Archive for June, 2007

Future Schools

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

DSCN0210.JPGThis post was originally rough notes live blogged during the second session of the edubloggercon. I’ve cleaned them up only minimally, and I’ve added a picture… one of many from my flickr necc2007 photoset, which includes the edubloggercon. Again, if you were at the session, please leave a comment to correct any inaccuracies or add anything to this post.

Warlick: What have you seen that you want to see in the school of the future?
I mentioned Dave Conlay’s Aristotle Experiment and classroom management.
Diane Hammond: university has an arm into k12 – we have to share resources… positive experiences overcome resistance to change…
Jakes: The power of wikis… web 2.0… these new tools give us a new way to approach skills we’ve always wanted students to use… we’re building momentum (nothing specific?)
Rushton: A charter school… online math setup – the kids could zip ahead until they needed help. We’re creating opportunities for students to show us they are done with a class. (Good point… performance based.)
Brian Crosby: Digital cameras… flickr… the gateway drug.
?: In some cases the equipment is becoming cheap enough that it’s happening on its own.

Dembo: Are we talking about what the classroom of the future looks like – or what the classroom of today should look like?
Vicky focused on the importance of making connections with other classes, especially in other countries.

Group: What has stopped these things from happening in the classroom? Bandwidth… but that’s changing.

Group: What are ways we can get this to spread? Bring the universities in… but we can’t even do that in a teacher’s college.
Sheryl: We need to get practitioners who are integrating these things into teacher prep programs.
Scott: But I find new tools developed yesterday when prepping for workshops.

Warlick: Lets have a bit to say about each of these things – the school, the classroom, the learner.


?: Connected to the outside world…
?: But what happens in school, stays in school.


Jakes: Don’t forget the current teachers. We have access to all these tools (none of them are blocked), but I struggle to get teachers useing these tools, because they are comfortable.
Warlick: What ignited you, Julie?
Julie: Well, you, David.
? (to my right): Was it because you were interested in being a life long learner – that you cared about your own learning.

knowclue (an SL name) challenged this idea… she notds that kids don’t know more than teachers… and when we show them how to be more dynamic teachers they do it… shift the focus from “you’re a dinosaur and not on board” to “you’re a teacher, and you’re valuable… want to see some new tools?”

Sarah Rolle: use examples of successes.


Julie: I expect my students to use wikis, to use bloglines (or to choose what reader to use), and to bring something into the classroom.

Doug: Lets look at the long tail… there’s something out there for each kid (with dif. strengths and weaknesses, and learning styles) IEP for every kid
Chris: IEP for every teacher.
Vicky: I give kids options… blog post, wiki, video, podcast… then you can pull in the different learning styles into one place (like a wiki). Just because the students are doing the same project, doesn’t mean they have the same output.

Sheryl: The school of the future isn’t based on tools or skills, it’s based on passion and learning.

?: How do we do this without impacting teachers time – taking more time?

David: What do leaders need.
Brian: They need to “get it” they need to “see it” they need to go “wow”

Jakes: we still need to show the effect on the bottom line of student achievement (paraphrased)

Sarah Rolle: No matter what we do, students will use these tools.. we need to teach them to do it well. (Of course.)

Steve: pass :)

Scott Merrick: expose the kids to the tools that exist, enable their awareness, and they need to learn how to choose which tool.

Warlick: These are all things that are empowering the learner… and putitng the responsibility on them. What we want to see is life long learning.
Rushton: “life long learning” is a vague and overused term.

Now back to the SMARTclassroom: interactive whiteboard, surround sound, laptop carts…
Warlick: Somebody else… what is it?
Vicky: You don’t need a lot of money to have an interactive classroom (wikis since 1995?)
Jeff: it’s about more than the hardware… some smartboards sit there.
Warlick: what is different… what is the teacher believe in?
Joyce: are all “smart classrooms” constructivist.
Doug: a smart teacher knows their students strengths and weaknesses… and subjects matter expertise. (a bit of an explosion of chatter here)

The teacher’s the lead learner (from a few people).

Chris Craft: The smart classroom is a philosophy

?: It’s not new…

Joyce: there’s a playfulness inherent in the classroom we want… lets explore… this doesn’t look so different now than 20 years ago… and we’re at the very beginning… also there are about 20 different divides…

Sheryl: There will be new divides

Steve: What about this conversation couldn’t have taken place 5, 10, 15 years ago?
Me: Yes we can have done the constructivist stuff for a hundred years, but what IS dif?
social networking
it’s a catalyst
the long tail

Warlick: what we want to see happening is conversations – new kinds of conversations – between many more people… multifacted and multidimensional and multidirectional… facilitated with new technologies.

Another change of question: What does assessment 2.0 look like?

Jakes: rick stiggins’ assessment for and of learning (assessment literacy for teachers) – formative assessment.
?: Authentic learning is different for college bound kids and non-college bound kids.
Julie: It takes a lot of work.
?: Start with a rubric… kids can write rubrics too.

Eliabeth Davis: when we talk about assessment – why are we assessing the technology. we don’t assess how well the pencil helps kids learn. School 2.0 shouldn’t have a computer teacher.

Janice: professional learning communities – how can we use these tools to move forward those conversations.

next to David?: what about peer assessment?
Doug: Self assessment is critical…
Sheryl: Assessment is going to measure adaptability and ability to manage ambiguity… and another great list.
Jeff: We had 5th graders create their own rubric for blogging… based on educational blogs and tech blogs as models. (having models is definitely key)

Joyce: Technology makes learning very transparent… it allows assors or peers to come in later… literature circle blogs…

Warlick: Will social networking be an integral part of schools and assessment of schools?
Vicky from a kid: lets not call it “social networking” lets call it “student networking” – linked in did it.

Doug: ISTE has added new NETS about creativity… how the hell do we assess creativity?

Warlick: 1 minute… describe the learner (I hope he got this list of descriptive words.)

?: Attitude is critical.
Vicky wants it to become intuitive for her kids.
Sheryl: We train some of this out of them.

Tag: ebc07fs / Blog Posts / Blog RSS / Flickr / Flickr RSS

Getting Our Blogs in a Row: Crafting a Compelling, Cogent Message for Change

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

DSCN0207.JPGThis post was originally rough notes live blogged during the first session of the edubloggercon. There are many unattributed comments, so if you made them or know who made them, feel free to chime in with a comment. Rather than make this a more formal and reflective post I’ve only made minor changes as I cleaned this up… but I’ve included a picture. :)

Will: What’s our elevator pitch?
Chris: How can we make this a political movement?
?: Who has made that pitch (to politicians)?
?: We all make it to teachers all the time.
Vicky: When you approach a politician you have to have one thing. Give them two or three and they’ll shut off… we wouldn’t let kids drive without educating them… we need a national internet safety program (social networking)
Jakes: Watching politicians embrace web 2.0 – they are seeing the power of the connections you can make. We can take advantage of that.
?: When you talk about technology you scare off half the room… literacy is something politicians understand. It’s a literacy issue (can we say digital literacy or not)

I missed some discussion here because I needed to think and participate. Eventually I cut in with what seemed like an interesting new thought to me (though I was led right to it by other’s thinking). We are trying to argue that these new literacies are important to incorporate into school (whether its for the future workforce or for fulling participating as citizens of our culture) aren’t we more or less making the same argument that must’ve been made for schools of reading, writing, and math to being with?

Me: How did people argue for schools to begin with?

Chris: we need to teach students wisdom – to make sense of information
Sheryl: we need to talk to politicians about teacher competencies…
Jakes: our energies are spent fighting right now – we have to get over the fear factor
?: Politicians see these tools as a way to get a message out – not in.

Warlick also focused on the fear of our students being unprepared for the future. Sheryl talked about a sense of urgency rather than fear.

?: Parents in social networks start to “get it”… this is the constituency to go after.

?: most presentations are fear based.

Vicky: something will happen with internet safety soon… we need to pick our poison before someone else does.
Me: We must know the other side of the argument to best provide a solution that works for both sides.

Chris: We still need the urgency.
1. We’ve got to teach them how to use these tools or we’re doing them a disservice.
2. We’ve got to teach them to be safe

Doug: We need to give them intellectual freedom… technologists can take this up… children have rights to free opinions… but technologists are into censoring and blocking.

Will: Who changes district policy?
Answer: The parents.

Chris: the fear factor around the internet is endemic of a larger fear factor surrounding accountability… “If you’re not ready to lose your job, you’re not ready to do your job.” (If you’re not willing top get fired for doing what you do.)

Warlick: The kids are “there” – how do we turn them into advocates?
Jakes: They’re not really there.
?: But to answer David’s question, put kids on tech committees and policy committees.
?: Fear sells… but the time might be right for “telling a new story”

Chris: Both things are right… can we use the urgency and fear to get their attention and then tell the new story.

Will: Very few people “get” the transformation that blogging can provide…

?: This conversation has to happen on every level – political, parental, students…
?:What if we look to other heroes using these tools – not just educators – to get the dialog going.
?: It needs to go to colleges of education.

?: TED for Ed? Let’s bring the best minds of a generation together to talk about the future of education.

?:Who do we need to engage next? Invite them.
?:We need a marketing kit.

Vicky talked about the tools spreading through her school… to the parents… and the administrators. She mentioned Dr. Shephard! “We got rid of exams and our test scores went up.”
?: Don’t forget old communication technologies first… school newsletters etc.

Steve Dembo: We’re trying to start a movement here. It’s not going to happen informally. “Professionalism, says the guy in shorts.”

We preach to the choir. When do we write for other magazines etc…

Me: NECC 2009, invite the candidates
?: NECC 2010 is in DC!

Tag: ebc07ec / Blog Posts / Blog RSS / Flickr / Flickr RSS

Made it to Atlanta

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

engine.JPGThis was the scene for about three hours last night at LAX while we waited for a new oil line to be installed and tested. Eventually we made our way to Atlanta in the same plane, but with a new crew. The flight was appropriately rough, but we made it… in more time than it would’ve taken to fly to Atlanta and back – nine hours! Then there was getting a car in the middle of the night and checking in… but after two hours of sleep I’m up and ready for the edubloggercon07. :)

Adventure On The Way To Atlanta

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

I arrived at John Wayne Airport this afternoon to find my in laws in the McDonalds… and waiting for the same flight to NECC! Yup. Not only does teaching run in the family, so does a love of educational technology. Not only were they on the same flight, they were in the same row! I switched seats with the friendly guy across the aisle from me so I was sitting with them when 20 minutes into the flight the captain announced we’d be turning around to LAX instead of Atlanta… due to a warning light in the cockpit. Debbie noticed a “white fluid” coming from the right side wing. When we landed (it was rough, though that could’ve been coincidence) we were greeted by the comforting sight of the LAX emergency vehicles you see here flanking us on the runway. Then the captain announced it was a low oil pressure light that forced the landing… later he reportrd we had blown an oil line. The crew seems to think maintenance might be able to fix the problem quickly, but I have my money on this being a long night.

I guess this is the equivalent of having a valet run my car into two others at NECC last year. Sheesh. Hopefully I’lll still be at the edubloggercon tomorrow morning.

UPDATE: A two hour delay was just announced and we’re deplaning.

Link: Dispelling media myths about online predation

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Dispelling media myths about online predation (Via EdVentures in Technology.) Though the dangers are real, I am always on the lookout for posts like this that help to dispell some of the histeria surrounding the dangers of the Internet. I’m not surprised to see it come via danah boyd.

Link: Blog Tag Generator (For NECC etc.)

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Tagging NECC (Via 2 Cents Worth.) The Blog Tag Generator (BTG) is yet another great (and free) tool from David Warlick. I was looking for something like this, since I use Mars Edit with WordPress, meaning there is no easy way to tag posts aside from creating a category for each tag. I added the BTG as a bookmarklet in my browser by dragging the link up to the toolbar. :)

See you all in Atlanta soon… I’m staying up tonight packing and prepping… and reading my feeds obviously.

Dissertation Chapters 1 and 2 (DRAFT)

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Here is an abridged version of the email I just sent my committee chair:

Dr. Nolan,

I’ve attached my Chapters 1 and 2. These are incorporated into my working template for the proposal including the references, so this is basically my proposal sans Chapter 3.

As I said at the end of my previous message, I feel fairly good about the quality of this draft now. My main concern is the (potentially obnoxious) length of Chapter 2. When I skim through it, I’m happy each part contributes something meaningful (and is reasonably well assembled), so for now I’m leaving it all in. As I mentioned, there are whole sections I can cut or collapse if necessary. I’ll wait for your initial feedback though.

Incidentally, I expect Chapter 3 to be more reasonable in length – more like Chapter 1 than Chapter 2.

Also, there are some stylistic things I want to change in these first two chapters when it comes to the actual dissertation, but right now I’m in “get it done” mode. I hope there are some things that you might want changed that can wait for the dissertation, too.

In the meantime, let me know right away if you have any immediate concerns. I look forward to your feedback. :)


Because it is almost 1 MB, I’m sending a link to the file instead of an attachment:


PS. If my lengthy and quote heavy style does not demonstrate that I can succinctly synthesize the material, please see my series of blog posts in which I summarized each section “in a nutshell” of about one page in length (Note: These blog posts appear in reverse chronological order):

I’m very excited that I was able to reach this milestone (however temporary) before heading out to NECC. I am worried about the length of Chapter 2 (at 232 pages I think), and I don’t expect any of you will want to read it, but as usual, here it is for inspection and posterity… and a safe backup. :)

Organizational Change (LONG)

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Back on April 24th (my birthday), I posted a “one page” overview of organizational change (with respect to implementing video games in education). Despite considering cutting this section (and despite Christy’s encouragement to do so), I’ve gone ahead and included this section in the first (very long) draft of my literature review. This wouldn’t have been the case if the content wasn’t so closely related to the final KAM I wrote before starting the dissertation.* I was able to cut and paste (with some editing) about 75% of the KAM into this section, which makes this the longest of any in the lit review so far. I’m sure some of it (or perhaps all of it) will be a casualty of the committee’s first read. In any case, here it is:

Organizational Change (LONG) – 169.5 KB Word Doc
References – 149.5 KB Word Doc

* Incidentally, it turns out as I search my blog archives that I never posted KAM III in it’s entirety, so I’m happy to say that as far as blog readers are concerned this is new content from me… well, as “new” as a quote-heavy literature review can be. ;)

Role Playing (LONG)

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Back on April 23rd I posted a “one page” overview of Role Playing games (with respect to video games in education). I was an avid role-player myself (when I used to make the time for it) and I believe that the table-top, paper-and-pencil, dice-based role-playing game can serve as a powerful model for the sort of video game I hope to see in education, particularly when it comes to educational MMORPGs. This section of my lit review may not be as well organized as the others, but I think I have more original thoughts connecting the dots in here… and like the last section, it’s still a manageable length.

Role Playing (LONG) – 39.5 KB Word Doc
References – 149.5 KB Word Doc

Please leave comments if you are interested in these ideas.

Link: Constructivism

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Constructivism (Via Dr. Jose Quiles, Walden University.) One of the members of my dissertation committee sent me this as a resource on constructivism. It looks like a great place to start… with links to multiple definitions and readings. It’s a bit late for me to use, but I thought I’d pass it on here for others. Let me know in the comments if there are any highlights. :)