Laptop Labs in the Monterey and/or Sacramento Areas?

I just posted this message to some list-servs I belong to and thought I’d share it here in case someone in my wider network might be able to help:

Hello, colleagues. On behalf of the non-profit California League of Schools (CLMS, CLHS, and now CLES), I’m looking for a friendly school district (or other institution) in the Monterey, CA area that might be willing to provide a laptop lab for the CLHS annual conference January 15-18. Please let me know if you (or any of your colleagues) might be able to help. Thank you in advance for your help.

Also, I’m looking for a similarly friendly district (or two) in the Sacramento area to provide a laptop lab for the CLMS annual conference February 25-28. Again, let me know if you (or any of your colleagues) might be able to help, and thank you in advance for your help.

Leave a comment below or email me if you might be able to help. Thanks again.

Using Technology to Support Your PLC

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!

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

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:

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

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. :)

Edubloggercon West at CUE & An Edublogger Meetup at CLMS

Every year at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), a group of educational bloggers (or edubloggers) gathers for a full day edubloggercon, an “unconference” where the sessions and topics are decided by the participants. It’s an exciting and high-energy social learning experience.

A west coast version of the edubloggercon takes place each year at the CUE conference in Palm Springs. Steve Hargadon, Jen Wagner, and I have begun talking about planning the event. Please add your name to the “I’m Attending” page if you’ll be at CUE (or in the area), and please join us in planning the event.

Edubloggercon – WEST

  • Palm Springs, Ca
  • March 4, 2009

Smaller more informal edublogger meetups take place at many other smaller (or non ed tech) conferences throughout the year. An edublogger meetup has just been added for the California League of Middle Schools (CLMS) conference in San Diego this March. This event is a great opportunity to get “outside the echo chamber” of ed tech. We hope that any of you who will be in attendance (or in the area) will join us for fun and inspiring conversation about technology, learning, and life.

Edublogger Meetup – CLMS 2009

  • San Diego, Ca
  • March 13, 2009

NOTE: It’s not too late to register for the CLMS conference and receive the early-bird discount. Also, in light of state budget challenges, CLMS is offering special discount rates. Get the special two-day pass for $165 and come to the edublogger meetup on Friday night! See the CLMS website for details:

I hope to see you at one of these events soon – or at the edubloggercon in Washington, DC in June. :)

Google Learning Institute in Monterey, Ca

I’m happy to be announcing this. The “civilian” version of the Google Teacher Academy (no application necessary) is coming to the CLMS/CLHS/NHSA and CUE Technology Conference in Monterey, Ca this December 4th. Here’s the description and registration link from the conference website:

Google Learning Institute (Bring your own laptop)
9:00 am – 4:00 pm – Special All-Day Class!

This is a high-energy professional development experience that introduces participants to innovative ways free 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 the ways they’ve implemented tools such as Google Docs, Google Earth, Google Sites, and… even more. Participants who complete the workshop are given access to the Google Learning Network (GLN), an online group focused on supporting educators as they learn more about the power of Google to support learning. Fee: $250

Enjoy extended, hands-on workshops on the practical educational uses of each tool or concept. Advanced registration required, extra fees apply, no refunds provided, sessions/equipment subject to change. These sessions are first-come, first-served and usually sell out. Submit payment with REGISTRATION ASAP and call to ensure your space is reserved.

I hope to see some of you there! And if you’re planning on coming, don’t miss the (free) edublogger meetup the following night – sign up now so we can all get excited about you coming:

Edublogger Meetups and Edubloggercon WEST

I just posted this to the edubloggercon group:

Hey, all. I just started a new page at the edubloggercon wiki for a meetup at the Innovative Learning Conference put on by CUE and FETC in San Jose this October 14 through 16. I’m planning the meetup on Wednesday the 15th at 7 pm.

The Conference:

The Edublogger Meetup Page:

If you’re planning to be there – or to be in the area, please sign up. I look forward to hanging out with and learning with any of you who can make it.

And then, I thought I’d take advantage of my momentum and go ahead and create a similar page for the technology conference in Monterey this December:

Hello again. I went ahead and created a page for a similar edublogger meetup in Monterey, Ca on December 5th during the Learning to Network, Networking to Lean conference put on by CUE and CLMS/CLHS/NHSA.

The Conference:

The Edublogger Meetup Page:

Again, if you’ll be at the conference or in the area, I hope you’ll sign up to hang out and learn with us. :)


Finally, I continued right on with this:

I decided to ride my momentum… I jumped in and created a place holder for the Edubloggercon-WEST at the CUE conference. But, I haven’t talked to Mike Lawrence or Steve Hargadon about this, so it may evolve a bit in the coming months. In the meantime, feel free to jump in and help create the organizing pages on the wiki:

The Conference:

The Edubloggercon:

Hopefully I’ll see each of you at one or more of these events – at least if you live in California. :)

Maui 2.0: New Literacies and Learning Networks

I want to welcome attendees at the 2008 CLMS Literacy and Learning Summer Institute to this blog! You can find the resources related to our morning bonus sessions at and you can find additional resources from Warren Dale at

For folks who are not with us in Maui, you are invited to leave a comment answering the question below. This is an opportunity to effect the learning of middle school and high school teachers of the year from across the state of California.

What sorts of new literacies (and learning networks) do educators need to develop in order to best serve their students?

What’s Your Ideal Educational Technology Conference?

I’ve got the opportunity to provide input on the development of the fall technology conference put on by the California League of Middle Schools (CLMS) and High Schools (CLHS)… and I’d be remiss not to involve “the network” of educators and learners who read this blog. So, I thought I’d share a little bit of information and ask some questions here.

In 2006, the theme of the conference was “Teaching Millenials” and the keynotes were David Warlick and Leslie Fisher. In 2007, the theme was “Digital Immigrants, Digital Natives” with Marc Prensky (of course), Will Richardson, and Carol Anne McGuire as keynotes. I coordinated the hands-on ticketed workshops at both events and was able to get away and see a good deal of the conferences… these were two great years – and a they’ll be a tough act to beat. Naturally, I have some ideas for new themes and new keynoters, but I thought I’d open it up to all of you and ask what (and who) you’d like to see from a regional technology conference. So, please leave a comment with an answer to any or all of these questions:

  1. If you were on the conference planning committee, what theme would you suggest for Fall 2008? (I’d love to hear why, too.)
  2. What keynote speakers would you most like to see? (And while the speakers from 2006 and 2007 are among my favorites, we won’t be having any repeats… so I’m looking for new ideas.)
  3. Imagine you’re a classroom teacher in a middle or high school (unless you actually are – then no imagining necessary)… what do you want most from a technology conference?

Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to share their thoughts and vision. :)