Archive for September, 2008

Links for 09/29/2008

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Bloggers Discount for ILC 2008

Friday, September 26th, 2008

I just received an email from the ILC staff offering edubloggers the opportunity to extend a discount to their readers. Here’s the text of the offer:

The Innovative Learning Conference (ILC) 2008, will be held October 14-16 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif., and is devoted to sharing innovative educational strategies for advancing K-12 student achievement.

Registration is taking place NOW, with an early-bird discount available through Oct. 6. In addition, readers of this blog can get an extra discount of $40 by registering online by Oct. 6 at and typing in the promotional code ORG40.

This conference is a “must-attend” professional development opportunity, offering educators, administrators and technology leaders a chance to experience first-hand the latest innovations in classroom technology. More than 150 concurrent sessions and over 60 workshops will provide thought-provoking strategies, applications and practices. ILC 2008 will also feature an expansive exhibit hall where attendees can view the latest products and services from some of the nation’s leading technology companies, with more than 100 top solution providers in attendance.

For more information on the conference, please visit

If you attend the conference, be sure to also drop in on the edublogger meetup at 7 pm on Wednesday evening at the Gordon Biersch:

NOTE: ILC is produced in partnership between CUE and FETC.

Links for 09/23/2008

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Leadership 3.0 Conference: Call for Proposals

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

CUE, ACSA, and Tical are partnering for the second year in a row to put together a premier educational technology conference – designed exclusively for administrators. The call for submissions is now open (but only until October 1st). So if you are an administrator who is implementing or supporting educational technology at your site, consider sharing your successes and solutions with your colleagues at this elite event. Here’s the official announcement from CUE:

The second annual Leadership 3.0 Symposium will take place April 2–4, 2009 in San Diego’s beautiful Mission Valley.  This is the premier technology leadership event for administrators, by administrators, and we encourage the administrators among you to consider submitting a proposal to present a 75 minute breakout session. If you’re not an administrator, encourage one of the visionary administrators you know to present!

Visit the Leadership 3.0 web site for full details. Important: October 1 is the proposal deadline, so don’t delay!


Mike Lawrence
Executive Director, CUE

The Leadership 3.0 Symposium is a
collaboration of ACSA, CUE, and TICAL.
Visit for more info!

Leave a comment if you’re planning to attend, if you have any questions about the event, or if you have testimonials from last year to share. I hope to see some of you in San Diego!

Links for 09/21/2008

Sunday, September 21st, 2008
  • PodPiper’s Digital Education » Blog Archive » Copyright-friendly Digital Images and Media Ted Lai helps us find images online that students and teachers have permission to use in their projects. tags: images
  • Walden – Commencement I’m thinking about doing this in January. The end of my Ph.D. program was a bit anti-climactic. I added my credentials to my bio and cards etc, but there was no party, no vacation, no new hobby – with Clark now I don’t think I’ll be taking up race car driving after all… but we’ll see… I did just buy my first set of golf clubs ever, though. :) tags: walden, andlife
  • News from The Associated Press While “not every kid is a gamer” becomes less and less true, “not every gamer likes the same games” becomes more and more true. Both were themes in the literature when I was researching for my dissertation. tags: gamesined
  • Addict-o-matic This site looks very cool (and has some features of a product I’ve started moving forward with – I’ll have to adjust). This links to a sample search using “Google Teacher Academy.” Addict-o-matic brings back and displays results from various other services. It’s a somewhat more visual (and customizable) meta search engine I guess. tags: search
  • spartaconnections » home Here’s the wiki for the course mentioned in the previous link, again sent to me by GCT Erica Hartman. tags: socialsoftware
  • Connections 6th Grade GCT Erica Hartman mentioned this out-of-the-box course, so I asked if she had any links she could send me. This document was one: “Connections is a unique and ground breaking class that is a hybrid of writing across the curriculum, critical thinking and analysis, research, technology, communications, problem solving, and current events.” tags: socialsoftware
  • Barack Obama | Change We Need | Watch Barack’s Speech on Education If you haven’t seen it (and want to), here’s a 35 minute speech from Barack Obama on his education policy. I’ve reviewed it in this blog before – and may post a review of this video later. tags: politics, obama, education
  • The Thinking Stick | NSDC and conversations Jeff responded to a comment from me and let me know that this post was links to the origin of the 25% PD figure. I’ll want to cite this in the future, probably for my “Maybe You Should Drive: Taking Control of Your Own Professional Development” session at CUE if not sooner. tags: professionaldevelopment, pd
  • The Thinking Stick | My 25% PD I was wanting to site Jeff Utecht’s old “25% PD” philosophy and my initial search turned up this representative post. tags: professionaldevelopment, pd
  • Video for Education Edition – Google Apps for Administrators If you haven’t seen this yet… it’s great that Google is adding this service to Google Apps, and it’s great that it will be free for education (for a while), but this $10 per user gets ugly really fast in schools. I remember turning down services that wanted $1 per user as too expensive: “Google Video for education will be free to Education Edition customers until March 8th 2009. After March 8th, 2009, the cost of the video service will be $10 per user per year.” tags: video

Google Teacher Academy: NYC

Friday, September 19th, 2008

The next Google Teacher Academy (GTA) has been announced! I’ve said this before, but I’m thrilled to be involved with this project – and to share it with you here on this blog. As with all previous GTA events, tech savvy educators and professional developers in the local area can apply to participate in the special full-day workshop. And as with the last two events, the application process is also open to anyone, including educators out of the area, out of the state, or even out of the country (with the understanding that Google doesn’t cover travel or lodging). In other words, any of you who feel you meet the criteria for application are invited to apply!

Below is the official announcement and invitation to apply:

Google Teacher Academy – NYC
New York, New York
November 18, 2008
Applications Due: October 10, 2008

We are pleased to announce that another round of Google’s FREE training program for K-12 educators is coming to The Big Apple! Outstanding educators from around the world are encouraged to apply for the Google Teacher Academy taking place on Tuesday November 18, 2008.

The GTA is an intensive, one-day event (8:30am-7:30pm) where participants get hands-on experience with Google’s free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, collaborate with exceptional educators, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, GTA participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other K-12 educators in their local region.

50 outstanding educators from around the world will be selected to attend the GTA based on their passion for teaching, their experience as leaders, and their use of technology in K-12 settings. Each applicant is REQUIRED to produce and submit an original one-minute video on either of the following topics: “Motivation and Learning” or “Classroom Innovation.” Applications for the event in New York City are due on October 10, 2008. If possible, please use Google Video or YouTube to post these original videos. Participants must provide their own travel, and if necessary, their own lodging. Though we will give preference to K-12 educators within a 90-minute local commute of an Academy event, anyone may apply.

Learn more about the program and the application at

The GTAs have been a wonderful experience for everyone involved, with 97% of all attendees rating the GTA as “outstanding.”

Here are a few quotes from GTA participants:

“The academy was everything I hoped for and more! I can’t wait to plan out ways to use the tools we learned about, to share my experiences with my colleagues and to re-connect with the other academy participants!”
“The focus on innovation in education, and not just about the tools, was right on target.”
“I appreciate the opportunity to be connected to a group of educators that are passionate about preparing students for the 21st century. I feel inspired and able to meet the challenges that lie ahead!”
“Until now, I had never attended a conference where I was so engaged and loving every minute of it.”
“This was easily the most important professional development experience I have ever had as an educator. World-class tools demonstrated by world-class people at a world-class facility. THANK YOU!”
“I love [the Google Certified Teacher community] for the ideas and inspiration that comes flowing to and from it…folks share professional development strategies (technology or otherwise) that have worked. It’s nice to have a variety of ways to assist others and having that variety also provides spice for those of us responsible for doing the providing.”

Feel free to send any questions to “”, and please spread the word to anyone who may be interested in joining us.

We’re looking forward to another great event!

– The GTA Team

Google Teacher Academy – NYC
New York, New York
November 18, 2008
Applications Due: October 10, 2008

I hope to see some of you in New York! Also, we hope to be announcing additional events and additional locations in 2009, so stay tuned.

Links for 09/06/2008

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

Learning to Network & Networking to Learn

Friday, September 5th, 2008

As part of my role as educational technology coordinator for the California League of High Schools I was asked to write an article for High School Educator, a magazine which goes out to every public high school in California. This is a chance to reach outside the echo-chamber of educational technology, so I was particularly excited about writing it. I’m also relatively happy about how it came out. I look forward to any comments or feedback you might leave.

When I was a high school English teacher, I was lucky enough to work in a relatively collaborative environment. The English department had a lounge where we met at break and lunch each day. We shared our questions, frustrations, and solutions… and plenty of funny or heartwarming stories. At the time, the people in that room were the core of my personal learning network.

As great as that was, our learning was restricted to the views of a few colleagues at one particular school. Many other teachers aren’t even so lucky. They may be the only person teaching their subject at the site – or they may feel isolated for a variety of other common reasons. You may be lucky enough to have a core group of people you learn from at your site, or you may be one of the many who feel more isolated than connected. In either case, there are now exciting new ways to take charge of your own professional development and build your own personal learning network using online tools.

Many educators are now exploring revolutionary new online tools with their students: blogs, wikis, podcasts, and more – including new social tools like Ning and Twitter. Some or all of these may be unfamiliar to you, and the unending cycle of new tools can be daunting to many teachers. Fortunately, it’s not necessary to master every specific tool. Instead, it is more important for educators to know how to build an online personal learning network, regardless of the tool. Whatever the medium, participation in a personal learning network requires four critical behaviors.

Chief among these is the need to make connections. This isn’t accomplished by asking others to read, listen to, or view the things you post. This is accomplished by reading, listening to, and viewing what others post. If you read an interesting blog post or listen to an enlightening podcast, leave a comment. If someone else makes a keen observation or asks an important question, respond. Others then have an opportunity to discover you as a like-minded person, whose own work might be interesting to them.

Your responses to others can also help you meet the need to make contributions. Any community is only as strong as the contributions made by its members. Just as you might benefit from posts made by others who teach the same subject or grade that you do, they might also benefit from your experience. If you’ve come across a challenge in your classroom or at your school, chances are many others are dealing with the same issue; if you have a solution, share it. If you have a great lesson, a great project, or a great rubric, post it for others. Your unique experience in the specific context in which you work is valuable – and on a global scale it’s potential valuable to a great many others.

Over time, these interactions will help you build relationships with fellow educators around the world, enabling you to make conversations. I’ve been lucky enough to discover like-minded educators in Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Shanghai, Qatar, and elsewhere around the world. I now consider many of these people colleagues and friends. Some of our connections are no longer work related, as we share things about our lives, our families, and our hobbies. Just as you can build friendships through conversations with those who happen to work on your campus, so you can build relationships with others (who may have much more in common with you) around the world.

As a contributing member of a community of colleagues and friends, you and your questions are likely to be well received when you make requests. The best way to learn something new is to ask others who might know more about it. I often find my network of fellow learners to be the quickest way to receive an answer I need – and the richest source of meaningful feedback on new ideas or projects I’m working on. I make every effort to share the materials I develop and the solutions I discover, and in return I find the community I share with fantastically receptive to my own calls for help.

You don’t need to be a tech guru or even a techie teacher to get started building your own online personal learning network. You might start by reading (and commenting) on others’ blogs. Then create your own blog when you feel you’re ready for a place to share your own thoughts. A blog is merely an easily created, easily updated website, so anyone can do it. If you can email, you can blog!

Or, you might join the Classroom 2.0 social network, which is 10,000 educators strong, meaning there is always great new content – and no pressure for any particular member to be responsible for it. It’s likeMySpace, Facebook, or LinkedIn, but for teachers who want to improve education in the 21st century. Teachers just like you.

Alternatively, you might try Twitter, a popular “social microblogging” service that allows users to post short messages and to “follow” the messages of others. Start by following someone you respect, and then explore the people they follow. If you see someone new posting links and questions that are relevant to you, considering following them as well. Twitter is an easy and efficient way to connect and share with others.

Of course, you may be more drawn to the collaborative nature of wikis, the auditory power of podcasts, or any number of newer tools, including video chat or streaming video – or older tools, like email listservs or online discussion boards. But whatever medium you choose, building a personal learning network will still require making connections, making contributions, making conversations, and making requests. Practicing these four things can be a rewarding part of controlling your own professional development.

Get Started:

More Ways to Network:

To learn more about “Learning to Network and Networking to Learn” in a high-energy face-to-face environment, come to the CLHS and CUE Technology Conference in Monterey, California on December 4, 5, and 6, 2008.

To inquire about related professional development opportunities provided by CLHS for your staff at your site, contact CLHS staff or contact Dr. Wagner directly.