Monday, June 29, 2009

Global Connections - in the Primary Classroom

Session Information
What a privilege to be in a session with Kathy Cassidy, Amanda Marrinan and Maria Knee. I have read their blogs and seen videos of their work with their students. It is obvious that they make learning engaging and enjoyable.

Kathy Cassidy explained how much better learning was when it came from other children. Connecting to each other - Amanda Marrinan- heard about Maria Knee's students going to tap the maple trees. Maria's Knee's students made a voicethread to explain the process which they shared. It was magical. Maria - it's all magic to 5 year olds. She uses technology because it's there - just learning where Brisbane Australia is or Moose Jaw Saskatchewan is - now they go to Google Earth and can explore everywhere - what is the same and what is different. Could not have done that without the tools. They have Google Earth up as part of the project time.

What are the challenges?
Amanda - the children are too young - no - it actually inspires them to want to read and write. Odeo - helped them read what was on. Parents help and learn with the students. When wireless was weak - Skype - around the world - it was a different kind of connectivity.
Maria - safety - she doesn't use names or pictures and names together. She educates the parents - get permission, makes sure the parents know what she is going to do and teaches students how to stay safe.Tells parents that they will have a window into the classroom any time they want.
All agreed that all comments have to be moderated. Cathy spoke of how occasionally inappropriate comments come from students - it became an opportunity (without naming names) to discuss the appropriateness of comments. Everything is a learning experience for the students.

All three teachers spoke of the ways they have their students record their learning, through photos, videos, podcasts which get posted on their blogs. They can revisit and use these for reinforcement and sharing with their families.

Nice to see how primary teachers help students make technology part of their learning environment in powerful ways, to learn, to share, to reflect, to discover and, especially, to communicate.
Session wiki

Steve Dembo NECC 09

Session information
Sometimes a session is about learning new things, sometimes about confirming that what you think about , use, teach others about is what others are doing too.
Although I no longer use bloglines, the ideas he is sharing is similar to some of what I do in Pageflakes. Next web 2.0 tool - Delicious. A district can have one account - gives everyone access to bookmarks (e.g. grade one math ) which can then be used by teachers and parents alike

allows you to add a list of links and then clikc tabify - can then get you to all those sites easily (with preview and tabs on your browser.
Can bounce from one site to the other without actually losing
publish to web - fax it in, text it, email it, call it
and then share - can do a full podcast (add view share)
can even do conference call
can see things with a variety of views
chat box if more than one person on the site at a time
If you go into settings and enable rich media rss - can automatically share to iTunes for example
Don't need anything fancy to create a podcast - call it in (room for about 400 minutes if you just use site for podcasting)
video editor in your browser - students can work online - upload media into jaycut - can keep private only to you or publicly
add images just like imovie or moviemaker
even has transitions
Can download in a variety of formats to computer, phone...
gives embed code
unlimited size
Can upload a "bucket" of media and 5 log in to the same account and use the media to create different videos

twitter for students
microblogging with students - behind a password - can choose to have some pieces public but don't need to. Can set up groups and only send to specific groups.
Can add assignments, schedule events
new version coming - faster, ability to embed video files, slideshare etc. can watch within the interface

Poll Everywhere
classroom response system via text messaging 30 votes per pole for free
shows individual votes and can download to spreadsheet
Can set up ten polls in a row and select and create ppt with the polls which will be live so students can go through and answer polls
can also be accessed through computer
There is educational pricing for larger groups

animation site - create 3D animations, text to speech, diff languages, can adjust camera angle`
animate characters etc. When finished - rendering takes time. Can publish to you tube, embed ...
There is a trailer ad before the movie. Paid for version including greenscreen

broadcast - can embed in blog
can have multiple webcams, bounce from camera to camera
record student concert and bounce from student's camera to camera

presentation done today in prezi
once you have laid the whole thing out - chose the path you want to take through it.

Great ideas!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

NECC Sunday

Malcolm Gladwell - Author of - The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers

He doesn't talk about anything that his audience knows more about so he is talking about Fleetwood Mac. "A bunch of kids get together in a basement - there is magic and boom they become famous and rich" But that is not the reality. The formation of the band kept changing, they recorded multiple albums before they actually made it big. The band had a long history before they moved to LA and evolved into the band we know. This took about 10 years and 16 albums - it takes time to master something - this is not easy.

In Outliers he talks about 10000 hour rulem(about 4 hours / day for 10 years) for someone to achieve success. We think of prodegies but really there are many hours of hard work behind the success. What are the implications - behind learning there has to be an attitude about effort (I believe my effort is crucial to getting somewhere). It's not just about talent.

Math tests - are really about the willingness to sit still and focus - this attitude has to be communicated to students. The idea that doing well in math is based on talent is a self-defeating profesy - (i.e. working hard won't change your results). However, students who work hard, will do better.

The road for Fleetwood Mac was very rocky (members quitting, including the driving force behind the band) but they persevered. They don't succeed from success - they built on their failures. Compensation strategy - compensate for your weaknesses. When it succeeds - very powerful. Hunger plays a big role - the hunger to achieve something.

Large percentage of entrepreneurs have LD - connection between their dyslexia and success - they have learned to compensate. (The prisons are also filled with people with LD - didn't learn to compensate). They learned leadership skills - delegate (get people to read and write|) learn to talk and be persuasive, convincing, problem-solving - all skills that are part of being a successful entrepreneur.
We need to have respect for difficulty. Create constructive disadvantages in learning environments? Learn compensating strategies

Fleetwood Mac - over the course of their early albums - get better and better; they experiment with the kind of band they want to be. Trial and error to see what kind of music their talents were best suited for. Experimental innovator - find their way to genius through a path of trial and error. For example - Cezanne was in his 50s before he reached the apotheosis of his career - needed a long period of experimentation. Feedback - timely and targeted is important to growth and success (e.g. Pisarro and Cezanne - Cezanne was learning from the master and getting feedback).

Preconditions to approach learning. Challenge - to use energy and enthusiasm and creativity to make learning environment as meaningful as possible.

(I would rather have heard an educator - no great revelations)