Two-Way Teaching (NECC Submission)

Here is the third of five submissions I made for NECC 2008. My previous two submissions were really focused on helping teachers learn – rather than helping teachers to teach. This session, though, is my effort at a more teaching centered session. It combines elements of my three-hour Two-Way Teaching workshops from last year and the new 20 minute Blogs, Wikis, and Google Docs CUE Tips session I submitted last month for the 2008 CUE conference. I hope the combination works. Let me know what you think.


Two-way Teaching with the Two-Way Web: Blogs, Wikis, & Docs


Learn when to use blogs, wikis, or Google Docs with your students, parents, and community! Clear up your lingering confusion. Includes pedagogy, ethics, and safety.


An interactive welcome activity will begin this session. An overview of the two-way teaching concept (in which teachers are learners and learners are teachers) will follow. The presenter will then briefly introduce participants to the two-way web and it’s effect on education. The specific tools of blogs, wikis, and Google Docs will be briefly introduced, compared and contrasted. This segment will focus on the unique features and limitations of teach tool, and on the ways in which these tools may overlap in function or be redundant. (A comparison chart will be included.) This will be followed by an overview of best practices using blogs in education, including many examples. Next, best practices using wikis in education will be shared, again including several examples. Also, best practices and examples will be shared for the use of Google Docs. Following these illustrations, the presenter will then share several “rules of thumb” for when to use a blog, when to use a wiki, and when to use Google Docs. Before concluding the session, issues related to the ethical and safe use of these tools will also be addressed. Finally, an interactive reflection activity will bring closure to the session.

I also included the interactive elements of a Google presentation, a wiki, and a possible webcast in this submission. And once again, in the interest of sharing – and in hopes of receiving feedback – I’ve made an archive of the complete submission available, too:

Two-Way Teaching (NECC 2008 Submission)

I look forward to any feedback you might leave in the comments.

Learning to Network & Networking to Learn (NECC Submission)

Here is the second of five submissions I made for NECC 2008. At first glance this session looks a lot like the one I shared yesterday, but I consider the focus and the audience to be different. In the case of yesterday’s session it’s focused on folks who actually want to “Be An Edublogger” so to speak. This one I see more as a focused on a skill that all teachers can benefit from. Too, the previous session was very much focused on the tools of the trade, whereas this session is all about looking beyond the tools to the life-long skills. Also, this session has more of an academic foundation in social constructivism.

In any case, I am indepted to a tweet from Steve Dembo in which he simply pronounced that it was no longer important to teach teachers how to use the tools, but rather we needed to teach them how to access a learning network – or something along those lines. (I’d link to the tweet, but that is no longer possible – at least this morning.) And again, I’d love to hear what any of you think of this.


Learning to Network & Networking to Learn: Beyond The Tools…


There’s always new web tools, but it’s more important to become part of an online learning network than to master any specific tool. Learn how.


An interactive welcome activity will begin this session. The presenter will then provide a brief overview of social constructivist learning theory, including the concepts of socially negotiated meaning making and the zone of proximal development. This portion of the session will draw on work by constructivists such as Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, and Bruner – and on work by explicitly constructivist educational technologists such as Papert and Jonassen. It will conclude by connecting these theories to the recent work of read/write web enthusiasts such as Will Richardson and David Warlick. Then participants will be introduced to ways in which tools such as blogs, social networking, social microblogging, and instant messaging can support such learning. The presenter will share anecdotes from his personal experience as a teacher-turned-educational-technologist. The theme of these stories will switch the focus of the session to the overriding importance of making connections and making contributions, regardless of the tool being used. Finally, the presenter will share concrete ideas for how participants, too, can make connections and make contributions as they grow their own online learning network. The session will conclude with an interactive reflection activity.

In the interest of sharing – and in hopes of receiving feedback – I’ve made an archive of the complete submission available, too:

Learning to Network & Networking to Learn (NECC 2008 Submission)

If you check it out, you’ll notice I also included the same interactive elements as I mentioned yesterday: a Google Docs preso and a wiki with a possible webcast. :)

I hope you’ll feel free to leave me any comments, suggestions, or other feedback. Unlike the previous submission, I know I’ll get to give this one a few times. I’ve used a version of this idea for my upcoming keynotes at local CUE affiliates in the Cochella Valley this Saturday October 6th and in San Diego on November 3rd… so your feedback will have a chance to get used – and soon.

Be An Edublogger (NECC Submission)

Here is the first of five submissions I made for NECC 2008. As I shared earlier, for me this is an opportunity to dream it all up again and infuse new life into my repertoire of presentations and workshops. Like the other four submissions I made, this session is one I have never presented before. (I figure at this point, there are literally hundreds of people who can lead workshops on blogs, wikis, podcasting, RSS, and so forth.) In this case, though, I submitted something very similar for the 2008 CUE conference last month. With a few more weeks to chew on these ideas I think this has become an even better submission. I’m also aware that this could come off as most arrogant submission I’ve ever made – so I hope it’s seen as me just wanting to share with others what I’ve learned and what has worked to some degree in my experience. Teachers often ask me about this sort of thing, so I thought it might make a good session. Let me know what you think.


Be an Edublogger: Techniques for Joining a Global Learning Community


Read, write, reflect, and respond! Hundreds of educators around the world network and learn using online tools. Discover how you too can connect and contribute.


An interactive welcome activity will begin this session. Then the presenter will briefly introduce participants to the read/write web, blogs, and the blogosphere. This will be followed by an overview of what makes edublogging, edubloggers, and the edublogosphere different. Participants will then learn about a combination of tools that they can use to become a member of the edublogging culture. A brief overview of blogging (using will include a discussion of best practices and blogging ethics. Tips for commenting will be covered as well. A quick introduction to reading RSS feeds (using will follow, complete with tips for organizing and processing the deluge of information. Then the participants will learn about a trio of social tools: social bookmarking (using, social networking (using, and social microblogging (using; in each case they will see how the tool can be used to connect with other educators. Finally, a brief discussion of instant messaging and videochatting (using will complete the list of tools. The session will conclude with a discussion of the edublogging process and key edublogging philosophies, such as the focus on making connections and making contributions. An interactive reflection activity will follow.

In the interest of sharing – and in hopes of receiving feedback – I’ve made an archive of the complete submission available, too:

Be An Edublogger (NECC 2008 Submission).

The thing I’m most excited about though is this bit I appended to the outline portion of the submission:

Interactive Elements: This was not submitted as a bring your own laptop session because a laptop is not necessary. However, participants with their own laptop will be able to take advantage of many interactive elements. Presentation of concepts and examples will take place using a Google Docs presentation and a wiki. Participants will be able to chat synchronously throughout the session using the Google presentation, and they will be able to post and share their own examples (and questions) on the wiki both during and after the session. In addition, the presentation and wiki urls will be posted to twitter (and at so that edubloggers from around the world (including those in attendance elsewhere in the conference) will be able to contribute their insights in the chat and on the wiki as well. If the network connection in the room permits, the audio (or video) of the session will also be webcast so that the virtual attendees can hear (and see) what is happening in the room. This session will model teaching and learning in a permeable classroom.

As usual, I’d be thrilled to get any feedback, suggestions, or comments on this idea. I know that the more I share with others about this session the better it will be by the time I get to present it (if I get to present it, that is). Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

NECC Sessions DUE October 3rd: Time To Dream It All Up Again

The deadline for submitting a session proposal for NECC 2008 is October 3rd, 2007 – next Wednesday. Edubloggers have already started writing about this… Warlick before anyone else I think (though I couldn’t find the post with a quick search); he seems to plan ahead more than most. I also saw someone (somewhere) post about how hard the NECC application is and I completely agree. A few other posts prompted me to comment tonight, and my comments have been shaping my thinking about this year’s submissions. Here’s two of the comments I left this evening that capture my thinking – influenced by many others of course.

In response to Will’s post Thinking Disruptively About Conference Presentations, I posted the following (note: I’ve added hyperlinks to compliment the original comment):

Great post, Will. I think you’ve captured something that a lot of us have struggled with… how to model this new kind of two-way learning while still getting the point across in 50 minutes – not to mention still getting selected by the conference planning committees.I like the 15 minute preso followed by discussion format. In fact, it reminds me a lot of Dave Winer’s hypercamp idea. I’ve wanted to see an educational hypercamp for a long time, and the edubloggercon was very close. It would be great to bring the format to NECC as a grassroots movement – however small it might be.

As for the formal submission process, I don’t see why we can’t be a bit subversive (as Tom March might say [streaming media link, NECC Live 2006]). We can still submit our topics with just as detailed a submission as we might usually… and then run the session in the format we prefer when we get there (if we’re selected, of course). Eveyone expects that the content of the session will be updated to account for the intervening nine months (despite the flaw ddraper points out in the system)… so why shouldn’t the format of the session also be modified to account for the lag between something like the edubloggercon and a formal box to check in the NECC submission process?

The remaining problem might be (and Draper didn’t touch on how NECC apps are worse than many other similar conferences) that NECC online applications are just too darn detailed.

In any case, I hope you (and many others) take the ideas you posted to heart and that there is a whole new breed of session at NECC in 2008. :)

A great conversation has developed in the comments to Will’s original post, so click on over and check that out, too, for greater breadth of perspective.

Then, in response to Vicki’s post Declare war on the Ruts, Boundaries & Comfort Zones, I wrote the following, which in my mind compliments the thoughts above:

Vicki, the most striking part of this post (for me) was the quip about buzzwords. With the NECC deadline approaching (and the CA CUE deadline just past), I’ve been feeling like my own workshops were in a rut. I’ve moved from slides to wikis for the most part, but often with the same basic structure. And even the workshop titles/content are feeling old (at least to me). So this post has struck a chord with my resolve to lead all new sessions this time around.I also look forward to seeing what everyone else imagines in the next week (and the following nine months), too. In some ways, this week is a very important one in our field, isn’t it? Educators around the world will define what ruts we stay in and which new paths will be explored. Hopefully the good new stuff gets accepted…

So this week it’s time to go away and dream it all up again. I hope the edublogosphere, and educational technologists (actually educators) in general really bring it this week. ;)

UPDATE: Just this evening (perhaps because of Will and Vicki’s posts and others) folks started twittering about putting together panel presentations for NECC. As I read through all the tweets I found myself wondering if collaborative planning for sessions will play a big roll in this year’s NECC – and if it might not even be an essential element of the “new” NECC session. I know any session I could submit would be very dependent on others’ work and contributions (standing on the shoulder of giants, as they say), but I wonder if I’ll wind up including more of a collaborative planning element myself…

And yes, that’s a U2 reference and an Oasis reference in the same post. :)