Saturday, June 30, 2007

Influencing learning

In watching a video on learning theory, several things were emphasized. The emotions of a learner are important. If one is uncomfortable or stressed, less learning takes place. This notion was put forth, if I remember college correctly, by Kolb.
The culture of the society affects the way we learn. We need to change the culture and this is already happening. A paradigm shift is underway. Stepping away from traditional schooling paradigms towards secondary learning centres will better prepare our learners. The general schedule of primary schools should probably remain intact, although integration across the curriculum will include more learners in the learning.
Learning is a social activity and is more productive when learners learn from one another. This concept was so strongly pressed upon me in college and graduate school, that I really have no idea who first thought it up. Perhaps it was Plato, as a circle of learners gathered around him to learn from him. It certainly does sound like the now famous Bloggers Cafe, which has been reinvented in Second Life by Ryan Bretag and as a website by Jen Wagner. The social element is so crucial to our learning that we seek out those situations which nurture our need for relationship.
Detroit Public Television and Mort Crim Communications (Producers). (2002.). How People Learn: Introduction to Learning Theory [Video]. United States: Annenberg Media. Retrieved June 30, 2007 from Annenberg Media Learner.org site. http://www.learner.org/resources/series172.html?pop=yes&vodid=647596&pid=1861
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Friday, June 29, 2007

Change

It's after the conference, the conference of the year perhaps. How has the NECC experience impacted you?
I observe more camaderie, more networking, more empathy. These qualities may have always been there, but we were not as aware of them as we all are now. From the distress of Crafty's family stuck in Miami and Grenier stuck in Atlanta, to the concern over Pederson finally making it home, to the bigger questions of where do we go now, the evidence of our networks are palatable.
Those compelling discussions held at NECC, especially in the famed Bloggers Cafe, are being continued. That is the whole point in a nutshell, if you will. We all have solidified our networks, even those of us not lucky enough to attend NECC.
About what do I hope the community will converse now that the conference is over? A regular webcast entitled "The Bloggers Cafe" for those discussions that we all need to energise us, challenge us, and animate us.
An edubloggercon-type meeting sometime this fall and next spring. Can we all wait until NECC? Maybe a virtual meeting would be more inclusive. Or one for the westcoast and one for the eastcoast.
Continued networking and standardization of our tags. I think edubloggerconers suggested something like school+grade or age level+big picture topic + detailed topic +medium. So for example I would write: bca 7thgrade math fractions podcast. We need community consensus...
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Is this the future?

From Change Agency by Stephanie Sandifer
Pay very close attention — to this…

Knowsley Council in Merseyside, which - for years - has languished near or at the bottom of exam league tables, has abolished the use of the word to describe secondary education in the borough.

It is taking the dramatic step of closing all of its eleven existing secondary schools by 2009. As part of a £150m government-backed rebuilding programme, they will reopen as seven state-of-the-art, round-the-clock, learning centres with the aid of Microsoft - which has already developed links with one school in the borough, Bowring.

The style of learning will be completely different. The new centres will open from 7am until 10pm in both term-time and what used to be known as the school holidays. At weekends, they will open from 9am to 8pm.

Youngsters will not be taught in formal classes, nor will they stick to a rigid timetable; instead they will work online at their own speeds on programmes that are tailor-made to match their interests.

Hat tip to Stephen Downes for pointing to Graham Atwell’s post about this development. The original news item is here.

This will definitely be something worth watching — and worth paying very close attention to…
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The Best Buy Bag Fun!

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Dr. Seuss, 1904-1991
This is loosely paralleled on the Seuss poem and Julie's post
One blogger
Two blogger
Red blogger
Blue blogger.
Black blogger
Orange blogger
Old blogger
New blogger
This one has
a little bag.
This one has a little tag.
Say! What a lot
of bloggers there are.
Yes. Some are red. And some are blue.
Some are old. And some are new.
Some are sad.
And some are glad.
And some are very, very bad.
Why are they
sad and glad and bad?
I do not know.
Go ask your dad
Today is gone. Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one.
Every day,
from here to there,
funny things are everywhere.
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Rippling Knowledge

The brain power present and being used at NECC 2007 while the world watches is, as my students would say, totally awesome man!
On blogger says: In-session, in-world, exhibitors, hall opportunities, and the conversations. You can't turn around without learning. (Warlick, 2007)
That knowledge that is generated at NECC falls into the collective intelligence, generating rippling waves that carry that knowledge all over the populated globe.
The experience of these participants meeting F2F will change not only them, but everyone as a result of those waves of intelligence.
I so have NECC -envy!
Endotes:
Warlick, D. (2007, June 25). Twitter. Retrieved 2007, June 26, from http://twitter.com/dwarlick
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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007

When You Least Expect It

This video is worth your time:

http://www.researchchannel.org/securityvideo2007/displayevent.aspx?rid=11016
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Be Alert - the world needs more lerts!

In order to remain competitive, the USA needs have what Janet Napolitano calls a Sputnik Moment, recently written about in Miguel Gulhlin's blog .
She claims that the manner in which we teach students must change and change quickly. In 1957, we were caught off guard by the launch of Sputnick. The country resolved to put a man on the moon. Remember that speech? We all thought our president was crazy.
We need such a Sputnik moment now. We need something behind which to rally support.This country needs high-speed broadband across the nation. We need hardware in the schools. Every student needs to be prepared with 21st century skills If we don't meet this challenge we will fall from the economic, military, and cultural dominance in which we have basked for so long. Are we ready to play second fiddle?
Karl Fisch alerts us that those entering Kindergarten this fall will graduate in 2020. Are we going to give them skills they need or are we going to call it business as usual? Are we going to remain economically, militarily and culturally competitive or will someone else take the lead?
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2007 SIGTel Online Learning Award

Congratulations to these pioneering educators!

FIRST PLACE: Julie Lindsay, International School, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Vicki Davis, Westwood Schools, Camilla, GA, USA; Project Title: Flat Classroom Project.

SECOND PLACE: Sharon Peters, Lower Canada College, Montréal, Quebec, Canada, and Reuven Werber and Karen Guth, Neveh Channah School, Etzion Bloc, Israel; Project Title: International Collaborative Literature Project: From Jerusalem to Montréal.
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Do you have a learning community?

Does my school constitute a learning community? Well, it's a school, shouldn't it? It's not an automatic. Like everything in life, those things that are really worth it, take work.
A learning community contains a shared mission, a shared vision, shared values, and shared goals. I think as a community we all share the same values. Some of us may not know the school's mission, vision, or goals. I would hope that these will be clearly delineated in writing. I would hope that we all would align ourselves with our learning community to accomplish our mission by accomplishing our goals for each students by the time they graduate. I think our values and vision are less easy to pin down. They are more of who we are as an anabaptist community is the Four States Region. Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Jeff Han Strikes Again!

A colleague sent me this...

Monday, June 18, 2007

It's the story, stupid!

The stupid one is me, before anyone gets their ruffles up.
Everyone has a story, a history. Everyone is busy creating a story, doing something right now. Everyone will have a story, a future they want for themselves.
Is your story about you as an expert, someone who is highly adaptable. or someone who is anchored? I of course got these ideas from that icon, David Warlick.
We need to prepare kids to share their stories with a global audience. Once they master the technology, they can focus in on the content. That content will be about them as an expert, them as highly adaptable, or them as someone who is anchored. We need to provide kids with all three mega-strategies.
Our biggest question right now is how to do we get there from here?
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Pageflakes

I must be more excited about NECC 2007 than those who actually get to attend! I set up a pageflakes to collect everything about NECC, if it works.
I'm looking forward to the podcasts, the blogs, and any other virtual way I can attend next week! I may not make the Edubloggercon virtually, but I do plan on bugging attendees after that.
Because my gender appears not well represented virtually, I will again call attention to this lack of balance, ask how will we deal with it, and warn Miguel to remove all knives from his house (just in case!)
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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Enjoy NECC 2007!



I know everyone attending, whether in RL or SL, will have a great time! Keep those blogs coming and keep that Twitter going! And Steve, take a break!
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Friday, June 15, 2007

Digital Literacies

I read snbeach’s entry about NECC in my RSS aggregator and clicking through found your session at NECC entitled: Contemporary Literacy in the New Information Landscape. This sounds compelling, so I began reading…I read that you would begin by clicking blog entries about your session, if any. “If any”? You have got to be kidding, Mr. Warlick! You are an icon! That’s about all I can think…you have got to be kidding!
Preparing our children with digital literacies in lieu of paper-based literacies is what our jobs entail! As Karl Fisch reminds us, those who enter Kindergarten this fall will graduate in 2020. Time is running out and those wrinkles are scrunching up, causing their folds to touch in more and more unexpected places. (It’s not a flat world…it’s a wrinkled one)
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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Summer Podcasting

We learned a little bit about Audacity, podsafe music, mp3 files, audio editing and podcast publishing.

Click here to get your own player.


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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Focused immersion

Digital immigrant that I am, I do not pretend to understand how connecting online can be more intense than connecting face to face. Somehow, that connection can be as meaningful or more meaningful for today's digital natives.
Today, I had the privilege of teaching a young lady the rudimentary skills necessary to create a podcast in Audacity. I emphasize that there are three parts to any show: intro, main content, and outtro. Because we only have one headset and no speakers, I did not hear her finished podcast until I got home. And then I got excited! This is only her second day podcasting. Yesterday was plagued with software and hardware issues. Today we used my laptop and Audacity.
When I reminded her that classes with whom she is blogging will hear her work that wasn't important. But when another faculty person (thank you Mr. Dobbs!) listened, she put it together and realised that kids in Australia, Wales, and California would have access to her work. Then her face lit up in a smile! It's that smile that rewards me!
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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Are you in the Flow?

Multi-tasking is taken for granted by many today. Students write email, listen to music, compose homework answers, have cell phones turned on, and have music on in the background. These ideas are from Dana Wilbur that I am listening to while I write this, comment on a ning community site for preservice teachers, comment on Twitku, check email, and have Meebo on in case a student or parent would want to talk.
The paradigm for learning is being called new. It is multimodal, 4D, not one plane anymore we are being told. We are like the honeycombs of Teemu, like the wrinkles that scrunch up and touch in unexpected places. Our languages are evolving to make our learning formats more interconnected. Networks are increasing in importance and singularity is decreasing. I think we have always been made for relationship, for networks. Web2.0 tools just facilitate our networking.
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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Two Way Dialogue

The concept was reiterated in the FOE conference that education is a two way dialogue with the majority of the world. I disagree. Teemu Arina's visual concept explains what I mean best. He displays a picture of a honeycomb. In that situation, communication is not just on two quadrants, which would be two way, or even one quadrant as in a monologue. The pattern of a honeycomb implies four quadrants. Communication is this model is more than two way. Digital natives are used to this 4D way of communicating, sharing, learning. We digital immigrants are more used to the two way, or sage on the stage, model.
As educators, we must capitalise upon this 4D learning style. It has previously been said that our brains are like jungles. Communication is more 4-d than it has ever been, with all 4 dimensions hitting us from all sides simultaneously. We must be able to organize this plethora of information efficiently or be overwhelmed by it. We are not dealing with a flat world but wrinkles in time and space that are not being ironed out. They are scrunching up as fault lines of the digital information technology erupts exponentially across our radars…like honeycombs.
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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Be a reflective practitioner...

By reflecting on how my students learn best, can I augment my ability to reflect upon my own practices? I often wonder if I am being who He wants me to be - am I humble and meek enough?
Am I facilitating my students in acquiring the tools that will assist them in success or am I serving self interests?
As Jane comments in the Time4Online conference forums, do I close the classroom door on learning at the end of the day or am I passionate about lifelong learning?
There is a popular Christian song right now that asks: are we who we want to be? Am I? Well, no. I am not satisfied with the "teach from the book" status quo curriculum. Like my principal says, I teach a dynamic curriculum in a Christian school. Maybe that is just his way of saying be ready to teach anything. As long as I keep learning!
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That new thing per week...

Not what I had in mind, but is it ever? While teaching yesterday the digital dwarf struck too! The school machines couldn't download Photostory, like I thought. We had to use something else and fast!
I literally learned Windows Movie Maker in 3 minutes - enough to show a student how to use it. I think it was valuable enough a lesson watching me learn on the spot. We want our students to be able to do that exact thing and a lot better than I ever could.
That student's lite up and he is probably an expert by now! How will I ever engage him today?
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Sunday, June 3, 2007

A new thing..

I did start a video, really I did. But I didn't finish, so it doesn't count. But I did stream and I have witnesses, all well paid to vouch for me. I hope they just don't want to collect on the debt I owe! So I guess that was my new thing, audio rather than video. Hmmm....this week I'm teaching two new things I have never taught before....digital storytelling and blogging. We'll see....
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The Journey

I went to a high school graduation ceremony on Saturday. I had known the graduates for seven very long years! Their commencement speaker, Angelo Adams, spoke of the journey, and who we meet along the way, as being more important than the end product. He's right, as any educator can tell you, the process is always more important than the product. I'm sure the conference attendees reading this will agree with this statement. Those graduates are the future of collegiate education, with a 98% matriculation rate.
I also attended a retirement party on Saturday. Those educators, like me, represent the history of education. There won't be very many more retirement parties where we all can gather. This year may have been our last.
Both the future of education and the history of education in one day. Phew! Those reading this and listening to Dave represent the present state of education, though that is somewhat of a misnomer. There is really no present state, but we all are in a state of change - the flux capacitors (how do you spell that?) of education.
Enough of my drivel - listen to Dave....
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