Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Posting to Blogger via eMate

When you have to open a browser to initiate a connection to a wifi network, try this order of operations.

With Newtscape running in background:
Create note
Open Newtscape with Notes still open
Load a simple page, like google
Close loaded page window, leaving Netwscape running in background
Open NBlog and post & publish or update & publish
Close NBlog
Close Newtscape to disconnect ethernet

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Improving how we use wikis for better student learning: Harry Tuttle

- Organizing the wiki
= put the newest information on top: makes it easiest for students to access the information
= any resource used in class is posted to the wiki
= label what the resource is: graphic, video, document
= tends not to embed in the wiki
- Arrange by class learning topic
= sidebar as table of contents
= by chapter
= by project, with projects listed on the main page
= by semester
= by themes that are revisited through the semester/year
= by sectors
- students have permission to change anything on the page
= students will correct spelling mistakes, etc
= gives them a sense of ownership
- avoid common web topics
= if the topic has been done many times, or by experts, it doesn't make sense to have the students try to replicate the information
= localize the topic: how does the topic affect your community
- make learning "collective wisdom"
= different students learn different things and are not good at combining the wisdom
* the report ends up being student A, student B and not how the pieces fit together
= a wiki is a good resource to collect the wisdom and to bring it all together
= do not have students delete previous information: build upon the information so you can go back if the students make a logical mistake
* also provides students with a measure of growth
- exemplary work
= provide links to work that students have done in the past that are great examples of the work
= if you establish the quality you are looking for the quality of the students work improves
= also use real-world examples that are applicable
= provide examples that have concepts, not content, that they can copy
- contrasting work
- have the students do a variety of thinking in the wiki work
- checklist of response you have used in the class wiki
= challenge ideas
= ask probing questions
= give another perspective
= show connections
= provide alternative explainations
= explain how to do it
- building on/adding more to what others have done
= 1st student: chapter summary
= 2nd: real life example
= 3rd: web resource
= 4th more questions
= 5th web resource
- growing on previous work allows you to create an excyclopedic collection of knowledge
= raises the base of learning for subsequent years of learning
- group work
= wonder, amazement, and curse of education
= each group:
* lists its major goal and each student's role
* lists its daily learning successes and future plans
* has a common work repository: no losing the work
* each member's work is easy to see
= literature circles work well on wikis
- notification of changes
= makes everyone aware of the work each team member is doing
- students can help each other with problems
= make it a section on the wiki
- outside classes and outside experts
= need to be clear on goal of the project and its purpose
= wonderful way to exchange information
= make sure the outside expert is student-friendly
- co-create
= moving towards more student-created work
= affording students more rights to do things on the wiki
- explore new topic together as equals
- students will use a wiki

The Digital Age: Mark Benno

- rolling out new technology requires staf development
- effective prof development is the key to success
- using the teachers to drive professional development
- Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow
= evolution of thought and practice
* entry -> adoption -> adaptation -> appropriation -> innovation
= when you look at moving through the 5 stages of the evolution of thought and practice, if they don't have professional development and support they will never make the transition
= if they do get there without support it takes an average of 7 years to transition
= with appropriate prof development it goes down to 2.5 years
- students come with different lives, needs, and expectations
= students are natives to cyberspace, adults are the immigrants
= anecdote about his 4 year old using the mobile phone and how natural it was
- Pre-1980s students: digital immigrants
= books, tv, magazines, radio, pen & paper, records, phone
- as we have evolved with technology, the people who were the film strip advancer people have gone into ed tech
- Post-1980 students are digital natives
- what do we do when the district blocks the tech that students use?
= when the tech is proven, it is time to rethink the policies
- 12th graders views of the meaningfulness, interestingness, and importance of education has fallen
- Who are these students?
- Boomers
= learned with media by listening to music
= Johnny Horton, frustrated history teacher, put the facts to music
- Gen X
= watching a video
= Schoolhouse Rock
- Millenials
= producers of media
= not consuming professional media: producing their own or interacting with media their friends have created
= Rock Our World
* collaboratively producing media with students around the world
= students creating podcasts
* works well with young students
- Rethink
= iPod: shifting from music to podcasts
* which ear? students with 2 iPods, one with music the other with a lecture
= mathematics instruction: can demonstrate visually a concept
* can supplement class material
- Student achievement in a digital school
= sense of self/productive future
= 21st Century skills
= technology fluency
= basic skills
- Technology fluency
= if you have a problem do you know what technologies to use to solve it?
- 21st Century skills
= how do you know whether your data is good or bad?
- sense of self
= 50% of students using technology believe that they will someday own their own business
- how young professionals learn
= collaborative tools, wikis, editable, searchable
= cooperation, online, networking, sharing skills
- students want to collaborate
- adults are moving quickly into Facebook
- ACOT 2 project
= new way to reach HS students
= Mythbusters: choose a topic, identify a problem, research the problem, form a hypothesis, test, evaluate: scientific method
= articulation: what are the design principals of 21st century learning environments?
* 6 design principals
- relevant and applied curriculum
- informative assessments
- culture of creativity and innovation
- social and emotional connection
- 24/7 access to tools and resources
- 21st century skill outcomes
* a teacher is one of the most important components of student success
= communication: research, voices, commentary, data
* built a web site
= application: "for example" curriculum project
* challenge based learning
* blurs the line between formal and informal learning
* scalable
- ACOT2 will have 4 challenge based learning opportunities for people to start with
= people will be able to post their own challenges
- How it works
= big idea
= essential question
= the challenge
* guiding questions, guiding activities, guiding resources
= solution - action
= assessment
- let the verbs drive the nouns
- try to leave a conference with 3 new ideas
- "...if we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow." Dewey
- podcasting: every single kid and classroom can have their own broadcasting system
= easy to learn, easy to produce, easy to make a difference
- always include an open option that affords students an opportunity to incorporate their own interests and strengths into an assignment
- iPhone/iPod Touch: Braintuner
= surveys
- Twitter: markbenno
- collecting stories about the technology that changes our lives

Web 2.0 Tools: Margaret Riel and OMET

- VoiceThreads
= HS, professional; MS; elementary
- Blogging
= HS/pro
* reflective
* communicating with the community and world
* communicating what works and doesn't work so everybody can learn what you are doing
* classroom blog: reflect on questions that the teacher poses
- turning in their work to a global audience, peers, teacher
- allows them to get comments on their work
- gives reluctant students a voice
= Personal Learning Network entries
= their comments make them producers of information
= middle school blogs
* blogging can be scary to parents: new to them
* password protected: every student needs their own password
* can moderate comments
* once its up and going and parents are more comfortable, can losen restrictions
- blog about the teacher's experience in FL
- ties into a lesson about FL for the students
- includes a Voicethread
= Elementary
* students respond to questions posed by the teacher
* uses iWeb to put together the blog through the MobileMe Apple site
- Voicethread
= Images, documents
= poetry
* poetry comes alive when the students are able to share their work
* scan their poems and share them
* makes it hard to lose their work
- empowerment through networking

Monday, January 26, 2009

FETC Blogging

So, live blogging at FETC didn't work out. While they had free wifi, you had to open your browser and let it redirect to an ego-stroking message from the sponsor before the wireless connection would work. Unfortunately, as I have the eMate configured I couldn't fit NetHopper on it, which would have handled a re-direct. I got my MessagePad working with a re-direct when I took it to a conference, so I know it would have worked. I have to figure out what to remove from my eMate so I can shoehorn NetHopper onto it.

However, I did use the eMate to take my notes for the day. There were some good, informative presentations I attended. I will get them posted as soon as I have a chance to spell check them.

I also managed to find the "grocery market" across from the Convention Center that Allen and I found in 2005, when we were at FETC with our OMET cadre. I knew they had a good lamb gyro, and since I hadn't had one since moving to Connecticut I was pretty excited. I refreshed myself after my presentation.

Update: I ended up removing a couple of packages from my eMate that weren't needed, like the Newton Internet Enabler Modem and Serial support, since I use a wifi card to connect to NCX and the Internet. However, even after removing packages I still had only 460K available, and NetHopper 3.2 takes about 440K of storage space. Exasperated, I looked at the Storage soups on the eMate and found that the Courier cache was 335K! I set the Courier cache preference to be 10% of the store size, hence the huge cache. I cranked that way down, to its lowest setting. I now have nearly 800K of space, enough for NetHopper with plenty of space to spare.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm Headed to FETC 2009!

I'm going to the Florida Educational Technology Conference this afternoon for my presentation tomorrow, Lego Stop-Motion and Autism: Collaborate, Create, Have Fun! I will be live-blogging the sessions I attend with my trusty eMate, whose battery life makes it the perfect companion for a days worth of note-taking and posting to my blog via its wireless card. Here's the sessions I plan to attend.

7:45 - 9:00 Chris Dede
Emerging Interactive Media: What to Use, When, and How?
Room: North 320EF

9:15 - 10:10 Margaret Riel with Graduate Students from Pepperdine University
Teaching Online in a Web 2.0 Context: Free Tools and Ideas

11:10 - 12:05 Mark Benno
The Digital Age: Teaching and Learning for Tomorrow Today
Room: North 320BC

12:30 - 1:25 Josh Burker
Lego Stop-Motion and Autism: Collaborate, Create, Have Fun!

1:50 - 2:45 Harry Tuttle
Improving How We Use Wikis for Better Student Learning

3:00 - 3:45 Dr. Frances Haithcock
Closing Session
Room: Hall NA1

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"A laptop the Jetsons would have used"

Dylan Tweney wrote a nice lament about the early death of the eMate 300 back in 1998.

It's interesting to read about the role the eMate served in schools and what it might have become had it been given a chance to mature.

I worked at a middle school that had a cart of eMates and while I was there I got them all updated and loaded with packages that supported the curriculum. There were some cool astronomy programs that a science teacher used, the yearbook teacher used them with her students to write copy using the built-in word processor, and the Multimedia Club I ran liked to play chess and rock, paper, scissors on them.

I bought an eMate a couple of years ago, a real nice one with the NewerTech memory upgrade. Outfitted with a wireless card, it makes a great blogging device because of its long battery life. I am taking mine along to FETC in a couple of weeks to live blog the sessions I attend.