Archive for June, 2009

Links for 2009-06-28

Sunday, June 28th, 2009
  • The Life You Can Save
    I read this book on the plane ride out to NECC and was moved. It also influenced my thinking in the "Social Media and Social Change in Education" session. I highly recommend the book (and the actions it advocates). The site also has a link to a list of recommended organizations to donate to if you want to ensure your money is really helping the worlds most poor.
    (tags: socialchange)

Links for 2009-06-26

Friday, June 26th, 2009
  • reQall
    A retweet from Jeremy Davis tipped me off to reQall… which looks like it might even have one up on Dial2Do (which works great for me)… reQall seems to need fewer commands on account of being "smart" enough to understand what you mean. I'll have to try it: "Use your voice, email, instant messaging, or text messaging. No other memory tool makes it as easy to capture, retrieve, and share ideas and things you need to do—anywhere, anytime."
    (tags: productivity cellphones)
  • The Cosmic Machine – EventBox
    Leslie fisher tipped me off to this cool looking tool. I've shied away from it on account of it not being free, but the concept of your reader as a news stream rather than unread items resonated with me. Here's overall concept of the tool: "Do you use many social services? Annoyed that you have to run 6 different applications? Enter the new revolutionary social app, EventBox. All your services in one place, integrated."
    (tags: socialmedia)
  • Dev-Team Blog – redsn0w in june
    I know many people will ask at the edubloggercon and NECC, so here is the tool I used to jailbreak my iPhone after upgrading to the 3.0 software.
    (tags: iphone)
  • edubloggercon – EduBloggerCon 2009 Party
    Wikispaces will be hosting a party following the edubloggercon: "Join us for a post EduBloggerCon gathering at RFD (Regional Food and Drink) for free food, drinks, camaraderie, and a chance to relax with friends."
    (tags: wikispaces ebc09 necc09)

Using Technology to Support Your PLC

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

This July I’ll be leading a technology strand at the CLMS/CLHS Summer Institute featuring Richard and Rebecca DuFour. Following the DuFours on Sunday I’ll be speaking to the general session on the topic of “Using Technology to Support Your PLC.” Then, I’ll be following that up with five hands-on bring your own laptop (BYOL) sessions the next day (and we should have 20 laptops on hand for those who need them). I’m excited about the opportunity to speak to a large group of educators who may never attend an educational technology conference, and to actually help some of them get started using the tools I’ll introduce. I’m sharing this here because I suspect others might be interested in this topic, and these descriptions might be helpful in your own planning. It might also spark conversation in the comments below… and of course, if you’re interested in bringing me to your school, district, or event to speak (or lead workshops) on these same topics, I’d be thrilled:


Using Technology to Support Your PLC: An Overview

Take your professional learning community to the next level by using powerfully simple online tools for collaborating with colleagues. Learn how new technologies can help your professional learning community access information, capture the conversation, and focus communication. Extend the conversation online with powerful two-way communication tools, and discover the power of reaching outside the PLC for new innovations by building an online personal learning network (PLN). This session includes an overview of powerful search techniques, document sharing tools, data collection (and analysis) software, social networking services, and much more that you can share with your entire staff when you return to your site. Best of all, everything you’ll learn about is free.


Technology And Your PLC: Collaboration With Google Docs

Google Docs is an online office suite that allows you to create, edit, share, and publish documents, including spreadsheets and presentations. Because everything is stored and even modified on the web, Google Docs makes it easy to collaborate with colleagues – and even to edit the same document from multiple computers simultaneously. This session will focus on the use of Google Docs to promote and support collaboration within a PLC, including strategies for creating common assessments, sharing best practices, and capturing the conversation – even between meetings. This one tool can revolutionize the way your PLC collaborates. And it’s free.

Technology and PLCs: Data Collection with Google Forms

Google Forms allow users to quickly and easily create an online form that feeds collected data directly into a shared spreadsheet. This is a powerful way for members of a PLC to collect the data needed to make informed decisions about instruction, best practice, and other matters related to the school or community. Forms can be used for polls, surveys, and evaluations – or for collecting event registration data, WASC evidence, and best practices. A Google Form can even be used to create online common assessments that, with a little ingenuity, can also be self-grading. Unlike many similar services, Google Forms is free – a feature of the Google Docs online office suite.

Technology and PLCs: Search, Learn, and Share with Even More Google

Google produces a number of free tools that can help members of a PLC access information, collaborate remotely, and be more productive as a team. Specialized search and custom search help a PLC locate and share timely research. Google Reader and the iGoogle homepage help aggregate and process more information quickly and easily. Google Calendar and Google Groups help with organization and creating a sense of community online. Google Talk connects distant classrooms or buildings, and mobile applications  teachers and administrators take all of this on the go… as they walk the halls or chaperone field trips. This fast-paced session explores many of these tools and helps participants know how to get started with the tools they most want to use with their own PLC.

Technology and PLCs: Building Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)

Personal learning is one of the foundations of a successful PLC – and an element of any successful organizational change effort. This session focuses on tools that can be used by any member of a PLC to build their own Personal Learning Network (PLN), which can not only support their own professional development but can also be an efficient means of diffusing innovation within the PLC. Learn to connect with a community of like minded professionals, make contributions, have conversations, and make requests in your times of need. Powerful free tools such as Twitter and Ning make this possible.

The League Learning Network

Join us during this final session and see how to extend your summer institute experience online when you leave! CLMS and CLHS have set up an online social network for educators. Learn how to join and how you can collaborate with a statewide community. Discover and share blog posts, pictures, videos, and more. Participate in groups and discussion forums – and keep informed about the latest news and events. Best of all, meet and converse with like minded colleagues – all in the new League Learning Network.

I’d also love to hear from anyone who thinks I’ve missed something, misrepresented anything, or otherwise failed to make the most of this opportunity to speak to middle and high school teachers who might not ever attend a technology conference. So let me know if you have questions or suggestions related to these descriptions – I’d happily credit any contributions (or challenges to my own views) when I share this material.

And if you’d like to actually register for the summer institute in Indian Wells, Ca to participate in these sessions, please do. I’d love to see some of you there.

If you do register for the summer institute, you’ll also be eligible to register for a free webinar I’ll be hosting on July 15 (focused on using Google Docs with a PLC).

Finally, if you’re a middle or high school English teacher, you can join the League Learning Network for FREE regardless of whether or not you are attending the summer institute. I hope to see you online!

Links for 2009-06-12

Friday, June 12th, 2009
  • Heartbeat of America
    Strangely, I got a call from these folks saying they'd like to profile my company on the show. I don't know if that'll actually work out, but it lead me to their site, which might be a good resource for any other entrepreneurs out there: "Get ready to meet business and professional entrepreneurs who were selected and appeared on Heartbeat of America’s national TV show hosted by William Shatner. They include software developers, scientists, consultants, physicians, manufacturers, engineers, financial advisors, architects, attorneys, contractors, real estate developers, healthcare providers, environmentalists and business owners of every kind…"
    (tags: entrepreneur)
  • Us Now : Home
    Steve Hargadon posted a link to this and noted his surprise that more people weren't talking about it. I'm passing it on, because I want to explore it myself and the issues are important: "In a world in which information is like air, what happens to power? New technologies and a closely related culture of collaboration present radical new models of social organisation. This project brings together leading practitioners and thinkers in this field and asks them to determine the opportunity for government. This website features all material being created during the making of the film."
    (tags: socialchange)
  • dropcasting
    A sweet new feature of that I'm sure educators will run with: "'podcast' all the media in your drop to your iTunes/iPod. Now you can use to deliver your content into the iTunes Podcast menu."
    (tags: podcasts)
  • Intro to WOW for Educators ?
    Catherine Parson's presentation introducing educators to World of Warcraft. Too bad this wasn't around when I was doing my dissertation research. :)
    (tags: edugames)
  • Download What Would Google Do? | Jeff Jarvis | What Would Google Do? Audio Book unabridged | Audible Audiobooks |
    Jeff Utecht recommended this audio book on Twitter. Apparently it's cheaper on iTunes. I might buy a paper version myself.
    (tags: google)
  • Google Voice – One phone number, online voicemail, and enhanced call features
    It turns out Google bought and it is now becoming Google Voice. I can't wait until all this is available: "Google Number – One number for all your calls and SMS, Google Voicemail – Voicemail as easy as email (with transcripts), Voice Features – Free calls, conference calling, and more." Wow.
    (tags: googlevoice)
  • YouTube – homeproject's Channel
    I haven't seen the whole thing yet, but this is an amazing look at what we're doing to the Earth (and each other) with some fascinating historical parallels and eye-opening vignettes about our poverty-stricken contemporaries around the globe… not to mention beautiful footage!
    (tags: home video green socialchange)
  • Google Chrome
    Download the developers release of Chrome for the Mac here. As of this writing, I've found that it's not ready for my own daily use… Gears didn't work, Import didn't work, and other buttons/features just plain did nothing. Not to mention I missed my FireFox extensions. But, boy, is it fast!
    (tags: google chrome mac)
  • Welcome | Teaching Copyright
    I might've linked to this before, but this is the EFF's new copyright curriculum for educators and students. I'll be sharing this in my Internet Safety workshops, administrator workshops, and elsewhere.
    (tags: copyright intellectualproperty eff)
  • Google Squared
    This twist on a Google search creates custom comparison tables. As Kyle Brumbaugh suggested… find a way to import this data into a Google Docs spreadsheet and then you've really got something! Regardless, this can be a great "graphic organizer" for students doing research online.
    (tags: googlesquared googleined)
  • YouTube – Smart Navigation for Street View
    This video demonstrates Smart Navigation with Street View in Google Maps. Wow. "Navigate faster, closer and without bounds within Street View. Simply double-click to go wherever you like, including zooming in on building facades."
    (tags: googlemaps)
  • The Google Classroom
    Unofficial (but good) Google in Education resources from Anita Foster.
    (tags: googleined)
  • Dial2Do – Home
    I can't wait to play with this. Jeff Good at Western Reserve Public Media in Kent, OH suggested it to me as a replacement for Jott: "Just say the word. Dial2Do lets you do common tasks by just calling a number and speaking. Use it to send EMAIL or TEXT messages, record REMINDERS to help you remember things, post updates to your TWITTER or JAIKU stream and LISTEN to your favourite internet content. It's easy and handsfree.."
    (tags: cellphones)
  • Sync, Play & Send to BlackBerry, PSP, iPod, iPhone with doubleTwist
    This was posted on Twitter as a way to work-around iTunes DRM. It also looks like a cool way to integrate mutiple media formats and multiple devices in one convenient app – as the site says: "All your stuff, on all your devices, with all your friends — in seconds."
    (tags: multimedia)
  • What Just Happened? Thursday Was Supposed To Be Bing Day.
    This is an interesting article about the dynamic between Microsoft's Bing announcement and Google's Wave announcement two weeks ago… it's been an open tab that long before I bookmarked it! Here's a key paragraph from the end of the article: "Microsoft never stood a chance. As far as the San Francisco developer crowd is concerned, Bing stands for 'But It’s Not Google.'"
    (tags: googlewave bing)