Archive for May, 2009

Social, Global, and Green: Education in A Changing World

Friday, May 29th, 2009

I’m looking ahead to the CLMS/CLHS Tech conference in San Diego December 4-6. Once again I’m helping to recruit potential speakers. I’m hoping that some of you (particularly those of you in Southern California) might be interested in answering the call for submissions… and I hope that the working theme for the conference might inspire you as well:

Social, Global, and Green: Education in A Changing World

Societies around the globe are experiencing a time of rapid change. Educators, parents, and politicians are realizing that a new sort of tools – and a new sort of ethics – will be required for the next generation of students to be successful in the face of these new challenges.

Join K-12 teachers, administrators, and technology leaders to explore how social media can be used to effect positive social change. Discover how students too can use powerful (and often free) tools to make a real difference in their world. Expert presenters and exhibitors will share ways in which they’ve collaborated with colleagues, connected their classrooms to others around the world, and helped to bring green initiatives to their schools and communities. Learn to engage all students (including English learners, special education, and GATE students), by bringing new meaning and relevance to the work they do in class. These same technologies can also be used for innovative new forms of assessment and data collection – which can help schools meet the expectations of a society demanding greater accountability and greater transparency from public servants.

Will Richardson is lined up to keynote the event, and I hope many of you might be speaking there as well. If you’re interested in joining us, here’s a link to the call for presenters form:

Links for 2009-05-23

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009
  • All That Gore Gets in the Way of Gameplay | GameLife |
    And to round out the day's links… here's an article about some research that found (surprise, surprise) that graphic violence does not increase players enjoyment of a video game: "violence doesn’t contribute much to how well a game plays. What gamers most demand from a game, the researchers found, is awesome play mechanics. Their subjects liked it when a game gave them a sense of “autonomy” and “competence” — such as when the game had well-crafted controls, an environment that wasn’t frustrating and nicely balanced combat and puzzles." The author of the post asks some good questions about why so many games are so violent despite the results of this research.
    (tags: edugames)
    This also looks like an awesome step in the right direction from the new administration: "The purpose of is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Although the initial launch of provides a limited portion of the rich variety of Federal datasets presently available, we invite you to actively participate in shaping the future of by suggesting additional datasets and site enhancements to provide seamless access and use of your Federal data. Visit today with us, but come back often. With your help, will continue to grow and change in the weeks, months, and years ahead."
    (tags: opengov socialmedia data)
  • Open Government Initiative
    This is awesome… perhaps more for the coming change it represents than the actual implementation thus far, but awesome none the less. The federal government wants your participation: "Consistent with the President’s mandate, we want to be fully transparent in our work, participatory in soliciting your ideas and expertise, and collaborative in how we experiment together to use new tools and techniques for developing open government policy."
    (tags: opengov socialmedia)

Links for 2009-05-22

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Social, Global, & Green: The CLMS/CLHS & CUE Technology Conference in San Diego, Dec 4-6

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

The California League of Middle Schools (and High Schools) and CUE traditionally produce a joint technology conference in December each year. For the last several years this has been in Monterey, CA. This year, it will take place in San Diego on December 4th through 6th.

This year’s working theme is “Social, Global, and Green” (a focus I’m very excited about) and we hope to get educational technology submissions in each of these categories… so if you’re in the area (or willing to travel), please submit your projects that use social media and/or focus on social change. I know readers of this blog are doing many inspiring things with their students that fit this description and I hope that many of you will complete the call for presenters so you’ll have a chance to share with the teachers in attendance. Here’s a link to the form, which is now live:

I hope to see many of you at the event. :)

Google Workshop for Administrators

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

CUE runs a series of Google Workshops for Educators based on the Google Teacher Academy, and there has long been talk of a workshop focused specifically on school administrators. (There has also been talk of a day focused on systems administrators and IT directors, but that’s a different story.) In any case, the first Google Workshop for Administrators is now open for registration. We have the possibility of a second one further North in California and would love to see more of these offered for Administrators across the nation (if not elsewhere around the globe). Thanks to Bob Blackney and the Placentia – Yorba Linda School District for hosting this first event:

Google Workshop for Administrators at Placentia – Yorba Linda USD

Jul 8, 2009
8:30 AM to 3:30 PM (w/1 hour lunch break)
Placentia – Yorba Linda Unified School District
1301 Orangethorpe
Placentia, CA 92870

Search, learn, share! Brought to you by the producers of the Google Teacher Academy, the Google Workshop for Administrators (GWE) introduces participants to innovative ways Google tools can be used in school administration. A full day of fast-paced presentations and hands-on activities includes experience with advanced search techniques, collaborative web-based applications, and powerful professional development strategies. Google Certified Teachers share ways administrators can implement tools such as Google Search, Google Docs, Google Groups, and… even more. Many of these tools are ideal for extending a professional learning community online. Participants who complete the event are also given access to the Google Workshop for Educators Network, an online community focused on supporting educators as they learn more about the power of Google tools in education.

Cost: $250 (Including CUE Membership, a $40 value)

Lead Learner(s):
Mark Wagner, Ph.D.
Kyle Brumbaugh

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about this event – or if you’d like to host one in your own region.

Links for 2009-05-17

Sunday, May 17th, 2009
  • Dimdim
    Here's the webinar platform I may be using for CUE, CLMS, and Wikispaces this summer. It's particularly good for sharing the web – and demonstrating web 2.0 sites to participants. :) "Web conferencing that just works. Dimdim provides easy, open, affordable collaboration. Use for online meetings, eLearning, desktop sharing, training, distance education, unified collaboration, webinar, free web meetings and more."
    (tags: webinars)
  • GROU.PS :: connects obsessively!
    Here's a free and ad free alternative to Ning for creating your own social network. I only poked around but it looks easy and feature rich. And this is a bonus: "GROU.PS is free! You pay nothing. Plus, we don't force you to show your community our brand and/or our ads unless your storage needs exceed 3GB." Thanks to Kevin Jarret for sharing this on twitter.
    (tags: socialmedia socialnetworks free)

Links for 2009-05-13

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
  • edubloggercon – EduBloggerCon 2009
    The edubloggercon was a highlight of my year in 2007 and 2008. I hope you'll join us: "This is an international all-day "meetup" of educational bloggers and those using social media and collaborative technologies in education. All are welcome–whether you yourself blog, are just an educational blog reader, or even just want to hang out with an interesting group of people." Thanks to Steve Hargadon (as always) for organizing. NOTE: The “I’m Attending” page is now available, so sign up if you’re going. No need to sign up, though, and no need to register… and it’s FREE to boot. Just show up if you’re interested. But if you want anyone to know you’re coming, signing up is a nice way for us all to get excited. :)
    (tags: edubloggercon)
  • – DIY Blog Networks and Communities
    New from James Farmer, creator of… gives you not only your own blog, but your own instance of WordPress Multi-User, so you can create a whole blogging community for your school or other purposes. This is essentially the ability to create your own " is a site that allows you to setup your own WordPress based blog community or network – with the minimum of fuss. Set up blogs yourself or let users come to you."
    (tags: blogs edublogs wordpressMU)
  • – Cleaner air. Better health. United effort
    Here's another example of social media used for social change: "World Commute is a not-for-profit, free social-network website to encourage, promote and track the use of non-motorized transportation around the world."
    (tags: socialmedia socialchange)

Google Workshop for Educators in Iowa – Only $40

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Google is sponsoring a CUE produced Google Workshop for Educators in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The registration fee for this workshop is usually $250, but due to Google’s sponsorship, this event is FREE with CUE membership (which only costs $40 and includes other benefits). And unlike the Google Teacher Academy, there is no application required for this workshop – simply sign up online!

Search, learn, share! Brought to you by the producers of the Google Teacher Academy, a Google Workshop for Educators (GWE) introduces participants to innovative ways Google tools can be used in education. A full day of fast-paced presentations and hands-on activities includes experience with advanced search techniques, collaborative web-based applications, and inspirational instructional strategies. Google Certified Teachers share ways they’ve implemented tools such as Google Docs, Google Earth, Google Sites, and… even more. Participants who complete the event are given access to the Google Workshops for Educators Network (GWEN), an online community focused on supporting educators as they learn more about the power of Google to drive student learning. Sign up now!

I’ll be leading this workshop myself, so I hope to see some of you there. If you’re in the area – don’t pass this one up! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions. :)

Links for 2009-05-08

Friday, May 8th, 2009

The Google Teacher Academy @ Boulder, CO

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

I’m thrilled to share that in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day yesterday, Google announced the next Google Teacher Academy last night. I hope many of you will apply. Here are the details:

In support of National Teacher Day, we’d like to announce that applications are open for our next Google Teacher Academy, which will take place in our Boulder, Colorado office on Wednesday, August 5th. The Google Teacher Academy is a free professional development experience designed to help K-12 educators get the most from innovative technologies. Each academy is an intensive, one-day event where participants get hands-on experience with Google’s free products, which will help you bring communication, collaboration and fun into your classrooms. Teachers will also learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other K-12 educators in their local region. Applications are due Friday, July 3rd.

I’m doubly thrilled that CUE will once again be producing the event and that in my role as professional development coordinator, I’ll be leading the project. I’m most thankful, though, to be a part of the Google Certified Teacher community, which is the most active and generous online community I’ve ever been a part of… and I hope that many of you will apply to join us in Boulder and in the online community. Good luck if you decide to apply!

And of course, please leave questions or comments about the event below. :)