Edubloggercon07: A Brief Reflection

Photo_062307_005.jpgI want to say thank you to Steve Hargadon, everyone who helped him set up the first edubloggercon, and everyone who participated. This was an extraordinarily engaging and interactive day of thinking and learning. I actually wonder how difficult it will be for all of us to now “power down” to listening mode for NECC presentations. I would happily just attend a few more days with the folks at the edubloggercon hammering out some of these issues – maybe putting together some action agendas for while we’re apart. I would support the expansion of this event next year, OR the inclusion of follow up events in the evening one or more times throughout the duration of NECC. What do you all think?

Now on to NECC tomorrow. But first… sleep… finally! :)

Administration and School 2.0

DSCN0223.JPGThese are my only slightly cleaned up notes on session four at the edubloggercon. I’m really not able to do these workshops justice here. I hope that this at least captures some sense of the excitement and collaboration happening here today. Chris Lehmann moderated this much larger group of people… in a much larger room.

Chris: We finally have the tools to realize Dewey’s dream. How do we need to structure our schools to make that happen? (Followed by some clarification of structures.)

Participant: How we spend out time…
Participant: NCLB has to change…
Participant: Use data differently… Not to judge school’s achievement but to improve practice?
Rushton: I’m no NCLB fan, but I’m not sure it’s much worse than the “ignore the student” situation we had before. We need something more to excite a broader swathe of the population (paraphrased).
Chris: I agree… and if School 2.0 is going to work we’re going to need to define our own data before others do. (He gave an example from his school.)

Me thinking: Why on earth is someone taking notes in WORD on the projector… shouldn’t that be on the wiki… or a Google Doc that multiple note-takers could contribute to. (Hm. There needs to be an easier way to get into an impromptu google doc than going through the invite process… people should be able to click their own way in.) Ironically, now Chris ‘s talking about how their planning document was done on Moodle – with weekly chats, asynchronous threads, and document sharing.

Chris: When we break down the walls of our schools, who do we invite in? (Again he gives examples from his school.)

I think I’m going to wander this session. I’m also already enjoying others’ posts in my aggregator. Chris Walsh just walked in… I’m wandering now…

I wandered into each of the other sessions and took pictures. I’m back now. The ISTE NETS refresh session isn’t happening – maybe that’s why this section is huge. I’m back there now, talking with Chris Walsh… while school 2.0 is discussed in the front of the room, Walsh bought a new domain and created a place-holding redirect for it… keep an eye on ;)

This is what I wanted… serendipitous conversations. Unfortunately, at this point, most people are sitting in this room listening. I thought the smaller sessions earlier in the day were more like conversations (with some meaningful structure), but while participants are still piping in here this session is the most like a presentation so far.

Lehmann concludes with “none of these ideas are panaceas, and all of them have dark sides. Ask yourselves what the worst consequence of your idea is… things will go wrong, but we’ll take care of them when they do.” This is a good caveat to the ‘message’ we are talking about spreading here.

Chris Lehmann is great, but this really isn’t an unconference session… he had to end with “thank you all so much.” I hope nobody takes this as a negative reflection on Chris… I was just one of the ones who advocated for more informal conversations. Also, I think this space (and the number of people in it) led people to behave as if it was a presentation. I suppose this is a part of the big experiment.

UPDATE: Based on the final summary of this session during the next segment of the day, it was clear I missed a lot, but much of it seemed focused on the same issues that professional learning communities focus on. I think PLCs and Web 2.0 tools mesh well, but it’s interesting just how much these ideals came up during the day… conversations nearly all quickly turned to discussions of systemic change.

Tag: ebc07as20 / Blog Posts / Blog RSS / Flickr / Flickr RSS

Future Schools

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

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

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. :)