Archive for the ‘necc2007’ Category

Differentiating Instruction with Mobile Technology

Monday, July 2nd, 2007


At NECC last week, I presented a session called “Using Mobile Technology to Differentiate and Enrich Instruction.” The ISTE folks had wanted to podcast the session, but I wasn’t crazy about the legal agreement they were using. (It wasn’t Creative Commons and gave pretty extensive rights to Apple.)

So….I created my own digital version of this session for folks to download:

Video version (streaming, for viewing in a browser; loads faster, but lower quality)

If anyone is interested in a higher resolution version to share with folks who weren’t able to attend, email me, and I’ll try to send you a CD.

For those who are interested, I audio recorded this with a very inexpensive Olympus WS-100 pocket recorder. I edited the audio in Audacity and brought it all into Windows Movie Maker for editing. The visuals included exported jpgs from my presentation slides and screen-capture videos made with Camstudio. I used HandShare to create the Palm movies (which is the same software I used to present). Creating the whole thing took about 4 hours.

It was a lot of fun making this and was a good way to reflect on my own style of presenting (and hopefully refine it for upcoming events).

I hope this is a useful resource for you all.

NECC-Closing thoughts

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Here are some of my big take-aways from NECC this year:

- There are a lot of new things going on, and they’re inspiring a lot of energy. (And I haven’t always felt this way at past conferences.)
- Web 2.0 is the being used by a lot of people in some very creative ways.
- Intelligent tagging is critical to making net-based content usable.
- Open Source, Creative Commons, and other “copyleft” licenses are catching on.
- Information literacy is an increasingly critical skill that should be a core part of school’s instructional mission.
- The goals, methods, and tools of education need to change to reflect the changing world.
- Change is happening fast and getting faster.

See you all next year in San Antonio!

NECC session-Classrooms and Libraries for the Net Gen

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

I went to a session at NECC by Doug Johnson called “Classrooms and Libraries for the Net Gen” that I really enjoyed. I read Doug’s blog, but had never seen him speak before. He is a great presenter.

The session focused on various characteristics of the Net Gen and the consequences of those for schools. Here are some observations I took away from the session:

– Doug reeled off a long list of statistics of how the Net Gen is different from boomers or even Gen X. This made me feel old, but also to be happy to be living in a time of so much excitement, energy, and positive change.

– Students in the Net Gen WANT TO LEARN. They just may want to learn different content and with different methods than schools traditionally offer.

– It was suggested that the Dewey Decimal system is losing relevance. (This inspired defensive indignation in the crowd of mostly library media specialists in the audience.) Doug talked about user/student-generated tags as a more relevant system of organization. This is definitely a trend at NECC this year. Are organizations beginning to tag analog content like library books?

– Like others here, Doug encouraged us to be more flexible in allowing students to bring electronic devices, like iPods, handhelds, and even cell phones, to school. Again this is a theme here this year. Doug suggested including students on school and district planning committees to help administration understand the new paradigms of learning of this generation.

– On the subject of filtering, Doug says, “Safety comes from education, not blocking.” Doug’s site and handouts give some thoughtful ideas for how his district is handling these issues.

Physical place is important. Schools need to be more comfortable and even fun environments. It strikes me that this could be done for little or no cost. I was at a university earlier this week that has done a lot of things like adding nicer student spaces, etc. while simultaneously generating revenue for the school. An associate dean there pointed out to me a Starbucks in the library and said that, while students love it, the librarians were not so happy with it.

Librarians have a central role to play in information literacy and learning in the future.

See his web page for more thought-provoking details.

Edubloggercon – Classroom 2.0 session

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Some quick thoughts from a session on Classroom 2.0 …

– With wikis, some people are hesitant to add because they think they might be “wrong.”

School 2.o was too radical of an idea for many. [My note: I started out there for just that reason; I was looking for a group with some ideas that were “out there.” It was a little lonely though. I moved over to Classroom 2.0, but sometimes find that much of the discussion there is not really 2.0-related.]

– There may be a need for a more database-type approach for creating/storing/accessing 2.0 curriculum resources that’s more structured than a wiki.

* There needs to be a set of tags that identify educational grade level, content area, and even national standards correlation. [My note: This is a really big idea, I think. There are so many great resources out there, but there needs to be consistent tags so they can be accessed easier.]

– There was a discussion of issues related to blocking of Google video, YouTube, etc. If more people licensed content under Creative Commons though, this content could be “harvested” off of these sites and put on other more “education-friendly” sites.

– Relevant links: Classroom 2.0 ning, School 2.0 ning, Classroom 2.0 wiki, Creative Commons licensing

Edubloggercon – video session

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Some quick thoughts from a session on using video….

- We need research data on the effectiveness of video, so if you have any, please post and share. A lot of us have good anecdotal and qualitative data, but we need more quantitative data.
-Instead of teacher ed programs focusing on classroom video of best practices (which has its merit), how about having teacher’s create videos with the key points of their lessons for students to watch? This has the benefits of getting teachers to really think through what the salient points of a lesson are as well as having the side benefits of creating tons of great content. (Make sure to post to your end work so we can all use it.)
- If possible, license your educational video under Creative Commons so that we all can share.
- Check out Next Vista for Learning
- Check out Kevin Honeycutt’s video podcast

Internet blocking – help me understand

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007


I’ve been thinking about Internet filtering and blocking in schools, trying to puzzle through the shades of gray and understand how current policies in this area can seem like a good idea to anyone.

I understand that filtering is mandated by law. At one extreme, most people can probably agree that blocking access to pornographic sites is a good idea. At the other extreme, we can (hopefully) all agree that blocking access to all Internet is a bad idea.

In between there are a lot of gray areas. Here are some questions that I think are worth some thought and discussion:

– Who should make the decisions about what is blocked? The federal government, the state, districts, schools, or individual parents?
– Are there any filtering systems that kids can’t get around?
– Should general tools (blogging sites, wikis, video sharing sites, nings, etc.) be blocked across the board, even though they may host some sites that are potentially objectionable?
– If we start blocking tools like this, doesn’t that logically lead to blocking most or all Internet sites? (How about paper and pencils? These too are tools that can be used to create objectionable content.)
– Can technology be used more intelligently to filter?
– What treasures are we depriving students of by blocking sites that don’t even have objectionable content? (Is this a technological challenge or a human decision?)
– Where are the respective borders of responsibility and censorship?
– What message are we sending students with our filtering policies?

I’m really trying to see both sides of this issue, but I guess my bias is showing. Please comment on this post. I’m especially interesting is heaving from anyone who could explain any possible rationale for blocking things like Blogger statewide. (Of course, if you live in one of those states, I guess you won’t be able to post a comment anyway. Sigh…)

Free audio resources you can use

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

The next episode of Karen’s Mashups is up, and this is my favorite show so far! In it, I highlight a variety of sources for copyleft” audio content that can be used free of charge in your own podcasts, movies, PowerPoint presentations, etc. The post includes links for all the sources used plus more.

The next show will feature similar copyleft visual content (photos, clip art, videos). I’m also presenting a session called “Using Mobile Technology to Differentiate and Enrich Instruction” at NECC. This presentation will include how to create and use this kind of content. If you’re at NECC, stop by and say hi!