Saturday, July 04, 2009

Erin Gruwell: Freedom Writers

Session Information

The closing session of NECC09 was given by Erin Gruwell - teacher and originator of the Freedom Writers. Her inspiring story of working with seriously at risk students and helping them find their voices was powerful. She has truly made a difference in their lives and they, in turn continue to grow and make a difference themselves. They have not only graduated from high school, but continued on to university and some are helping with the foundation.

Learn more about the foundation

From Banned to Planned - Hall Davidson

Session information

Hall demonstrated cellphone use in a variety of ways

- students can text in opinions, answers...

Call an expert
Liz Kolb author of Toys to Tools from ISTE Liz' wiki

resource to share k12 projects

­One project she described:
(Dear Abby – in context of Romeo and Juliet)all assignments have been cellphone based – e.g. students taking on different roles. Students have taken ownership and come up with ideas (take on persona and call in)

Voicethread (can call in) - how teachers are using cell phones
Blogtalk Radio - listen to some back shows

The new 3Rs Rethink Rejuvenate Rename

New cell phones affect all aspects of kid's lives – music, video,camera,

Take the village to the child -

Students studying civics - come in to class – here are the numbers you should have.

  • e.g. supply the number to the planning commision


Fulfillment and self-actulalization
esteem and status
belong and social needs
safety and security
basic physiological needs

phone can fulfil all these needs (from bottom - order food, call for help, texting friends, ...)

Free speech – we are becoming the press, right to assemble (twitter mobs)

Banned in Iran – to stifle dissent and human rights – what is your school's excuse?

Challenge based learning

- call someone who picked or processed your food


  • lets you broadcast live from your cell phone
  • can embed in a blog or wiki, and put a place marker on a map
  • you can visit qik's from around the world

Sites to try

input and output device
can gather info – go to a database and then send it back


if you hear a song playing and hold up cell phone and get the data – who wrote and the title

CAOS living book

changes every 7 days - written in QR code - you need a bar code reader
qr code generator creates bar code - can use a bar code reader to go from site to site

You can read QR code - in Japan they are on buildings
bar code from a quiz
- to generate code:
just data – so data in has to be as good as data out - but can change the url if you make an error.


bought image recognition company

  • object recognition software

Vicki Davis -

determining mobile technologies for classroom use - when is it expedient - when should you use other tools (depends on students' mobile plans)

Need to have a good letter and rationale for parents.

Joe Fatheree

cell phones – snow day -a student created a video with his phone - led him to harness the power of the phones in his class.

used phones to speak, create, communicate

create a pathway to success – brainstorm with kids how you want to use the tools in the classroom

  • action plan
  • then sit with principal -
  • parents do a technology survey to find out limits to plan and if they are willing to let the device to be used in the classroom
  • Kids are showing how the mobiles can be used in the classroom.

Film on the Fly

  • mobile phone video challenge
  • writing prompt – send out text message
  • make a video – send it to YouTube

Handouts and powerpoint can be downloaded at Discovery Channel

Here Comes Learning: Will Richardson Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

Will Richardson / Sheryl Nussbaum Beach

Session Info

Will Richardson shared a video of a child trying to start a fire with a bow drill he made

What was interesting is that the child
  • understands how to use the internet – gets help - asks for help
  • doesn't show face or name, username is anonymous
  • he got a lot of responses

How did he know he would get a response?
How did people find him?
Learn with and from other people

He understands connecting and community

Sheryl -spoke about telementoring

learning from the wisdom of the crowd
pre-service teachers – set up virtual learning community (she used tapped-in)

  • from her own PLN – brought them in as mentors

wasn't mentorship as she thought – thought mentors would be knowledge givers, but it became a learning community – masters to masters, novices to masters, masters to novices, novices to novices

It's not about the tools – it's about the learning – but need an understanding of the tools
- how to change delivery of instruction to make use of what the tools have to offer
- greatest insight – urgency for change – kind of PD should be around managing change

what needs to change?

Will – if you are not feeling challenged as an educator you are not paying attention.
He quoted Shirkey – the ability we have right now is to form groups

We can form groups around our passions

  • a tectonic shift
  • use technology for collective action (e.g. Iran)

kids are using the technologies – but in reality – using in ways to socialize

  • friendship
  • interest based (like the bowdrill video)
  • millions of potential teachers for our kids – and kids are doing this without us
  • no adults teaching them how to use these technologies as contexts for learning in this world
  • need to be learners in these contexts – teachers need to take time to immerse themselves in these kinds of environments


  • help children to learn via their interests
  • teachers become co-learners (and will learn as much or more than the learners)
  • PD in 21st century needs to operate from connecting and collaborating
  • there are pockets of innovation – want to see better scalability
  • job embedded learning works
  • Teachers need to share from their expertise (out of diversity true innovation comes)
  • Linda Darling Hammond – we need to be learning collaboratively and on the job
  • need – no administrator left behind – they don't get pd – should be with teachers – learn together or with other administrators and superintendants
  • if you want best practice in PD – a team approach that meets several times / week
  • NSDC – teams
  • working in community – co-created content
  • The process of social learning that occurs when people who have a common interest in some subject or problem collaborate over an extended period of time to share ideas....
  • communities of practice – one of top ten jobs will be community instigator or community leader
  • social communities of practice – need to be designed so they evolve over time
  • what develops is co-created and collaborative with multiple opportunities for member feedback and ownership
  • The Scaling Framework (microsoft)
  • plp (personal learning portal) delivery model

Build in Workshops Webinars Virtual Learning Community

- become professional learning teams
- secret ingredient (build it on professional learning teams)
- champion building model

powerful learning practice

seek out schools willing to invest some time in exploring the challenge of 21st century

Friday, July 03, 2009

Cheryl Lemke - The Ripple Effect

Cheryl's handouts are here

Innovation ripples through

Adolescent learning 2.0

We have to think differently – begin to listen to and know them more.

  • A lot of learning going on outside the school
  • facile with technology but don't necessarily know how to learn with it
  • the are hanging out, messing around, and geeking out

- adolescents internet use is:– friendship driven (for peer group) and interest-driven (interest driven is often interactive gaming (94%) m and f)
- adults have to add value to animation thing they want ot know
- should we begin to understand what websites they are going to (e.g. cars, baseball, interactive gaming)

The reality is – in interest driven area there are other adults out there leading the learning in the informal space (getting into space as a learner and participant)

There is a lot going around gaming – writing technical manuals, writing modules to change and simplify game – whole environment and life around it. - one entry point to grab them into writing process

- missing the boat when we don't do that
- they are looking for genuine interest and guidance from teacher

  • Global Kids – get kids connected globally

  • Multitasking and background tasking – nobody multitasks – we have an executive function that we can only do things serially – distracted vs focused – kids are faster at serial tasking because they are younger

  • if you have 2 complex tasks that you are working on at the same time you are not being efficient.

  • Kids are mainly background tasking *other tasks not complex (even music with lyrics takes attention away) – we have to help kids understand that they need to have environment without distractions when doing something serious.

  • Working memory only holds 5 -9 things that are text or sound – only 4 that are visual

  • overload – working memory fills up – e.g. child just learning to read may be spending working memory on decoding and cannot then comprehend.

  • Visuals important – sites for combination of text and visuals

Continuous partial attention – Linda Stone

Student Engagement Matters ranges from Defiant/withdrawn/compliant/tactical/intrinsic

Intrinsically motivated kid has interest in topic

Looking for Deep Learning -To engage – you have to know the students use a learning environment that engage: web 2.0 and technology

Content - /substance organization novelty / variety choice
cooperation and collaboration – so powerful when topic is complex

Your students have access to:
MIT courseware, iTunes U - etc. should be dealing with complex tasks/ issues in school

Interactive Gaming

Democracy2: try to keep a country alive as a ruler
Collaboration trumps competition trumps individual learning (Johnson & Johnson)

Collaboration involves
- Balance of formal and informal
- positive interdependence which promotes personal responsibility
- considerable promotive interaction
- shared workspace
- iterative group reflection and processing to improve effectiveness
If you give students choice – grades go up – more committed.

Involving Students

There is very little sustained discussion in most classes - more teacher to student1, teacher to student2 ...
Sustained discussion – students talking to students

Meyers AP Government blog

Teachers assign blogs (interest not generated )is there sustained discussion?
Blogging to learn (The Plague of Circumstance) Teacher used the blog to make sure students were doing the research

The movie physics rating system
commenting on the physics e.g. in the roadrunner (Voicethread: Video Doodling)
Voice thread – clip in movie – is this possible? Please comment on the physics you see in this video clip

Can use Voicethread to
- check for prior knowledge
- make visible some of preconceptions and misconceptions

Interesting tools to provoke discussion

Flowing Data
use of visualization in learning (Flowing Data)
-takes a data set and graphs it

Democratization of knowledge

Students need to know how to search to get the information they need to solve problems

Check out the wizard tools try giving an Internet search challeng

Modeling: Scratch – programming and gaming in very powerful ways - presentations

Jamie McKenzie - Reading Between Digital Lines

Session information
I have heard Jamie McKenzie before and have enjoyed his books. He is really about pedagogy, not about tools, other than in how the tools can serve deeper learning. His session was based on articles he wrote:

He spoke of the need to keep children's wondering and curiosity alive. "Right answer teaching and peer pressure makes the kids' possibility of looking at the unusual drop off".

We need to help the students look through primary source material
e.g. - What kind of person was Matthew Flinders - knowing he was a British naval captain who was the first European to circumnavigate Australia?
Then look at letters - back up statements with evidence

We have to get away from topical research into thinking.

A taxonomy of synthetic thought and production

invent - design – conceive – originate
distill – refine – extract the essence
improve – make better – enhance – fix (up)
summarize – reduce
smush – compact – condense - truncate

The scale moves from bottom to top.

You can find out more in his article: A Taxonomy of Synthetic Thought and Production

The term “ reading” must be applied more broadly to include: reading images (faces), students have to understand how to “read a page”, understanding how we are being manipulated

Here are links to a few other of Jamie McKenzie's articles - he is always worth the read.

The New Reality: Making Sense of the World in an Age of Distortion
Filling the Toolbox: Classroom Strategies to Engender Student Questioning
Managing the Poverty of Abundance
great resources for searching, finding photographs

Go to his site - there is lots more to read.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Digital Citizenship - Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay

Session Information
Vicki Davis
Anne Bubnic
Julie Lindsay (Beijing China)

Students have a lot of technology on them all the time. Spion James Bond Super Mini Digital Camera Spy Pen
- these were used in Iran to capture footage.
We can't ban everything - we have to change behaviour.

Be Careful - This machine has no brain - use yours
Things are becoming unblockable (students have cell phones with data plans) - we have to get to behaviour - can't act as a police state - it's about getting at behaviour.

Digital Citizenship - the norms of behaviour with regards to digital use

Digital Citizenship Digi Teen
Nine elements within three main areas have been identified that together make up digital citizenship (Digital Citizenship in Schools by Mike Ribble and Gerald Bailey)

Digiteen pedagogy
Communication Collaboration Content Action
To be a digiteacher -
  • research technology and connect yourself
  • monitor and be engaged
  • Avoid the 'fear factor' Make a difference
For parents to understand digital citizenship
what is digital literacy

Anne - Digital Citizenship Tools Resources & Best Practices -
bookmarking on diigo - Join the digital citizenship group
Nine Themes of Digital Literacy
- excellent resource - posters, info, what to do if there is a problem, AUPs - resources for administrators
Excellent poster
Materials can be taken and repurposed, adapted for your own use.
There is a ppt available for teachers - can be printed out
Where does cybersafety fit into the curriculum
Vicki's Netvibes
You can have public and private pages - - public shows all your public pages

Easy to feed from Diigo into wiki, blog, Pageflakes..... by tag, by group, etc.

Virtual World - Digiteen Island
Interview with BBC - and Vicki's students in reactiongrid
9th graders constructed an area to teach about cyber citizenship

Woogi World - to learn about internet safety

Have a discussion with your students about what you reveal
Discuss and agree before hand
First name, last name, pseudonym
gender ...
Discuss ahead

With global projects be careful about
- showing affection in photographs
language awareness
cultural sensitivity
responses to others
Be aware that others may interpret and react to things differently - teaching respect for other cultures.

How to deal with problems
Fireshot - takes a screenshot - you can annotate it, blur it,
When you have a problem - if you delete content - then you can't deal with problem - grab a copy and then delete it. Send public comment - because it has been seen publicly.
Print page as pdf
copy pdf to student's teacher
communicate between teachers

Advocates for Digital Citizenship, Safety and Success - NECC sessions with content dealing with digital citizenship

Bernie Dodge: Puzzle Pieces

Session Information
Bernie Dodge is a self-avowed map lover.

How can we take advantage of Google Maps and Google Earth in a way that makes pedagogical sense?
It's all about place. Kids hear about history as words - place provides a way to glue these things together. It contextualizes and gives another way to think about it. Spatial abilities reside in the hippocampus - straddles both hemispheres. Historically people have known the importance of place.
Simonides - we have a fragment of his poems - he was at a banquet and was reciting a poem. He went out for a moment and while he was out the hall collapsed - because of his visual memory he was ab le to identify who had been there. The method of loci - where something is located - using place to remember by attaching things to places you already know. There is a connection between place and things you want to remember.

He talked about learning that Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stower were neighbours - it became a new way to look at them.

Taking kids outside - is novel - their attention will be activated. If you are in a strange place - activate uncertainty. Walking - triggers the senses - the concreteness.

getting out into communities - taking advantage of the attention that comes from being outside.

Geocaching - his class put together a geocache with travel bugs - one of his students wanted his bug to go to Berlin. He can now share with his students where the bug has been.

Field trips - so much energy spent on permissions etc. the content and forethought of a field trip often go by the wayside.
  • low - no cost
  • easy
  • quick
PlacePuzzle is a map-based activity designed to encourage close reading of a complex text. It uses a limited physical space to priovide a context for learning and includes short-answer clues that require recall and creative interpretation.

Critical Attributes
Resources - to be studied ahead of time
Map -of a related place
Clues -on the map that relate the map to the resources and require both recall and ideation

Optional Attributes
Scores kept based on speed and accuracy
Roles to divide up the reading
- Leaderboard posted publicly (gamers like this)
Clues made available one at a time based on performance (like a treasure hunt)

Communication channel allowing players to collaborate in real time

Chaos in Teheran - place puzzle

Clues - Map
Tinychat - embedded in a page or blog
Real Shoestring -
Google Maps - Google Sites to embed the map (at the moment it doesn't always work)
Type in clues - google forms / spreadsheets / docs
You can know when each team solved each puzzle
Eventually Google Wave

Placemark is a clickable clue
"He worked near here and waited patiently for them to pop the question. The grass nearby might remind you of a dairy pasture" - use clue, readings to figure out the clue

Clue |Possibilites (visual - street view, visual - photos, text - wikipedia, proximity - what's nearby)
Trade Secrets in writing Treasuree Hunt clues (pay for service for creating scavenger hunts)

Curricular Opportunities
historical events
distance - area - shapes
literature - novels,
geography concepts
language learning (street view lets you zoom in on street signs etc.)
current events
Field Trip prep - getting kids ready to go somewhere so they can immerse themselves in a place before they get there
Campus orientation
Earth Science and oceanography

|Implementation possibilities
-timed special event (only available at a certain time)
- self-promotion - promote school
- interschool competition / collaboration - have kids create for another school

Novelty, uncertainty, concreteness, time pressure, competition...

Design steps
- Pick topic
- Identify resources
- Pick locations
- Write Clues

He is working on an interface to help with the design - not quite ready

Google Earth - with street view - you can include different clues

Outdoor Version - change format so clues require you to be in the place. Growth in mobile learning will help kids get outdoors.

Web Site Story - - so hooked on Google Earth we don't get outside to see it. - will be available with examples, tutorials, forum - authoring tool
July 21, 2009 3:59 pm PDT will be live

Very intriguing ideas
Links to session slides