Archive for July, 2007

Blogging With CLMS/CLHS in Indian Wells

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

It’s a 111 degrees outside, but we’re in here learning about blogs and the read/write web. I’m asking these three familiar questions:

1. What is a blog? Public email? A web page? Postings and responses. two-way communication. one-to-many. public journal by an author who wants to share what he knows. discussions.

2. What is the read/write web? you can read & write, is a blog a read/write web?

3. What do these technologies mean for you and your students? You can extend dialog after class and beyond the classroom… even kids who won’t talk in class might participate… students taking charge of their own learning… did you see today’s USA Today?

We’ve got a wide variety of starting points in the room, and we’re off…

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the workshop:

Link: Online Predator Paranoia

Friday, July 27th, 2007

MySpace Banning Sex Offenders: Online Predator Paranoia at Climb to the Stars (Stephanie Booth) (Via a tweet from iJohnPederson.) I think John Pederson tweeted this for other reasons (the flaws in Megan’s Law I think), but I found these statistics particularly relevant to the message we are trying to get across to educators and parents in our Internet Awareness and Safety presentations.

David Finkelhor, in panel Just The Facts About Online Youth Victimization: Researchers Present the Facts and Debunk Myths, May 2007

Let me summarize the important facts and figures from this excerpt and the next few pages. The numbers are based on a sample of law enforcement cases which Finkelhor et al. performed research upon:

  • most victims of “online predators” are teenagers, not young children
  • only 5% of cases involved violence
  • only 3% involved abduction
  • deception does not seem to be a major factor
  • 5% of offenders concealed the fact they were adults from their victimes
  • 80% of offenders were quite explicit about their sexual intentions
  • these crimes are “criminal seductions”, sexual relationships between teenagers and older adults
  • 73% of cases include multiple sexual encounters
  • in half the cases, victims are described as being in love with the offender or feeling close friendship
  • in a quarter of the cases, victims had actually ran away from home to be with the person they met online
  • only 7% of arrests for statutory rape in 2000 were internet-initiated

These statistics go a long way toward providing a balanced and nuanced view of what the real dangers are online, especially as opposed to older and potentially misleading studies such as the much quoted youth internet safety survey (the source of the 1 in 5 students are solicited for sex online statistic). The reality is that the students most at risk are those who are naive, low in self esteem, and susceptible to “grooming” (when predators build trust by acting in flattering and sympathetic ways). The issues are of course more complicated than that, but these are eye-opening statistics I wanted to capture and share here.

Internet Awareness Screenplay

Friday, July 27th, 2007

I just finished a draft of a screenplay for a video version of the Internet Awareness and Safety presentation I’ve been doing for the Laguna Beach Unified School District and the Orange County Department of Education. I wrote it based on the PowerPoint Slides (available on the wiki), the video of my presentation in Atlanta (available from here), and an article I wrote for Gifted Education Communicator last year. I’m sharing the script here in case anyone is interested in the perspective we’ve been sharing – and because I’m looking for feedback at this stage.

Internet Awareness Screenplay (83 KB Word Doc)

I just sent this draft to Victor Guthrie, IT director at Laguna Beach USD, who will be appearing with me in the video. The following is an excerpt from that email:

I pretty much just wrote the copy straight through – and then I divided the whole thing up into lines for me and for you.. with no thought given to who was saying what except when we introduce ourselves. So, it is pretty much one voice throughout. We can of course edit it before filming – and edit it on the fly – if there is anything you are uncomfortable saying or want to add, or if you’d like to swap lines anywhere or have me say more of it. The producer will be editing it, and I expect the OCDE will request some edits too. Also, the biggest weakness of the script right now is that it doesn’t include a lot of specific details or statistics. The benefit is that it’s much shorter than it might’ve been and yet still covers all the main points. We can of course add more if we like. Let me know what you think.

I am of course also nervous about being looked to as an expert when it comes to the safety of children, but I think the education-focused perspective we are advocating is an important one – in contrast to the efforts of some organizations which can come off as more fear-based. I’d be interested in your feedback.

Link: First Year Teachers (and Web 2.0)

Friday, July 27th, 2007

First Year Teachers (Via 2 Cents Worth.) There is an interesting discussion brewing in the comments of David Warlick’s latest post. I weighed in.

There may be more to come soon on this site… since I sense impending procrastination on the script I’m currently writing for an Internet Awareness and Safety video.

Blogging in Redondo Beach

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

This week I’m back on the workshop trail… I’ve got more to say about my Tuesday in Orange Unified, but today I’m in Redondo Beach. I’m asking participants these three familiar questions (participant responses are in italics):

1. What is a blog? Something like a web site… but it’s interactive, so you can get information from other people – and respond to them… it’s a two way street. On the news they talk about blogs… for information. Others don’t know.

2. What is the read/write web? Is it like MySpace where kids and grown ups go and share information? And some shaking of heads.

3. What do these technologies mean for you and your students? For second grade, students might not do much… but communication with parents about homework etc would be good… maybe the kids could do something to communicate with their parents, too… and they’re still thinking…

It’s a small group again, so we’ll get a lot done, but we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. We’re off

I’m Presenting in Maui!

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

I’m with secondary teachers (mostly) in Maui learning about differentiated instruction. I’m asking these three familiar questions (participant responses are in italics):

1. What is a blog? A comment on daily activity – opinions about anything – web based interactive journal.

2. What is the read/write web? IT’S INTERACTIVE – reading and writing. How is it different from a blog?

3. What do these things mean for you and your students? Information is shared quickly… they have authentic audience. More time to think about responses. more likely to get responses. they are more confident.

Now on to the presentation:

NECC Live, Webcast Sessions, and Podcasts

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Thanks to a heads up from Joyce Valenza’s post NECC: If you missed the thrill of being there, I realized that the webcast and podcast sessions from NECC 2007 are now available online. Here are the links to the various (not exactly easy to locate) repositories for each format:

And so the conference goes on… we can be absorbing additional sessions for months. In any case, if I missed anything please leave additional links in the comments – particularly if you have any podcasts of your own up (from NECC or the edubloggercon).

Link: Why Game

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Why Game (Via EDITing in the Dark.) Raj also brings us this reflection on video games in education, based on a keynote address by “Chris Melissinos – Sun Microsystems’ CTO of Web 2.0 and Chief Gaming Officer”:

These games, though based on models of commercial games like Command & Conquer and GTA, that are for the most part playable as a single player really gain their value as they encourage people to talk about their individual experiences after playing – like book clubs of old. But unlike books that have a linear presentation model, games are lateral or even non linear and this can often get people quickly into the mode of exploring and then talking about their explorations as one can find out that something is going to happen, but the spoiler may not be that it’s going to happen, but rather the method that you arrive there and the feeling that you had to get there through some measure of your own ability provides quite the reward. This exploration can allow people to learn faster and earlier than they would have using traditional methods.

Link: Podcasting White paper

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Podcasting White paper (Via EDITing in the Dark.) Raj points us to this podcasting white paper from educause. After a quick skim, it looks like good stuff… at least for testing and refining your own thoughts about podcasts in education. I’m not sure this will break new ground for people who already get it, and I’m not sure it is an appealing introduction for those that don’t, but if you’ll be teaching others about podcasting (or you are independently curious about it) then it might be worth the read.

What am I doing?

Friday, July 6th, 2007

Between catching up from NECC, preparing to be gone for another conference next week (followed by vacation), taking on a new (volunteer) project, keeping up with my long-term work, and starting in on Chapter three of my dissertation, I haven’t wound up posting anything new here on this blog. (By Monday I hope to have chapter three up.) I have, though, had an active online presence this week. I’ve been posting updates to twitter, and following a host of colleagues there. Please check it out if you’re interested:

I suspect I have another blog post about twitter coming up… it’s a strangely engaging communication “tool” and others are already starting to write a great deal about how it might be useful in education – to say nothing of it’s social significance. Here’s a few sample (in no particular order, though I tried for chronological):

Idea: TwitterStory where everyone contributes… (Via theory.isthereason.)

Twitter in the Classroom? (Via 2 Cents Worth.)

Twitter Me This: Brainstorming Potential Educational Uses for Twitter (Via

Twitter: Ephemeral Learning Tool (Via A Difference.)

I Feel Like a Twit Part II (Via The Four Eyed Technologist.)

TwitterLit is genius » Slacker Manager (Via A Teacher’s Life.) can now handle wav files (Via Scripting News.)

A new journalism tool? Twitter? (Via Scobleizer – Microsoft Geek Blogger.)

I think I missed a few good posts on twitter in education I’ve seen recently, so if you know of any, please post them in the comments. Meanwhile, I still need to get my own mind around this and see what comes out as I process it.