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May 26, 08

Just started the discussion for the viral pd session at NECC over at the NECC 2008 Ning -- watching some interesting discussions take place -- join in and converse. If you have a session, you're asked to create a discussion -- I hope they'll show us our tags so that we can tag and find sessions easily.

May 26, 08

Interesting observations from Alan Levine about those of us who use Nings for our projects. It truly becomes "the" ning.

Apr 24, 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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Apr 24, 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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Apr 17, 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.

Apr 16, 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.
Apr 16, 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".
Apr 16, 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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Apr 16, 08

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

  • Global Kids - Creating Leaders Through Experience
Apr 15, 08

This is an excellent article that has been reposted. It includes a lot of the information that outlines WHAT web 2.0 is. This includes videos and many important hyperlinks. Excellent article for newcomers to web 2.0 to pick up on.

Mar 28, 08

Don Tapscott is keynoting this year's Horizon Project -- we are very excited. This is the page where he will "deliver" his keynote which will be posted some time around April 15th, 2008. Mass collaboration does change everything -- we can connect with authors such as this!

Apr 10, 08

This short insightful article from Alan Levine with the new media consortium explains wikis beautifully. I love it!

  • ‘No one has “forgotten” or “left out” anything. You just haven’t added it yet.’
  • Sure its messy, its not perfect alpha order, it does not contain “everything” (like there is a central authority who knows everything about every twitter user), but it has/will have a lot of value because its “collective” input.
Apr 10, 08

Mashup contest to envision the future of education and win a lot of prizes! This is a great idea!

Apr 07, 08

Today on horizon, my students set up their PLN (personal learning network) in their RSS reader -- we use Netvibes although some switched to Google reader.

Here is how I will assess this:

I am assessing the students on this by having them print the page out and turn it in -- I'm also checking over their shoulders in lieu of printing -- but I may not get to everyone. -- In this blog post, I've REQUIRED 6 things on the page -- each is worth 10 points -- with 2 of those points being for a properly edited title in Netvibes (so that they may see what is what!) -- and then I have them find at least four additional sources of information for another 10 points each.

Knowing how to set up a PLN for a topic of study is a VITAL skill for the 21st century researcher. I like Netvibes because it is very simple -- one page interface.

Apr 06, 08

A webcast with Diane Hammond, organizer of Yes I Can Science about her experiences organizing a blogging project between middle school science students and an astronaut on the space station. She has some interesting insights on the importance of active teacher involvement and engagement of the classroom.

Apr 05, 08

I likethis graphic from Darren about the traditional classroom. I would tweak it a bit but wanted to preserve this, particularly for the students examining the impact of connecting people and usercontent on the classroom with the horizon project.

Apr 04, 08

This is a great way to emped all types of documents directly into a blog post -- I'l be teseting this on my blog. This is very cool and is yet another way that people are sharing content. It is less about WHAT is being shared and more just about the fact that we can share it.

  • You can share and display any document (.doc, .pdf, .xls, .ppt) in your own blog or on any website where you can add embeded codes with the docstoc flash player.
Apr 01, 08

This is an excellent article in education week discussing the copyright issues and how it is causing problems in schools with digital storytelling and video making as part of their work. Some recent court decision strike fear in the heart of teachers.

  • When teachers in a suburban-Philadelphia school district heard about the music industry’s legal victory requiring a single mother from Minnesota to pay more than $220,000 for sharing 24 songs online, the news seemed to confirm their worst suspicion: It isn’t safe to use digital media as a teaching tool.
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