks where teachers can join. You're invited! The next page I'll create will be open collaborative writing projects.
Feel free to request to join the wiki but make sure that you list in the comments who you are and why you want to join so I'll approve you and then feel free to join in. Who knows, something you add may be the very thing I missed and it may make it into the draft.
Feel free to join in and help me get the right resources.
Also, I"ve posted two recent presentations: Common Core in the Cloud and the ISTE 2012 presentation about Common Core and Collaborative Writing that I did with Dr. Leigh Zeitz, Jennifer Roberts, Suzie Nestico, and Julie Lindsay (with Ben Curran moderating.)
Follow the link to join in and share.
the Atlantic asked me to write about why I became a teacher. I left the business world to move into teaching. Not because I had to (I was a successful business woman) but because I wanted to. Please feel free to share your story. Here's mine.
High Beam research shares their pick for best education blogs. Some new ones and a few familiar ones too.
I have to admit that it was very hard to put into a few short words my thoughts on adaptive learning. I didn't really intend for it to center on the testing piece but I guess that is what the editors thought hadn't already been covered, although I do agree with everything I said on it. Of course, many will say we need much more than testing but I think the big point is that pencil and paper don't cut it. We are wasting time with how we test now and can be much more targeted in terms of what students know and how we can teach. Your thoughts?
The biggest thing that bothers me about all these apps is that we have no learning analytics - no feedback loop at all to parents or teachers. I literally have to watch my son play his ipad learning games to really understand where he is and what I need to do to fill things in.
A review from Coach Borwn and reflections on the terrible teacher blog post I wrote. I keep these posts to reflect and encourage myself when I need it sometimes.
I spent some time with Alan Levine this past week. (He writes the cog dog blog and is an amazing blogger about new technology.) He came by my classroom and showed storybox and my students got to meet him. I'm going to have to get Alan to map his travels because my students keep asking "Where's Mr. Alan now?" They were captivated with this travels. This post includes a little of the personal side of me and the things I like to show people who come down:the cat fish pond, the alligator farm, and of course, my students. It also includes a recording of me talking about some things with Alan as well.
Another great local press coverage of how our amazing Flat Classroom teachers are collaborating. This is a story that our communities are hungry for. Social media is great but social learning is transformational. The best teachers are attracted to the Flat Classroom projects - apply now at www.flatclassroomproject.net
Jerry Swiatek’s World Geography students are participating in the Flat Classroom Project, a collaborative effort on a global scale designed to “flatten” or lower walls so that students are able to interact and work with other students around the country and the planet.
Excellent reflection from Audrey Watters of the Read Write Web about the Newsweek article about the Creativity Crisis in America. I think it is an excellent synopsis.
It's no surprise that the Newsweek article is quick to blame television and video games for dulling our children's creativity, even though the authors admit that there is no conclusive evidence that they're the culprit.
But he notes that the Newsweek article points to the creation of "paracosms" - detailed imaginary worlds - as being strongly correlated with winning a MacArthur "Genius Grant" as an adult.
As teacher Vicki Davis notes, "Measure the wrong thing, get the wrong thing. Our students are a product of the formula of measurement we use to gauge progress."
Article in Canadian newspaper this week about the NetGenEd project. Yes, education must evolve and become more collaborative! Not sure if this is something that can be "tested" for and so many schools don't take the necessity seriously. The more media we can get on this need, the more we'll have parents asking for it and often, that is what it takes.
Educators must embrace technology and change the way they do things because the current system does not serve the digital generation well, says a leading Canadian author.
Here is the podcast I recorded at TICAL in Arkansas with Rowland Baker about vicarious learning and global collaboration. We had a great conversation and I love the example he shares from "close encounters" that makes so much sense!
Article written in India newspaper about the Flat Classroom and Flat Classroom conference held in Mumbai.
I loved this quote:
"To become what the project aspires won’t actualise without delivering on imperatives of access and inclusion. Consequently, the idea ‘How can I include those who are not like me’ underlined most discussions at the conference. There, says Davis, Web2.0, far from being a cultural flattener, is “a culture enhancing tool. It lets students who don’t travel, travel virtually, and makes them see where cultural disconnects are happening.” For a first-hand experience of these gaps, participants visited Akanksha and Aseema schools that reach out to the underprivileged. One Australian participant came back and told her remote virtual classmates: “Today I stepped through the gaps between the rich and the poor, from Aseema to ASB.”"
Click in to find related links.