Blogging Live from MEGA - Laura Fogle's Presentation

"Conversation on Cybersafety in 21st Century Classrooms"

Laura Fogle, Technology Educator/Tech4Teaching

Web 2.0 is here to stay!  Pointed out that John McCain and Barak Obama, both have a MySpace account, and that Dora the Explorer (kids' cartoon) has podcasting/vodcasting on her site!

YouTube bad press and other media "hype" (mentioned Lee County fight club situation) evokes "highly reactive response" from general public.  DOPA, DOPA Jr., State Initiatives, Local Policies all reactions to this response.

"Real Concerns"

Online predators - 71% reported receiving messages online from someone they don't know (  Need to know what real statics and real numbers are!

Proactive Response:  Protection, Responsible Use, Education and Advocacy

Used analogy of giving pointed scissors to kindergartners is not appropriate, but that doesn't mean we should ban all scissors from the school.  We teach them using rounded scissors and allow them to be guided in learning how to use the tools!

Gave out different colored strips with a question as well as several delicious link sites. 

Danita and I have this question:  "What policy changes would you recommend to address Web 2.0 concerns?" (How ironic, as this is the very issue that was heatedly discussed at our ITF meeting earlier today.)

Our Ideas: 

Policy committee for community buy in, parent involvement, student involvement, teacher representation, school board rep; staff development in Web 2.0 tools, gather large amounts of information - what are others doing?  What are the discussions in other areas?

Educating Others about web 2.0:

conversations with parents, show sites at PTO, show them how to set up their own accounts, encourage parents to be involved with their kids' sites, share guidelines.

Can you use Web 2.0 tools in the classroom safely? 

Lab guidelines that need to be read, discussed, and signed by each student who enters the lab.  Students told the history on each computer would be checked, consequences set up.  Teacher must be engaged, actively involved, highly structured assignments/activities.  If you wait until the students are adults, they will never have the experiences they need to grow, put responsibility back on the student with well defined consequences and follow up.

Is student activity on social networks a school issue?

What if students post fictional sites of teachers with negative content?  Mentioned a Leading and Learning Article - Point/Counterpoint.  If the activity a "substantial and material disruption to the learning environment" the school has jurisdiction to intervene in the situation?  Download material and copy for the parents to view?  Check with ISP provider to locate offender.  My Space is working to help out in these situations, ie. taking sites down, as well as any comments they've ever made.  Social networking sites are working to alleviate some of this negativity.

Suggested having a panel discussion with policy makers, social network reps, law enforcement, teachers, parents, etc.  GREAT IDEA!!

Although we could have continued this terrific discussion for hours, the meeting had to close!  To be continued....

Blogging Live From MEGA - Joselyn Todd's Presentation

Joselyn Todd - MS Science Dept. Chair/Cary Academy/Teacher Editor: MidLink Magazine

wwwikis - Presentation wiki for today (PowerPoint is included here)

Joselyn has started out discussing much of the web 2.0 vocabulary, most of today will be about wikis. 

Nature Magazine article comparing Wikipedia to Encyclopedia Britannica - comparison of errors found in each.

Designates editors and formatters in her classes to make the wikis look appealing.

How does the wiki fit into the big 21st Century Literacy picture?  Allows for collaboration, thinking critically, self directed learners, technology integration, global learning, content development, creative thinking, intellectual freedom.

Why use wikis in classroom?  Easy to use, FREE, Allows teacher monitoring (times of posts are in the history) Intellectual creativity creates Life Long Learners!

Kids assigned to teams and asked to spend 15 minutes working on "their" page for homework.  When she looked back at the history 148 edits had been made on the page the same day the wiki was created!  Used the history to see who had contributed and when.  Used the information the kids had put on the wiki to sense what she needed to reteach or go over.

Joselyn includes David Warlick's citation machine link for her kids, on the wiki front page.  She uploads her documents and screen casts (vodcasts) for her kids to use as reviews or when she is absent.  Took apart the periodic table and each kid did a podcast of an element.  Her kids also incorporate YouTube videos to demonstrate their chemistry concepts!  The kids use the teacher's YouTube account to put the videos they have made/selected, up on the wiki.

If she sees errors in the wiki contributions, she points them out privately to the student and THE STUDENT makes the edit.

Cary Academy uses no filters.  Policy at the school which tries to instill responsibility.  Good stuff outweighs the bad stuff.  The school has a recording feature, so she can go to the student's account to check where they have gone on the web.

Grading?  She asks, "who did not contribute to the wiki last night?"  The kids are aware that she has the ability to use the history to check this.

Has the kids create questions for the test (and answers) and post them on one of the pages of the wiki, along with their name.  The wiki is then used as a study guide, and she uses 20 of those kid-created questions to create the actual test.

Created a blog out of a wiki for her kids.  Only members can comment.  There is a direction page, so kids know how to use it as a blog.  Kids have their own page, they copy and paste the blog prompt given by the teacher, and then blog about it.  Others add comments (kids who comment write their name on the board drawing a line from their name to the origianl blogger's name - so everyone knows who has gotten a comment, and who needs a comment - GREAT IDEA!).  Students must then ammend their original blog after reviewing the comments.

"It is my job to educate them on how to use these tools...whether they are using it for educational purposes or not..." Joselyn Todd 

"How will we effectively teach them [students] if we are ignorant of it ourselves." Joselyn Todd

"Do not confine your children to your own learning...for they were born in another time." Hebrew Proverb

Time Out!

Sometimes we get too caught up in thinking we need to save the world of education! To be quite honest, trying to just stay afloat ourselves, say nothing about helping others in the journey, leaves many of us frustrated, overwhelmed, and a little CRAZY!  So here are a few "Time Outs" - can you hear my whistle?

Flickr:  Ref Jer

1.  Check out this very addictively fun site called The Impossible Quiz!  You may need to set a timer near your computer, or the next time you look at the clock it might be 3 AM!  Thanks to my sister, Kathy, for sending it to me (although I think it was really an invitation to a challenge - she's very competitive!).

2.  I got a chuckle out of this metaphor and had to pass it along!  I first saw it on Steve Dembo's blog  It is entitled NCLB: The Football Version.  Good ahead, laugh!

Free Web Tools for Online Collaboration

Harry Marriner and Keenan Tusing - Pender County Schools

  • Talked about a tech camp they conducted June 2006 (8-12) 3 groups of 4 kids spread out among the school

  • Goals of the camp: Expose students to interactive and collaborative online tools, create presentation using non-face to face collaboration.  What a neat idea!!

  • Used PBL format - given a challenge that was research based; unable to talk face to face; worked from different areas in the school

  • Used Gaggle email accounts, stored files in digital locker, utilized message boards, chat rooms, and the blogs

  • - interactive collaborative whiteboard; need valid email; can comment or make changes on it

  • Learner Blogs - blogs for kids from same people as edublogs

  • Chat Room - -free account up to 4 rooms; admin can monitor all of the rooms; can send files right into the chat room to share; archives chats; can keep it private by inviting members - can turn guest access on and off

  • started every day with an email - kids had to check their email for the day's assignment

  • wikispaces - kids could use the wiki to collaborate on ideas and share research information that they are collecting

  • Collabortive Drawing - invite others to draw something with you; can save drawings

  • Class Chatter - allows class to communicate through student blogs without student email accounts.  You create a classroom, add names of students, give them a password to access the site

Great session, I think this is something we really should look at doing!  What a unique idea to collaborate only online!!  How much more real world can you get?!!

Think Differently, Teach Differently

Establishing a Digital School Environment - Stanly County Schools

Matthew Barfield, Tech Facilitator and Laura Kerr, Principal (in the finals for NC Principal of the Year!)

WOW!  These folks are from North Albemarle School and presented on their Horizon Project in which they have accomplished a 1:1 laptop program in their 4th and 5th grade classrooms.  Each of the 100 students has a laptop assigned to them (although they do not take them home).  The workshop began with a live video conversation via Skype with two of their teachers back at the school who spoke glowingly of teaching in a digitally-immersed environment.  Cool!  They reported several positive outcomes from the year and 1/2 they have been piloting the project.  These included less teacher prep time to create meaningful lessons (not sure how that is accomplished, because I would think for the first while it would be the other way around), greater student engagement in content, enthusiasm, responsibility for their own learning, increased maturity level, and that they are more apt to do what you are requesting because they see a purpose in it.  They also report greater time on task, and less discipline problems when the kids are using the laptops - makes sense!!

The 4th and 5th grade classrooms have undergone an entire makeover.  The desks were removed to bring in tables so the kids could collaborate while working on their laptops, projectors are mounted in the ceilings, ACTIVboards (equivalent to our SMARTboards) have been mounted on the walls, laser printers have been installed, and a color printer is shared by the two grade levels.  Online textbooks are being utilized, as well as online extension activities, virtual field trips, and webquests.

The very passionate principal, Laura Kerr, sees the laptops as "an accelerant to active learning".  She has designated every penny of her Title One budget (being a school of over 85% free and reduced lunch) to this initiative, stating that it is the way for the school to be moving!  They are looking at implementing the project in the 3rd grade as well, next year, seeking funding from private foundations and area businesses (like banks).  She invites local commissioners and area business people into the school to see the fantastic things they are doing, and how this movement will positively effect the future of the community; believing that if they can see what wonderful things the kids and teachers are doing, funding will follow.

Training on a daily basis is conducted by Matthew Barfield, the school's ITF, and early training by Apple was conducted so the teachers would be able to teach the curriculum effectively through the Apple applications.  The presenters estimated the cost of the project, including the staff development, at around $700 per student.

Further information can be found at North Albemarle School's website under the Best Practices link!

We need to take a visit!

Photo: M with Laptop

Best Technology Practices in Elementary Schools

Tracy Gregory and Joan White - Perquimans County Schools

These teachers have put together (3 years in the making) great resource materials organized by SCOS units.  All units have been saved to discs which the teacher can use as she works through the unit.  Lessons are built to be kid-friendly including voice over narration to accompany text and emmergent-reader friendly web links.  The ones they shared were science related, and included many strategies to help develop literacy skills as well as science content skills.  There are activities for the early finishers which are related to the unit, engaging and interactive, as opposed to busy work in the form of another worksheet!  Written text throughout the activities includes hyperlinks for vocabulary words so students can view definitions as they go. 

They were selling their CD's for $15 (a bargain given the amount of great content and activities on it).

Also cool, Brain Pop now has Brain Pop Jr. which is currently FREE!  Did you catch that?  FREE!!  Can't wait to show my teachers!

On to the next.....

Picture Perfect Presentation

Teaching students how to gather, organize, and present information using graphical, audio recording, multimedia, and digital photography.

Tammy Gruer - Union Hill Elementary 

  • Students (2nd grade) were studying sound.  Grant provided DC-1 six Digital Camera Explorer Kit ($215), Califone AX12 microphones, CPS (Classroom Performance System) remotes, LCD projectors (Hitachi), Mobile Multimedia Presentation Cart (Highsmith) - everything is contained in the cart ($348.00), Targus Remote presenter controller, tripod with micro fluid head (Highsmith)

  • What makes this sound? Project - Discussed and listened to various pitches (on ppt slide).  Also went over vibration the same way.

  • On Riddle slides, the kids used clip art for pictures, text for their riddles, sound links for voice over when they read the slide and sounds to accompany the riddle.

  • United Streaming has audio clips as well as several free audio sound sites.

  • Kids used the digital cameras to take pictures, clip art, or animated clip art for their riddle multiple choice items.

  • Rubric used so students know all the elements to include on their slides.

  • Teacher Evaluation sheet was filled out to gauge success of collaboration.

  • Also used digital pictures taken by students, and then drew on them to identify shapes the kids are studying.

Outstanding session with great technology integration strategies!  Everything tied to SCOS with terrific evaluation tools to use at the end of the project.  Really need to look into the Digital Camera Kits - small, rugged, easy to use!

Audio BookTalks - Creating Lifelong Readers

Audio BookTalks - presented by Pitt County (Carol Johnson)

  • Scores increase 21% when techs, teachers, and media collaborate together.

  • Uses Audacity, called companies to receive tools, mp3 with recorder (Sansa), Logitech mics (desktop and headsets), 300 Gb external drive for storage (kept in media center) ALL OF IT WAS FREE!

  • Starts out with filling in a worksheet with information about the book - Lesson

  • Designing web site in BETA stage, where students will eventually be able to upload to a state repository of BookTalks.  Director needs to call her to gain access for our kids.  Site will be organized by grade level (elem, middle, high), author, AR level, genre, title, etc...

  • Disc she is giving out contains all program downloads and directions.

  • - sound/music mashing site

This appears very similar to our book podcasts that we have posted on Podomatic.

Digital Storytelling

Session 1 - Digital Storytelling (Pitt County Schools)

Great deal of the way the brain is wired is visual in nature.

  • Parents and kids did storyboard at home, came to school to type text.

  • Storybook Weaver Deluxe, Movie Maker, Photo Story was used as well.

  • Sharing NC stories putting in Movie Maker format.

  • Teacher Academy session (apps due the 30th) to learn digital storytelling.

  • Handouts provide sites for free clip art, music, and copyright issues.

  • Use the feature to get rid of the black boxes that surround the photos.

  • Used it to narrate poem, demonstrate social issues.

  • Provided prompts, and then had to construct a project demonstrating his/her opinion.

  • After sharing the digital story with another class, have the viewing audience use it as a writing prompt.

  • One True Media - site where you can post your digital stories; free version allows you to import your own photos, but you must use their music.

  • - free graphic organizer software?

  • One third grade teacher had her class create "I Have a Dream" presentations.  They each had a template, brainstormed, and collaborated in groups of 4-5 to create their show.  They researched MLK's dream to help them create theirs.

Did she just say the Spec Ed kids didn't come to the library because there was no reason for them to come??

Doesn't grade them other than if they do at least 1 minute they get a 100. ??  No rubric is used or other means of assessing by the kids themselves.  WHY????

Doesn't post anywhere other than the common folder.  WHY???

Illustrated how to use Movie Maker by having audience members come up and add components.

If I had not had to sit in the very front row of a packed house, I would've left.  Disappointing in that the presentation was not organized, and they seemed to be at such a beginning stage in using it, the audience knew more about how to apply it in the classroom.  Not much was mentioned about the steps taken with students to reach a final product.  More of Movie Maker tutorial at the end.

Oh well....

Image Play

Photo: Play Time

I'm so excited!  Just found out a new way to insert images!  Hat tip to Danita!

Jumping onto Technorati

Technorati Profile

Hooray for Vermont!

First, let me say that I am so excited about taking part in Will Richarson's preconference workshop tomorrow!  As an avid reader of his blog, Weblogg-ed, I can't wait to see and hear him in person.  I'm sure it will be a very rewarding and information-packed day!  Stay tuned...!

As I was catching up on cleaning out my aggregator, I came across the exciting news that Vermont is planning to provide high speed broadband Internet access to all of its people!  Although we relocated to sunny North Carolina twelve years ago, I still consider myself a proud Vermonter, and am thrilled for all of the rural families there!  I can't wait to contact my good friend, Kim, who continues to teach in a rural elementary school near our home town to see how this all pans out!  Here's hoping North Carolina will follow Vermont's forward-thinking lead!

Photo: N. Danville, Vermont Covered Bridge