Sunday, December 26, 2010


I can't think of a better way to spend my Sunday evening on the day after Christmas (aka Boxing Day here in Canada) then watching TED videos on my new laptop. Lucky for me, all the videos from TEDxSakatoon (held November 13, 2010) have been uploaded to You Tube so I had a lot of great presentations to watch. Hopefully I will be able to go to a TED event sometime in the future. I sure wish I had been able to go to this one. Here's a playlist of all of the TEDxSaskatoon presentations for your viewing pleasure:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Project Based Learning Explained - Common Craft Style

I couldn't resist sharing this video. I love the Common Craft Style video and use them often in my classes. Here's a new one from the Buck Institute for Education that does a great job explaining the concept of Project Based Learning.

A new way to get your news

I've been noticing on Twitter that people are posting "their daily news" using a site called I decided to try it out and discovered a new way to read the news coming through in my Twitter feed. You can also set up your own "paper" based on a search for a topic or to follow a group. This "paper" can also be set up to read your Facebook feed as well. I know that it won't replace my Tweetdeck, but I thought it was an interesting way to read what is going on today in your network.

Here is what my personal "paper" looks like based on my Twitter account:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Here's a great e-book for educators to check out when wanting to learn more about how to use technology in the classroom. A great place to start if you are just beginning to integrate technology or a great refresher for those who are more advanced.

Thank you to all of the contributors who made this book possible and to Steven Anderson for hosting it on his blog: Web 2.0 Classroom.

Super Book Of Web Tools For Educators -

Saturday, November 27, 2010

RSA Animates Changing Education Paradigms

I wish I could animate my lessons like this. A great message from Sir Ken Robinson illustrated by RSA Animate.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cell Phones in the Classroom? The Classic 21st Century Debate

Photo: Dru Bloomfield, Flickr
How do you feel about the use of cellphones in the classroom? Should these devices be banned? How can they be effectively used in education? In the ever-evolving world of technology and its place in the classroom, this debate is still quite heated.

At my school, cellphones are turned in by our senior (Grade 6-8) students every morning to the office and picked up at the end of the day. This practice was put into place when students were caught texting inappropriate messages to each other and also phoning parents without the teacher's knowledge. This in turn caused a problem when a student was being picked up at recess by their parent (without informing the office or the teacher) and the student then being thought of as missing. This extreme case might make one question the need to collect all the phones on an on-going basis, but the measure was put into place to prevent future problems.

I would be interested in finding out more about how these devices are used "for good" in schools. Do educators use sites like Poll Everywhere and Wiffiti to gauge student interest or to get feedback on lessons? Do you let students phone into their online persona such as a Voki to leave feedback or leave thoughts. How can these powerful devices be used effectively in education?

I was busy marking and doing other report card related tasks Saturday morning, and missed the Classroom 2.0 live session. Thanks to my PLN on Twitter, Lisa Nielsen, the Innovative Educator's blog was shared with me. (Thanks @parentella for the link.) On her blog, I found an interesting article from November 3, 2010 about the use of cell phones in the classroom that was co-written using Google Docs by George Engel, Rob Griffith, Scott Newcomb, Lisa Nielsen, Jason Sutter and Willyn Webb. In their article "10 Proven Strategies to Break the Ban and Build Opportunities for Student Learning with Cell Phones", a comprehensive guide is shared outlining the steps to use cellular devices in the classroom. I also appreciate the number of research articles that this group has shared in their article and will be checking out their list. If you are interested in the use of these devices in your classroom, you should check it out.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

K-12 Online Conference 2010

This year, I was busy juggling too many projects at work and home to attend the wonderful K-12 Online conference live. As I received emails and tweets during the conference, I saved them for a time when I could spend time watching, learning from and thinking about the many ideas shared by the many presenters at this year's conference. If you use iTunes, you are able to look at the sessions as podcasts, which I find quite handy, given my new love for the iPad. There are far too many wonderful presentations to mention. Check out the speaker list and schedule here and discover for yourself the numerous learning opportunities this online conference has to offer.

Here are a few that I found interesting:

Presenter of interest #1: Pre-conference keynote: Dean Shareski, The Moral Imperative
Shareski questions and presents the need as educators to share. Isn't that the moral foundation of being a teacher? He questions: Is sharing an obligation? Does my institution see the value in sharing? How will it help my students? After watching this video, I would like to know what you think. Obviously, if you are a reader of my blog, you will see that I am a very open educator who likes to share what I know and learn with others and provide as many opportunities for my students to do the same. This opportunity to make learning real and connected has made learning authentic for my students. I would love to know the opinions of others on the importance of sharing in education.

Cool tools I learned about in Dean's video that I need to check out were how to use my iPad as a teleprompter using iPrompt Pro and the around the neck microphone.  

Presenter of interest #2: Tony Vincent, Project Based Learning in Hand
This video was very inspiring to me. As a user of the ipod touch in my classroom and a frequent creator of authentic project based learning opportunities for my students, I couldn't help but be inspired by Tony's presentation. He managed to bring two topics together that I'm passionate about and inspire me to pursue new ways to use these devices with my students this year. This is a must see:

Presenter of interest #3: Britt Gow, Teaching Science to 21st Century Learners
As a Science Teacher to students in Grades 6-8, I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. In her video, Britt showcases how she integrates Web 2.0 tools into her lessons and includes student perspectives on the use of these tools.

There are many other speakers and topics to explore in the K-12 Online Conference. Check it out! I know you won't be disappointed.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Some Reading and Viewing to add to your To Do List

I have had these tabs open in my Firefox for awhile (actually since the summer - yikes!) and have been meaning to post them on my blog for others to check out. Here are some interesting blogs and videos to check out when you have a spare moment. If you have others to share, please do!! Post your links in my comments.

8 Must Read Ed Tech Posts from SimpleK12:
  • Elizabeth talks about Jing, PLN's, Classroom Blogs, Firefox, Evernote, Empowering Students, Learning Styles and Online Communities. What more could you want?? Take a minute to check out her list.
Top 10 TED Videos for Educators (via Parentella):

  • I love TED videos. I could watch them all day if I had the time. Here are a few any educator can appreciate. Maybe you will be inspired too. This list was generated by the blog Parentella. If you have other suggestions or ideas for a Top 10 TED video list for educators, please comment. Maybe we can make our own list!
7 Videos all Educators should watch (via Free Tech for Teachers):
  • Some of these videos I've posted about before but I had to include this in my list of things to watch when you have time. Richard Byrne has done a great job compiling videos that I've seen in different venues or on different blogs around the web. Here they all are in a handy collection. Do you have one you would like to add to the mix?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Inquiry Learning at the SSLA Conference

Presentation by Carol Koechlin

The renewed Saskatchewan curriculum has inquiry-learning in the middle of it. The chance for students to wonder, reflect, evaluate, etc.

Saskatchewan Curriculum Aims & Goals

Inquiry is a lot more than assigning a topic. If students are engaged in their inquiry, they will construct knowledge for deeper understanding. They are involved in the discovery of new knowledge and encounter differing ideas. They will also transfer new knowledge and skills to new circumstances. (Saskatchewan Curriculum)

The metacognative piece also needs to be added so that students understand that they are learning to be better learners. The collaborative piece and the power or potential needs to be added as well.

Carol Kuhthau, Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century
Carol Kuhthau, Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century "Inquiry learning is a social process in which students learn from each other in a community of learners."

Shifts to Watch:
  • Information seeking and reporting to indivudual and collective knowledge construction
  • Teacher directed learning to self and participatory learning
  • classroom learning to networked and global learning
  • Standards driven to exploring big ideas and concepts
  • Teaching to Facilitating process and active learning
    Resources to consult:
    SSLA Learning Commons Resources

    Steven Johnson's video on about Where Good Ideas Come From

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    A new year and a new role

    The new school year has begun. Students have been back at school for two weeks now and Teachers for a few more days than that. This year is a new adventure for me as my role in my school has been redesigned. I'm now serving as half-time Teacher Librarian and half-time Social Studies and Science Teacher for 6/7/8. I'm thankful to still be in charge of my inquiry studio where I deliver my classes for Social Studies and Science. I'm hoping that my new role will compliment my teaching and give me more opportunities to work and share with other colleagues.

    Although my role has changed, my interest and passion for integrating technology into my teaching has not. This week, my library will open up to students for the first time to do book exchanges. Instead of preparing a formal presentation on the dos and don'ts of the library, I made an orientation video. I was fortunate enough to work with a fellow teacher librarian, Terry Pon, five years ago on an orientation video for his library at the time. I revamped some of his video and made it current for my students and situation. (Thank you for the footage Terry!) Now that we are a French Immersion Centre, I had to make the video in French. I still need to find some copyright free music to re-edit the music track, but I will post if for now and replace it when I have a final version. I hope you enjoy the draft version of my video. Welcome to the Resource Centre at École Wilfrid Walker School.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    Twitter for Educators

    There is a lot of chatter and sharing on Twitter right now about how to use this social media in education. I have noticed a number of lists of ways to use it in the classroom being shared on Twitter so I thought that I would share a few of them here with my readers. Some links and ideas are better than others but you may find some of these ideas useful:

    What is Twitter? - Animated Explanations

    Science Apps in an Inquiry Classroom

    I had a great comment left on my blog tonight by Marshall who gave me a link to his recent post on iPod Touch apps for use in a Science inquiry classroom. The list is very well done and Marshall did a very good job evaluating these apps and providing his recommendations. I just had to share:

    Thanks Marshall!

    Wednesday, June 30, 2010

    Wednesday Closing Keynote at ISTE 2010

    The closing keynote for ISTE 2010 was delivered by Dr. Jeff Pionteck who is an Author, and currently the "Head of School" of the HTA.

    Bio from the ISTE 2010 Program:
    "After many years in the New York City area as a science teacher and Director of Instructional and Informational Technology, Piontek is now "Head of School" at the Hawaii Technology Academy (HTA). A unique state charter school, HTA has been transforming public education through a hybrid model of individualized learning that combines classroom and virtual learning across the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui, the Big Island, Lanai, and Molokai. The school performed at the top of Hawaiian public schools its first year, and doubled its enrollment to 500 students by its second year"
    He is also the author of Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts, Oh, My! Electronic Media in the Classroom.

    The theme of his keynote was: Global Learners = Global Leaders and he began his presentation with a video about his school in Hawaii that was created by some of the students at his school. It was fantastic! Here is the longer version of the video that was shown:

     Pionteck's keynote was everything a keynote should be and more. It is no wonder he was chosen through a "crowd source" type selection process by ISTE members to be the keynote. He was visionary and thoughtful and had an inspiring delivery. He was a great wind up speaker for ISTE 2010 as his message summarized the themes and messages I had heard throughout the workshops and keynotes I had already enjoyed these past few days.

    Here are a few of my notes from what Pionteck said during his keynote address:

    • Change over the last 25 years will appear slow, compared to the next 25 years.25 Years form Now: What will be emerging?
    • Social networking and mobile devices are what students are using today to connect. How many of us can use these tools in our classrooms?
    • "Today's students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach." -Prensky, 2001.
    • A standardized test is a snapshot of the day the student wrote the test, when in reality, it follows them around for a whole year.
    • S.T.E.M.: (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) S.T.E.M. needs to integrate into classrooms around the world. Classrooms need to get reorganized to make learning social.
    • S.T.E.A.M. is the new STEM - (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Arts is important to teach creativity and innovation that drives the other parts of education. It helps us find our passion.
    • Networking of this conference is important. It is essential to keep in touch with those who you met this week at ISTE. You are now educational technology leaders in your schools.
    • It is not important what you look like or what you are wearing, but how you are engaging your students in your students.
    • What is your Passion? What drives you? What do you want for your future? What do your kids want for the future?
    • People under 20 are living a digitized world. Have your students create a blog or a wiki about their passion.
    • All children should have a chance to give it a GO. After Grade 3, students are no longer given the chance to give it a go. To learn from their mistakes and to be creative and explore life.
    • All children should have access to technology and the internet.
    •'s innovation ... it's creativity
    • There's no longer an excuse not know how. Students today need to know how to use the tools to find the answer. Eventually they will find what they are looking for. Students need to be culturally aware and remembering where they came from and where they are going.
    • What do you consider excellence yourself? When people know that you really care about, they will come and do whatever they can to help you.
    • It is time for a revolution in education. We need to give our students the tools they need to learn 21st century skills.
    • Another great video made by the students in his school about exploring excellence. Fantastic!
    • If you start a project with your students, finish it. Start something small, something you know you can complete. Take an idea that you saw this week and run with it.
    • Have students take the information, immerse themselves in it and then create something with that material.
    • Blue Mars - program to use to create videos.
    • Final thought: It's a challenge- Our job is to nourish the dreams of our children - to make them all that they can be. Those dreams are our future.
    Thanks for a great keynote to wind up another fabulous ISTE! I have a lot to digest this summer as I review my many notes and continue discussions with my PLN. Thanks to everyone for making this a fantastic learning opportunity for all!

    Congratulations Dean Shareski - ISTE Outstanding Leader Award of the Year, 2010

    I just wanted to pass on my congratulations to fellow Saskatchewanian and this year's winner of the ISTE Outstanding Leader of the Year Award, Dean Shareski.

    I have had the pleasure of getting to know Dean over the past few years by attending his workshops in person and following his contributions to learning online through his blog and on Twitter. His work has inspired me to open up my classroom and network with others by Blogging and Twittering. He also sparked my passion for digital storytelling and I have created many "stories" since I took his workshop many years ago, one summer in Moose Jaw. Thanks for your work and your willingness to "share"ski, Dean! I look forward to learning more from you in the future.

    Gadgets for Everyone - Leslie Fisher - ISTE 2010

    Link to the handout/presentation on Leslie's site: handout
    Gadgets, gadgets gadgets: Here's my notes on Leslie's quick lowdown on some cool tools and gadgets to check out...

    Some cool Web2.0 tools:
    • - allows you to set-up an event and allow people to register online
    • Google voice - you get a google phone number that you can then attach to the number. You can then ask it to call certain number at home, office or cell depending on what number you want them to call you at.
    • simply send your travel info to the website and put it together for you that you access it on your phone
    • - take a free twitter account and use goodies, then widgets to run an rss feed on Twitter to your home page
    • Tweetdeck - allows you to control multiple account
    • Remember the milk ( allows you to organize your to-do list
    • - use to take notes and then synchronize between all of you devices. You can even do text recognition
    • Etherpad/ - live session you can play back
    • - simply send the zamzar account to submit a file or URL that you can have converted and then downloaded
    • - allows you to set up a free account and post videos live as they happen

     Data protection/back-up:


    Images on the web (free use/copyright compliant):
    Audio, video portability:
    • Pinacle pctv HD prostick
    • Eyetv hybrid
    • Sling box - personal media server
    • Netflix streaming - instantly deliver video to your tv
    • Boxee
    • Logitech harmony one - universal remote that is smart
    For humour:

    Google: 25 Things You Did Not Know It Could Do at ISTE 2010

    Dr. Howie DiBlasi, C.I.O. "Emerging Technologies Evangelist"

    Documents will be available on Thursday, July 1st, 1:00 PM EST on his website.

    Google has many special features to help you to find exactly what you are looking for.

    Advanced Searching:
    Compare and Contrast: Use advanced search to look at only a specific domain (2 letter country code) so that students can compare different perspectives.

    What to do if you don't want something to show up in your search (advanced search)

    Scholar search: locate materials from educational institutes or universities.

    Google Custom Search Engine:

    Google Language Tools: google directory (similar to the Yahoo homepage)

    Special Commands
    Link: list pages which link to a page, sample link:www.broward

    Google Reader: get all your blogs and news feeds fast (RSS feeder)

    Google Labs: find out what is new, in development (beta) and trends in Google.

    Wisdom of Crowds: The Truth About Content-Driven Collaborative Learning Spotlight Presentation at ISTE 2010

    Presented by: Yvonne Marie Andres, Global SchoolNet

    Internet Projects Registry: Over 3000 archived projects and many more upcoming projects you can join. You can also post your own projects to find collaborators.

    Organizations that run collaborative projects: Global Schoolnet, sigol, iEARN, ePals, CILC, Taking it Global

    Different types of collaboration:
    • Pooled Data Analysis: collection of data at two or more sites
    • Social Action: action-orientated, multicultural humanitarian projects that seek to accomplish beneficial results in specific locations
    • Information Exchange: Collect and exchange information on a specific topic or theme: animals, etc.
    • Travel Buddy: The exchange of one or more stuffed animals or toy characters, i.e. teddy bears or Flat Stanley
    • Sequential Creation: classes create something, text, photo album, etc and pass it along to be added to in a sequential fashion
    • Electronic Publishing: product creation by numerous students in different areas, such as a newspaper or shared stories, etc.

    Collaborative Tools: don't put an emphasis on the tools because they change. Ex. Photo Show, Google Aps, Twitter, Facebook YouTube, Wikipedia, Edmodo, Sakai, Meez (create student avatars)

    Facebook in Education: problems with IT Departments blocking many applications. If you can show a specific purpose (ie Fairfax Public Schools Facebook Page)
    Photoshow: can broadcast in some states around the US
    Collaborative Learning Centre:  List of many places to start and to run a project

    Filtering is Critical: Don't Get Side-Tracked

    Audience Favourites:
    • Voice Thread
    • Ning
    • Skype
    • Popplet
    • Diigo
    • Wiki

    Tuesday, June 29, 2010

    Computational Learning: Create Interactive Learning Modules for Your Students - BYOL at ISTE 2010

    ISTE Description
    Presented by: Dave Anderson, Logan City School District, Utah with Megan Beavers and James Porter

    What is an ILM (Interactive Learning Module)?
    Interactive online units that target objectives identified as important in state and national stands, include lesson plans, interactive learning activities and  provide online assessment.

    CS ILM:

    We went through the steps to create our own modules for our classes. Will have to check it out later.

    Mobile Wireless Devices That Empower Engagement, Learning and Assessment at ISTE 2010

    presented by Chris Dede,
    (who now feels like he looks like a 35 year old device called "the little professor")

    ISTE Outline from the program

    co presenter: Marie Bjerde, VP Qualcomm

    Dede was part of the U.S. 2010 Educational Tech Plan
    The plan talks about learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure and productivity.

    Mobile Wireless Infrastructure - what does that mean? - There are many mobile devices and there are many more to come. From small cell phones to large e-books & ipads.

    There are many problems in 1 to 1 in schools:
    • They only hold a charge for a short amount of time
    • They take time to boot up
    • They are heavy to carry around
    • They don't know where they are (location aware)
    Cloud Computing - Mobile Connected Devices on Multiple Networks

    There is a migration to Cloud Computing. Students are the first to understand and discover this infrastructure. This would be meeting them on their own terms. Next Generation Interfaces for Immersive Learning are multi-user virtual environment.

    Wireless Reach - a global initiative - 56 projects in 26 countries that strengthens social and economic development.
    Mobile Opportunity provides 24/7 connectivity in learning- as we see 24/7 connectivity in business.

    Project K-Nect, Wireless Social Networking and Teaching Enhances Student Math Development: Education that has students partner, execute and innovate.  This was in North Carolina where students did math activities using modules loaded on cell phones to help boost engagement and retain or absorb information.

    Wireless Reach - The Friday Institute: Building Learning Progress Profiles for Rational Number Reasoning with Socially Networked Devices.

    San Diego State University: Mobile Learning A Community Engagement Project (Bernie Dodge)

    High Tech High, Blended Learning with 24/7 Connected Devices - focussed on Project Based Learning

    Alliance for Digital Equality: Learning Without Walls - One-2-one laptop program in Atlanta

    School in the Park: Augmented Reality Enables Students to Explore New Worlds: Dr. Patrick O'Shea, Price Charities, Sandiego Museum of Art, Schools in the Park

    Creating Student Sleuths - Primary Source Investigation (BYOL) at ISTE

    Presented by:
    Stevie Kline, Intermediate Unit 1-
    Joyce Mason, Canon-McMillan High School -

    Welcome and link to resources used during workshop: Jog the Web link

    Primary Sources Help Students:
    • ask questions
    • acknowledge various points of view
    • establish the context for historical events
    • allow the discovery of evidence
    • see cause and effect relationships
    • compare and contrast evidence
    • understand continuity and change over time
    • consider and recognize bias
    • question the source of the information
    • realize the importance of referencing multiple resources
    How do our students become sleuths?
    • LOTS & HOTS: Interactive New Blooms  Romano and Gates Blooms.ppt
    • Lots (Lower Order Thinking Skills): Remember, Understand, Apply
    • Hots (Higher Order Thinking Skills): Create, Evaluate, Analyze
     Intro to the US Archives website and an activity with a speech by FDR about the Declaration of War Against Japan on December 8, 1941 and then showed the revised version with FDR's changes written on it. in handwriting . The feeling you get from the primary source was very powerful.

    We used WORDLE to analyze text. We also posted our own poems on Wall Wisher.

    Using Digital Vaults: Over 1200 digital images and content to make a movie or a poster. It encourages creativity and historical thinking. It has a powerful image connection tool and gives you links to primary sources.

    We used the Digital Vaults at the US National Archives to create a poster or a video.

    Innovation and Excellence - Words or Global Imperative - ISTE 2010 Tuesday Morning Keynote & Panel

    ISTE 2010 got off to a great start this morning with a panel discussion featuring "a dynamic group of global education enthusiasts sharing their perspectives on the relevance and importance of excellence and innovation." (ISTE 2010 Program) You can watch a video of this panel on ISTE Vision later today.

    I thought that this keynote panel was very well done and included an interesting mix of people. I felt it did its job to inspire and make us think and proposed some solutions for making a difference in education today and into tomorrow. It was well worth sitting in a cold and dark theater first thing in the morning.

    The panel was moderatd by Jennifer Corriero from Taking IT Global.(Toronto, ON)

    The panel consisted of four others:
    • Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Education, Technology, US Department of Education (Washington D.C., USA)
    • Jean-François Rischard, former VP of the World Bank (Paris, FR)
    • Shaun Koh, Student, Singapore
    • Terry Godwaldt, Director of Programming, Centre for Global Education (Edmonton, CA)

    Here are my notes from the panel discussion: (I apologize in advance if there are parts that I miss or are unclear. I'm sure I missed some things that were said as I was processing what was said during the keynote this morning.)

    Rischard: non educator perspective
    Proposes three new agendas: (1) New global citizenship agenda, (2) New skills agenda, (3) New learning, teaching and education technoloy agenda. Talks about these three agendas working together to solve urgent global problems, developing and applying 21st century skills and turning students into producers, not just consumers of information and solutions to problems.

    Godwald: classroom perspective
    Gave example of live video conference from the UN CLimate Change Coference in (Copenhagen, 2009)
    Students are charged to do reasearch for a problem. They then make smart goals to solve the problem. They network with other students working around the world on the problem, they contribute their ideas and solutions and then receive global feedback and propose new solutions.

    Koh: student perspective
    Loves to use technology. Technology is just an enabler for a passion for teaching. Just adding technology isn't good enough, but a good user of technology makes that passion come alive.

    Cator: US Government Education Department.
    Talked about the process of continous improvement. Talked about the formal environments for learning which need to be improved and reinvented. and then the Informal which transform and innovate to supplement and drive students inside and outside the formal learning environment. We need to change the discussion inside the classroom - 21st century skills emphasis - need to be able to think for yourselves and be able to read differently. Not just the traditional way, but in the new way so that students understand why they are learning the skills they are practicing.

    Questions and discussion:
    Koh: Key thing is to listen and observe your students to learn more about them. Keep an open mind and listen to the ideas of your students to help drive the learning in the classroom. Keep the flame alive in your students. What happens when the shift of the students' goals change from wanted to do big things in life to wanting to pass the year end exam. He wished that he had learned to learn. There are so many things out there to learn that don't fit into a certain subject.

    Godwald: Techer challenge is to find the balance between covering the curriculum and embracing and teaching all the new things that are out there that also need to be taught.

    Rischard: Conversations that need to happen in the classroom are around contemporary issues, such as the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf. World debt, global famine, air quality, etc. Wants to see students engaged in global issues and have them come up with solutions that affect their future.

    Cator: problem based learning is not as hard as it sounds. Have students come up the questions and teaching how to ask good questions and coming up with solutions during these challenge based projects. You need all the traditional skills that were always taught. It would be great to design an assessment that measures the impact of innovation in teaching.

    Godwald: Balance of individual needs and perspectives with the common goal of the classroom. Networking kids with others around the world to make them independant learners. Empowering them to become independant learners to meet their own needs. This is always a challenge with the diverse needs of the classroom and students.

    Rischard: Curriculum change is required to make it possible to change

    Cator: It is not a bad thing that everyone needs a certain level of reading skills and math skills. The change that needs to happen to make much more immersive learning environnments that are scaffholded and support learners to become independant. These new ideas need to bubble to the surface to make them more standard.

    Godwald: We need to empower teachers by trusting them to do what they need to do.

    Koh: How do you learn how to learn? Give students the framework to follow to learn more about what they want to learn about and where to begin to think about solving this problem.

    Cator: We need to teach about how to stay in the question for a long time to solve the problem.

    Rischard: Education systems need to change where they are factories that produce students who are consumers of knowledge. They need to change to be systems where everyone is working together where students become producers of solutions and make a much more deeply embeded learning.

    Godwald: Talked about how the social learning works together on social networks with the back and forth questionning to give feedback in each other. It needs to be grounded in reasearch so that the students are reasearching their knowledge and solutions before they are shared.

    Rischard: How do we create students who have a global mindset and have a global perspective? We need to teach world history. Make sure students understand how thin and delicate life is (biosphere). Teach problem solving with solutions and foster deeper learning. Think multiculturally. Put yourself in the place of other people before saying what they should do without understanding their perspectives.

    Koh: Considers himself a global citizen. Likes to say he was educated in Singapore but grew up on the internet. A way to understand another culture is to watch their television programs and movies because you get to see and understand point of view of someone else.

    Cator: Learning is empowered by technology by personalizing learning. This provides an opportunity to spark interest and get them to dig in and struggle with complex information.

    Koh: His curriosity has been sparked by something is by watching TED. You can really see and be inspired by people who have a real flame for what they are passionate about.

    Godwald: What would this teaching look like. Opprortunities for students to share and collaborate their ideas. It is grounded in a wealth of information that is facilitated by the teacher. It is about accessing the world.

    Rischard: How do students really make a difference? They do this by getting involved in the solutions to the global problems. Engaging them at their level in the creation of these solutions. Concerned about the divide between those who dictate what is done in schools and those who are moving ahead and making change.

    Cator: It is not about age, it is about mindset. With the internet and the ability of grassroots movements to inspire and create change.

    Conclusion and/or last piece of advice:
    Goldwald: Encourages us to take one thing that you have learnt or observed and take an action on it.

    Rischard: ISTE members have this new mindset already engrained in what we need to be doing and we are well set-up to make the change, make it happen to open the door on the global citizenship agenda. His advice is to go for it.

    Cator: Look for inspiration wherever you can. Reach out to your social networks and your students for inspiration.

    Koh: Listen to your students and don't be dismissive. If you listen to what a student wants to say, you've got them and they will learn and grow with you.

    Great panel and great discussion! Wonderful way to start off my Tuesday morning!

    Monday, June 28, 2010

    Touchdown - Implementing iPod Touches Successfully Presentation at ISTE 2010

    ISTE Planner

    Panel presentation by: Cheryl Davis, Acalanes Union High School District with Mike Amante, Camilla Gagliolo and Lucy Gray

    Presentation website:
    Introduction: see presentation slides

    Recent reports and research to support mobile devices in the classroom:
    • National Education Plan: Quotes: "Learning is always on... ...Mobile devices are required by all students..."
    • K12 Horizon Plan: "Mobiles are an untapped resource for reaching students..."
    Our stories - Field examples

    Elementary: Arington,VA - see presentation slides
    • 60- 6 per grade level
    • Math support
    • Technology rich learning stations
    • Science movies
    Middle School/High School in Acalanes, California - see presentation slides

    • Class sets that the librarians manage
    • Made stations with one laptop and a number of iPods and ipads to keep the others engaged while one student updated the class wiki for the group
    Administrators- see presentation slides

    -New Hartford central school division

    District uses google apps for the district
    All administrators given ipod touches, mac books and wireless hub to coordinate schedule, fill out forms (google form ex. Teacher evaluation), as well as record audio and use dication apps to be more productive.

    Research to consider when talking about using ipod touches/ipads in the classroom or for support:
    • MacArthur foundation- Digital media
    • Kaiser Family Foundation
    • The Joan Ganz Cooney Foundation
    • PBS Kids
    • Classroom 2.0 Anecdotal Research

    Finding Apps:

    iPod Touch/Phone/Pad Application Support Group with Leslie Fisher

    ISTE Program Overview

    Presented by: Leslie Fisher
    Link to the handout/presentation slides: handout

    New app website to check out where they review and talk about the newest apps.

    A community forum to check out is called where you can post and discuss apps. They also have a section for educators.

    Leslie's Tips:
    Running out of juice for your device? Check out battery chargers from Kensington, Solio or Mophie Juice Pack for charging on the go.
    • Take screenshot by holding home button and then touching the top button. It will end up In the photo roll.
    Apps to check out:
    • Saisuke is a calendar app to sync with google calendar
    • Soundpaste
    • Twitteriffic, Twitterlator
    • RTM- is a to do list manager - app is expensive though
    • Dropbox for file sharing - I personally love this one and use it all the time
    • Ustream - there are 3 different apps: viewer, record, etc
    • Ivideo camera that let's you share your videos online
    • Smugmup, flickr, blossom, for photo sharing
    • Location services- looped, foursquare, gowalla
    • Mapping applications- around me, geocaching, my poi's, motion GPS Drive
    • Shazam - figure out the song for you
    • Sportacular pro- track games
    • Yelp to find stuff around you
    • Fast Food Premium
    • price checker
    • Babelshot
    • Jibbigo - audio translate
    • Run pee mobile- tells you what you missed in the movie while you were away
    • Words with friends- scrabble online with others
    • Proloquo 2 go - replaces special ed program
    • Istudiez pro- keeps track of what you are doing in the classroom
    • Newsrack and instapaper
    • Good reader - shows you everything on your accounts
    • Ocarina
    • Audio Boo
    • Pandora
    • Ballonimals
    • Iridim flares
    • Dragon dictation
    • IMagnify
    • Read it later
    • Bookmark
    • Gflash cards
    • Flash card touch
    • Flashcard deluxe
    • Roller coaster physics
    • Motion x GPS
    • Crazy machines
    • Ireward
    • Istudiez pro

    Explore Web-Based Geospatial Learning Tools with National Geographic Education - BYOL Session at ISTE 2010

    Session Outline from ISTE Program

    Primary URL:

    ISTE 2010 Ning Discussion:

    Handouts:                           http://www/

    Presented by: Patricia Norris, National Geographic Society with Sean O'Connor

    Session Outline: Explore new interactive mapping tools on the redesigned NG Education website! Engage with data layers and investigate mapping, GIS, and other geospatial technologies.

    Session Order:

    1. Introduction to the mapping portal on the National Geographic Education website.

    • Content: Describing how to navigate the site to access rich mapping resources and related learning materials, emphasizing the variety and usefulness of the mapping tools.
    • on top right of the application, click Mode to open a menu and select Outline, then click on the United States and a new tab should open.
    • You can draw your state and then see if you got it right.

    2. Hands-On Activity: Exploring the Mapping Portal
    •   Content: Audience participants move through specific tasks that can be accomplished within the mapping portal, including accessing spatial data layers on the interactive map, customizing black-and-white outline maps, searching for geo-referenced content, and exploring galleries of map images and their related content.
    •  We then explored the interactive maps to see the layering or transparencies for elevation, climate, etc. You can make traditional map legends come to life by turning on different layers and see the relationships between them.
    3. Hands-On Activity: Exploring FieldScope - Used for Analyzing Data
    • Content: Audience participants upload data to NG Education’s citizen science mapping and data analysis application in order to view and analyze data on a map.
    • Enter data collected in the field to compare data collected by students. Engage students in learning about local geography.

    Ian Jukes - Teaching the Digital Generation

    While waiting for the session to start, we were treated to an interesting slidendeck. Downloadable photos at Juke website - very funny and thought provoking. Will have to check out.

    Session description:
    Primary URL:

    Jukes started off by explaining his research in brain theory in the digital generation. Kids today are totally different than kids have ever been before. Not just because of the music or how they ask. The research shows that because of digital bombardment to digital technology, these students have had their brains rewired to be able to absorb this bombardment. In his book, Teaching the Digital Generation, the research is listed and shows how their brains are rewired differently than any other generation. Their brains process information in a hyperlinked format. They are not linear like ours have been trained to be.

    Their brains work in an F pattern - research shows that students only read the upper left side of the page and will rarely read the bottom right side of the page due to the digital bombardment.

    Digital learner profile: Digital Learners' Learning Styles compared to those of traditional educators' learning styles.
    • Many educators prefer a slow and controlled stream of information. Due to the digital bombardment, the digital generation is far better equipped to process a fast stream of information. The digital generation has a need for speed when it comes to information. School makes them feel like they are hitting a wall and that is why they aren't connected at school. Educators need to accept (at least in part) that this is a problem and to adapt how they teach. To engage with the digital generation, we need to embrace the hand held technology that they use everyday and to connect with them using these tools.
    • The digital generation are completely fine with multi-tasking and performing numerous tasks at the same time. Effective multitasking essentially means having a brain that can process many things at the same time. Non-digital learners, can't deal with this in a classroom or while a child is doing their homework. Our brains can relate to their abilities to multi-tasking.
    • Digital learners prefer processing pictures, colour sound and video before text. This is opposite of traditional educators who prefer to present text first. Traditionally, primary information was always provided by text. Now this is opposite. 90% recall of 2500 pictures after only viewing them for 10 seconds 72 hours later. In contrast, without the aid of photos, 10% of information will be retained after 72 hours. When images are added, the digital generation will remember 65% presentation 72 hours later. This about the 6:00 news. The words complement the pictures. That is what we retain, not the long introduction.
    • Digital learners prefer random access to hyper-linked multimedia information. Because they become easily bored, they can't follow the linear flow of information. Their minds are hyperlinked. Both sets of skills are essential because we need to be able to understand someone else's logic.
    • Digital learners prefer to be networking with others at the same time. Digtal generation have taken the internet for granted because it is ingrained in them. Using Web 2.0 tools together at the same time to communicate. When a child is given a new game or device, they don't start by reading the manual, they start with intuition, discovery and problem solving. This connects and inspires learners.
    • Many digital learners prefer to have  to learn something "just in time" as opposed to "just in case" (traditional idea) - traditional jobs don't exist anymore. Students today will have 10-17 careers by the time that they are 35 years old due to the rapidly changing marketplace. A lot of these jobs don't even exist yet. What world are w e preparing them for?
    • Digital learners prefer instant gratification and instant rewards. - traditional education puts those rewards off. We need to start to give instant feedback on learning.
    Lee Crockett: What are the critical skills that students need when they graduate? The same arise - technology, collaborate, communicate and problem solving. These are not items that are not measurable and therefore they are not taught well.

    21st Century Fluencies: presented by Lee Crockett
    Solution fluency: (problem solving - post steps in classroom)
    • Define- define the task or problem correctly before you start your work
    • Discover - turning our attention to the past and arrive at where I am. What is the historical context.
    • Dream - wide open visualization - this is where creativity happens
    • Design - map out the process or the plan/blueprint to keep us on track to deliver the solution that was defined
    • Deliver - apply new found knowledge in the form of a product. It is not enough to design the presentation, you need to deliver.
    • Debrief - how could we have made this better? Evaluation of their own work and the work of their peers gives them ownership and real learning opportunities.
    Information fluency: (post as well)
    • Ask - ask questions
    • Acquire - go out and find the answers, right or wrong because that gives them an opportunity for learning.
    • Analyse- Authenticate the information (right from wrong)
    • Apply - Moving vision in to practice - Deliever
    • Assess - Deciding how to do it better next time.
    Creativity Fluency:
    • Design is the only thing that differentiates one product from another in the markeplace - Norio Ohgo
    • Story telling - logical and analytical abilities alone can no longer guarantee success... story telling is a must. Richard Olivie
    • Creativity is required to compete in the market place
    Media Fluency:
    • Analytical - not just what they are saying but how well they are saying it
    • Ability to get the message out there - appropriate form to communicate the product
    • Helping our students to understand how to use their digital tools to effectively communicate
    Collaboration Fluency:
    • The Digital Diet - a book to check out - everything done online or video chat. They never sat down together in the same room.
    • Digital learners are collaborating all the time, both in and outside of school.
    • Ability to collaborate with digital and real-life partners to achieve a product or solve problems.
    Mutual respect is required of both worlds to balance and appreciate the needs of both generations.

    Sunday, June 27, 2010

    ISTE 2010 - Opening Keynote - Jean François Rischard

    The time has arrived for ISTE 2010 to begin. After reuniting with old friends and "tweeps" from around the world, I made my way into the theater to listen to the opening keynote address and the presentation of a number of awards. Some of my convention colleagues prefer to watch the keynote from the Blogger's Cafe on the closed-circuit feed, but I like to enjoy the pomp and circumstance first hand. It makes writing my blog entries feel more authentic to really "live" the experience instead of watching it on TV. Tonight was one of the first times I've been disappointed with such an important keynote speech and wished I stayed in the Blogger Cafe and watched the keynote with my colleagues. Read my post to find out why..

    The first item of business this evening was the address by the President of ISTE, Dr. Helen Padgett, who is just finishing her term.The theme of this year's conference is "Exploring Excellence". She talked about being an ISTE Explorer. She talked about transforming education and said that educators were making a difference in a place where people are known explorers. ISTE has been exploring the world and giving a boost to people who needed help to make their vision a reality. There are now 89 affiliated countries with ISTE. There is a common desire that is shared amongst educators around the world and that is caring for the wellbeing of our world's children. Digital age skills - expanded the reach and scope of NETS. ISTE has worked for a global reach for learning with a local impact.They have also worked with UNESCO and shares the belief that teachers keep up with the changes in technology. New standards are coming in 2011. She also spoke about the advocacy role for ISTE to ensure the sustained support of educational technology from government bodies.

    During her speech, Padgett launched:
    • the launch of a new ISTE website (on in September which will ensure easier access to resources and books and a better interface to navigate.
    Some of this year's awards were presented tonight, the ISTE Young Educator Award, the ISTE Public Policy Advocate of the Year and the ISTE Public Policy Advocacy Trendsetter.

    The keynote speaker tonight is from France, Jean François Rischard.
    Rischard is a global leader in education. His book is called High Noon: Twenty Global Problems, 20 Years to solve them  which has been published in 15 languages.

    His presentation was a number of very wordy power point slides. The theme was: Navigating in Turbulant  Times: The world's urgent need for an innovative approach to global problem-solving....and the crucial role of education in helping us get there.

    Main 7 points of his presentation:

    1. A 1000 year perspective on what we are going through: spoken (mid-evil times), printed industrial revolution), digital (current day). The time we live in now (digital) is a period of Hyper-change where change is growing at an unmanageable rate. This is also referred to as "Hyper-Complexity". The period is so complex because of population increase and the new economy. Two big forces are producing this explosion in change and complexity and are testing the limits of our planet. This is creating a large gap between these forces and human institutions and mindsets.
    2. Global problems are left unresolved - these are problems that are too large for one nation to solve on its own. Ex: climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, water shortage, poverty, global financial stability, biotechnology research.
    3. We only have 20 years to act because of the global credit crisis, the ageing time bomb, convention oil depletion, ecological footprint, dangerous climate change.
    4. Sharing our Planet, Sharing our Humanity, Sharing our Humanity, Sharing our Footprint
    5. Traditional solutions or mechanisms are not working: treaties and conventions are too slow, Big UN summits are too off and on and confusing, G8, G-20 type groupings are too reactive and super ficial and some 45 international organizations cannot handle global problems alone.
    6. Global issues network as a solution: Proposed his plan for how this agency would work.
    7. Vertical and horizontal: a new interplay between legitimacy. - There is an urgent need for getting  a critical mass ready to deal with these major world problem.
    The keynote was disappointing. It did nothing a keynote was suppose to do. The speaker only depressed us with the world ending in 20 years and making fun of government. His slides were only words and hard to read in a huge theater. There was no energy or inspiration that came out of this speech. The audience was too polite (for the most part) not to leave and many had trouble staying awake. I was excited at first that the keynote speaker was from France (being someone who teaches in French), but I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up so high I guess. The only time the audience laughed was when the speaker made light of the role of bureaucrats and their inability to create change quickly. His message about the need for the world to address important issues and involving our students in the solving of these problems was lost in a mess of words and arrows in his Power Point presentation.

    The very end was a bit redeeming as he spoke briefly about his 20 for 20 project with students from around the world. This is something that I would have loved to hear more about instead of it being an add on at the end of a rather dull keynote. I think that the Student News Action Ning is something I will visit for sure.

    Finally, at the end of the keynote, his conclusion threw the challenge out to those who work in education to get young people the tools and knowledge required to deal with these problems.

    First Impressions of ISTE 2010

    Out and about at ISTE 2010

    It has been an exciting few days at ISTE this year. We are in the beautiful city of Denver, Colorado in a huge convention center. You know the place is huge when they have shuttles to drive you from one side to the other when trying to make it to your sessions!

    My schedule is jammed packed with lots of exciting opportunities to learn, share and be inspired this week. I'm most looking forward to meeting people from my PLN on Twitter that I talk to and learn from throughout the year. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet up with people from around the world and to share our different perspectives on education. It is great to be surrounded by so many inspiring, like-minded people who share a passion for teaching and using technology to inspire and motivate their students to learn. I look forward to the dialogue and the sharing that will take place throughout the next few days. I know that the dialogue we will be engaging in this week will continue long after ISTE is done for another year, facilitated through my PLN on Twitter. Have a great conference everyone!

    Saturday, June 26, 2010

    On the road to Denver & ISTE 2010... with an iPad.

    As of Friday, school's finally out for the summer. Less than 24 hours after bidding adieu to my wonderful students, my husband and I hit the road to Denver early Saturday morning. With approximately 14 hour of driving time ahead of us, I of course had to figure out how to keep myself busy.

    I received my iPad last week and thought I would write a post about the many ways I used it during our road trip. I can tell already I'm a bit limited in what I can do as I didn't go for the 3G iPad so I had to settle for the apps and functions that work without the Internet while in the car. I did use the iPad when I had access to Wifi during our pit-stops.

    We have a Magellan GPS that we refer to as "Maggie" who was faithfully guiding us on our trip. The GPS was great for guiding on our route but was limited in what we could look at a big map of our trip. My husband thought that we should stop and buy a Road Atlas, but I stopped him when I showed him that the map feature on my iPad showed us all the roads we needed to follow for our trip. (iPad Use #1) The bright screen was also helpful tonight looking for our hotel in Cheyenne, WY as usually you would have to put on the map light to look at a map, but I didn't have to.

    After ensuring we were on the right route, I used my iPad to access my iTunes library and enjoyed some tunes. (iPad Use #2)

    While listening to my tunes, I wrote some notes in Evernote (iPad Use #3), caught up on my Google Reader/Mobile RSS (iPad Use #4) using my instapaper app because it works offline, and started writing this blog post using Pages (iPad Use #5) since I didn't have access to the Internet.

    My husband still wanted to drive, so I decided to watch a movie on my iPad. (iPad Use #6) Later, I read some of my books using the Kindle app (iPad Use #7) although I later switched back to my Kindle as I find the screen easier to read for extended periods of time. I do like taking notes better on the iPad using the Kindle app.

    I'm currently trying to study to take my GRE in the fall to be able to go to Grad School in 2011, so I had installed a few apps for that. (iPad Use #8) I entertained my husband by asking him logic questions and vocabulary words.

    When it came time to think about a hotel for the night, I used the wifi in the restaurant (where we were eating supper) to access Kayak (using their app) and shortlisted a few hotels. (iPad Use #9)

    Finally, needing something mindless to do, I played a couple of games (iPad Use #10) and checked out the Glee app (iPad Use #11). That one was fun to use as you can record yourself singing a song in your iTunes library and then it fixes your voice for you and adds in the extras (back-up singers, etc). This one was a lot of fun.

    My thoughts so far on the iPad is that it is a fun tool that kept me busy on our trip. I'm sure I could have survived without it, and used some of the other tools I had with me (netbook, ipod, Blackberry, etc) in its place, but it was nice to have an all-in-one type tool to keep me occupied during our long trip. I know that I'm only beginning to discover its many potential uses.

    So there you have it. My first road trip experience with a WiFi iPad. I'm so excited that we will be arriving in Denver at ISTE 2010 on Sunday morning. Looking forward to the learning, networking and everything in between. Stayed tuned for more from my ISTE experience

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Digital Footprints

    Thanks to my PLN on Twitter, I received a tweet with a link to a video that a number of people in my network were watching tonight. When I followed the link, I found a very informative presentation made by Alvin Trusty at the Ohio Ed Tech Conference earlier this year entitled, "Developping a Digital Footprint". Thank you for sharing your presenation online, Prof. Trusty!

    Alvin's explination about how to protect your name and reputation by posting good, professional content online is very well done and I think it is an important presentation for everyone to watch. Even if you are not an educator, I think you should watch it as it provides many useful tips and insights into the digital footprint you may or may not be leaving. The presentation runs for almost an hour, but it is an hour well spent!

    Link to material in his presentation:

    After watching this presentation, I think I will have to check out some of his others. Happy viewing!

    Web 2.0 Never Forgets - Developing a Professional Digital Footprint from Alvin Trusty on Vimeo.

    Sunday, May 9, 2010


    Another activity I would like to explore with my class next year is Geocaching. I like this simple introductory video to explain the basics. from 1/29 Films on Vimeo.

    Star Wars Stop Motion Story using LEGO

    I can totally see some of my students wanting to work on a film like this. Maybe a tech club project for next year?

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    SSLA Conference: Inquiry Tools Smackdown

    Presented by Donna Desroches and Carlene Walters
    Presentation wiki:

    Tools for Inquiry:

    1. Blogs and Wikis: It is very important for students to have a blog or a wiki to share their work. Setting these up at the start, provide students the opportunity to post and keep track of their work. It becomes a management tool that students have access to right at the start.
    2. Social Bookmarking: Delicious
    3. Citation: Create your own bibliographies and then copy and paste it into research papers.
    4. Net Vibes: Personal Learning Environment (PLE) - have your students make their own environment to start from instead of providing that yourself.
    5. Newscred: RSS News feed - personalizing streaming presented in the context of creating your own newspaper.

    1. Visualization & Clustering
    2.  Tracking Your Thinking
    • Evernote - Save your ideas, things you see, and things you like. Then find them all on any computer or device you use. For free.
    • WallWisher – An online notice board. It invites social negotiation of thought as students can post questions and contribute to other queries
    • Wallwisher Tool in Science Classes
    3.  Learning from Others
     Investigating and Collaborating:
    Finding Information
    1. Using the social media tools in the online databases

      Gale Widgets
      - embed in your school library Web page
    2. Wolfram Alpha for Educators> using WA in math
      example using socio-economic data
    3. Search engines> Sweet Search -
      Sweet Search for teacher-librarians
    4. GoogleForms - my favourite - so easy to create surveys
    5. Search in Twitter/Delicious/Diigo
    6. InstaPaper -Collect Web pages to bookmark or readlater.. When you find something you want to read, but you don't have time, click Read Later
    7. Readability - A simple tool that makes reading on the Web easier and less distracting by removing the clutter around the text.


    Mindmapping Tools 

    Concept maps are useful tools for helping students organize information about important topics by showing relationships between concepts and standards.

    Graphing Tools

    Highlighting Tools


    Screen Capture Tools

    Document The Process

    • googledocs
    • blog
    • wiki

    Observe and Participate