Saturday, October 20, 2007

Diploma Requiring College Application

"Education Commissioner Susan Gendron said Friday that she wants every high school senior to apply to college before being eligible for a diploma." ~ Sun-Journal
Apparently it is being recommended to the legislature that in order to graduate from high school, the student must apply to a college.

See full Sun-Journal article.
Bangor Daily News article
Portland Press Herald: College Aspirations the Key to Maine's Future Prosperity - George Mitchell & Speaker Glenn Cummings
Maine Government News: College Applications to Become High School Graduation Requirement

Should governments have this power? What do you think?

Some background information: The Maine Compact - College for ME

Who's Who - Board of Directors List, Staff - Executive Director: Henry Bourgeois, Sponsors/Funders
University of Maine System Online Application for Admission
Informational Letter # 31 saying that the requirement would be to fill out the application, not necessarily actually apply to a college.

Another Viewpoint:

The Big Con in Education: Why Must "All" High School Graduates Be Prepared for College?

Center for the Study of Jobs & Education in Wisconsin and United States - Dennis W. Redovich
Interview with Dennis W. Redovich
Is University Necessary for All?
Google Answers: Is College Necessary?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Workshop: Teaching the Art of Persuasion

Patsy Dunton from the Maine Department of Education is sharing the changes in the standards of the Maine Learning Results which has implications in the teaching of persuasion.

Guidelines for evaluating persuasive text:

1. Does the text argue for a particular position or point of view?
2. Does it attempt to convince the reader to think, act, or feel a certain way?
3. Does it begin with an opening statement which introduces the author's position?
4. Does it develop the position with relevant supporting evidence?
5. Does it concede, acknowledge, or refute an opposing view?

Some other connected resources

Workshop: Library of Congress Primary Source Resources

This morning at the MAMLE Conference, Amy Deshane of the Winthrop Middle School presented the huge collection of resources available at the Library of Congress. Good stuff! :)

Amy Deshane's LOC Resources Wiki

Library of Congress

Amy's email

Thursday, October 18, 2007

More on ACTEM 2007

by Deborah White

You'd think that with all those techie types gathered in one place, a single online site would be available to access all the presentations and resources and thoughts generated at this yearly conference.

Two of the speakers, keynoter Will Richardson and session presenter Vicki Davis both spoke of the importance of the book Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams. This book speaks of the new model of mass collaboration and how it is impacting our daily lives.

Combining these two thoughts, I am asking readers to visit my summary
of the links I found to ACTEM sessions. If you have other links, please email me and/or post them here so I can add them to the list.

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Favorite PD ideas? What works for you?

by Sarah Sutter

I'm wondering about the favorite professional development ideas for getting teachers more connected to 2.0 tools. With the roll out of the hs MLTI laptops the staff in my building is ready and excited about new tools and techniques and strategies. I want to help them maintain the enthusiasm -- and some PD in the past has shut down more than it has opened up.

What are your favorite PD formats?
What do you think are good places to start? (Noteshare? Wikis? Blogs? there is so much to choose from!)

I'm thinking I'll try the "join the fun" approach to start with - maybe some will get hooked and the whole thing will snowball. Will Richardson's statement about modeling the practice / modeling your own learning is the angle I think I want to go with, rather than immediately attacking classroom uses. I'd love to have your thoughts on where to start.

So to which blogs do you subscribe?

by Ron Smith

I am hoping to start some conversion here - My question is to which blogs do you subscribe? I have a few good ones in my aggregator: Will Richardson's Weblogg-ed, David Warlick's 2 Cents Worth, Edutopia's Spiral Notebook and of course this one, but am also really interested in expanding my horizons here.

What are your favorite blogs (or other RSS feeds) and why?

Workshop: Blogging in the Middle School Curriculum

This afternoon at the MAMLE conference I'm attending a workshop on blogging by Carl and Joyce Bucciantini from the Auburn Middle School. They have developed two great NoteShare notebooks on blogging which were offered to everyone via flashdrive. Good stuff!

AMS Blog Page

Workshop: From Argument to Persuasion

I'm attending a fascinating workshop at MAMLE by Freeport Middle School teacher, Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain, called "From Argument to Persuasion."

Want to know more about teaching persuasion? Elizabeth is the person to contact. :)

MAMLE 2007 Conference Notes to Share - Thursday

Program and Brochures

Click on "comments" below and share your observations & thoughts on activities of the day.

Scattered Notes of Keynote by Angus King:

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning a lion wakes up.
It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle.
When the sun comes up, you better start running.

- African Proverb

Recommended that everyone reads The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman

Friedman Quotes

History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes. ~ Mark Twain

Innovation & Steve Jobs

Point: Americans have to improve skills to compete in a flat world.


It is about finding out rather than knowing.

Law school . . . ask the right question and then find the law that applies to that question. Point . . teach to find the law to fit the issue.

Making mistake on the kind of tests we use.

Need to have context and content. Need balance. Process.

Skills of learning new skills. Learning learning

Quotes of Papert

Need to be concerned about infrastructure and deficits.

"Here's the Visa bill. . . take care of it for me, okay?"

Attitude is important.

Showing up is important.

"Survival of the Fittest" Darwin . . . defined as most adaptable to change . . .

Gretsky "It's easy. I skate to where the puck is going to be. Everyone else skates to where it is."

Definition of a Canadian: An unarmed North American with health insurance.

Share . . share what you know.

Will Richardson's Keynote Presentation at ACTEM 2007

by Kern Kelley

Will Richardson's keynote presentation at the 2007 ACTEM state conference.

To view the video in full screen [Link]. (Please note the quality level is set for web streaming, for a higher quality video or DVD please contact Download the video for an iPod. For more information on how to put video on an iPod click here.

Bob Sprankle also podcast an audio only version of the keynote here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Technology Tuesdays With Nicole

by Nicole Ouellette

Yes, it is Wednesday but I meant for this to be posted yesterday. :^)

Every Tuesday, it is my goal to post something technological and hopefully also helpful to educators and others who read this blog.

I'd like to use this Technology Tuesday to discuss a great (and did I mention free?) audio editing program called Audacity. You can download it here. And with a microphone and a little patience, you can layer "tracks" into truly interesting recordings and save them as many different audio file extensions including .mp3 and .wav files. I actually used this program to create cheering mix for our regional competition (tracks 1 and two had music (alternating) and track 3 had all the sound effects), though I'm sure the program can be used for much more intellectual purposes, like having language students record themselves speaking or having students create their own podcasts or radio shows, but I thought I'd pass the knowledge along. See you next Tuesday.

Will Richardson's Keynote at ACTEM 2007

Listen to Will Richardson's keynote as a Bob Sprankle podcast:

Bit by Bit Podcast #52 Will Richardson

Digging Clams

Clam Digging
Clams and Clamming
Soft Shell Clams in Maine
"Happy as a Clam"
Clam Digging Maine @ Flickr
Dig It: Taking clams from mud is back-breaking work

Web 2.0 Collaboration Tools @ Maine Adult Ed Pre-Conference

This morning at the Adult Ed Pre-Conference we'll be investigating many of the web 2.0 possibilities available to encourage communication and collaboration.

Olga's Wiki
Jim's Link Page

Maine Adult Education 2007 Conference

On Universal Design, Acronyms & Buzzwords

I just finished reading Amanda Leavitt's October 13 post on Universal Design titled "My Universal Design." I enjoyed Amanda's playfulness with the many acronyms and buzzwords we throw around in Education.

Susan Ohanian has a list for NCLB words: Most likely Words to Appear in Congressional Reauthorization of NCLB.

“If you can't convince them, confuse them.” ~ Harry Truman

Question: Why do we use terms that only serve to obfuscate? Isn't it time we use language to communicate rather than to confuse?

Universal Design Resources

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Open House & Community Building

I love Deborah White's weekly articles on education in the Bangor Daily News. This week's article is on the school open house. Deborah is continually asking questions that matter, such as "How do we build community?" and "How do we build a sense of belonging?" I guess I share her sense that this is what makes all the difference in our schools and in our culture in general.

Icebreaker Resources
Trust Building Resources
Team Building Resources
Community Building Resources
Learning Styles Resources
Diversity Resources
Questioning Resources
Essential Questions Resources
Cooperative Learning Resources
Listening Skills Resources
Active Listening Resources

Question: How can we build community and a sense of belonging?

Photo from Stephan DW's photostream

Monday, October 15, 2007

We Have Met the Enemy . . . Cloaking Ourselves in Technological Glory

"Here is what Henry David Thoreau told us: 'All our inventions are but improved means to an unimproved end.' Here is what Goethe told us: 'One should, each day, try to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it is possible, speak a few reasonable words.' And here is what Socrates told us: 'The unexamined life is not worth living.' And here is what the prophet Micah told us: 'What does the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God?' And I can tell you -- if I had the time (although you all know it well enough) -- what Confucius, Isaiah, Jesus, Mohammed, the Buddha, Spinoza and Shakespeare told us. It is all the same: There is no escaping from ourselves. The human dilemma is as it has always been, and we solve nothing fundamental by cloaking ourselves in technological glory.

Even the humblest cartoon character knows this, and I shall close by quoting the wise old possum named Pogo, created by the cartoonist, Walt Kelley. I commend his words to all the technological utopians and messiahs present. 'We have met the enemy,' Pogo said,'and he is us.'" ~ Neil Postman

Neil postman
gave a speech in 1990 called "Informing Ourselves to Death" which I keep returning to because I find it so current and so important. If you haven't had a chance, read it and let us know what you think.


Do you believe science and technology will solve the important issues of our world?

Do you think collaborating through web 2.0 tools will make us more caring individuals?

"In a modern society people can live without hope only when kept dazed and out of breath by incessant hustling." ~ Eric Hoffer

K12Online - let the fun begin

by Sharon Betts

(Cross posted from SharonsShare) These presentations have been published today at K12OnlineConference 2007!

Direct links to the presentation are provided.

  1. CLASSROOM 2.0 KEYNOTE: “Classroom 2.0 or You Live Where?”

  2. NEW TOOLS KEYNOTE: “More Than Cool Tools”

  3. Classroom 2.0: “Travel Through Space and Time”

  4. New Tools: “Cell Phones as Classroom Learning Tools”
This is a must attend conference - at your own time and place. Even have CEU's and college credits offered. The presenters names are a list of visionary educators.

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Building on the Web - Telstar Group

Building on the Web @ the Crescent Park School from 3:30 - 7:00
Monday, October 15, 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007

ACTEM and MainEducation Technology Conference

by George Crawford

This was my 14th consecutive year of going to the MainEducational technology Conference at the Augusta Civic Center. It has become a yearly trip that I make every fall and have looked forward to it every year.

The first thing you realize that when you get there is that you can feel technology in the air, at least for me anyway. Living in rural Washington County, you sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the choices in the vendor areas. From companies such as Apple, Lenevo, and others for computers to all of the software vendors, there are many varieties of things to look at, try out, and see. The door prizes are nice too.

The changes since 1993 are many. I can remember going to ACTEM and buying my first new Mac for home. A Macintosh LC III with a grand total of 4 MBs of RAM, an 80 MB hard drive, and a 14” color monitor. The StyleWriter II printer seemed a step up from my old dot matrix with my Laser 128 (a clone of the Apple II). The new iMacs and Macbook Pros are like warp drive as compared to the old days.

The sessions have changed yet are still similar. Some have to do with the latest and greatest in Technology. Some are software updates from Apple, Adobe, and also Microsoft. Some are the new technologies at a given time. I remember in 1997 or 1998 when Apple let people check out Newton Emates for a day to try out and take notes on.

This was the first year that I came to the Thursday sessions. I went to Technology and the Law which was great from Drummond and Woodsum. Many question were raised such as the role of schools in blogs and wikis that are on school servers that students participate in.

Friday’s sessions were also good. I learned about NWEA and schools that use it. I also attended sessions on BESS filtering through MSLN, the Future of Technology and the Horizon Report, and I learned how much more complicated Final Cut Pro is more than iMovie.

Also seeing people from ACTEM from around the state that you only see at conferences is great. You know many of them by name from the ACTEM list serve but don’t recognize them by face.

It was a great conference and would recommend that people go it. Now this year I would like to finally attend an ACTEM meeting. We will see! Thanks to all at ACTEM for organizing another great conference and for a great two days!!!

Things to Think About:

How has technology changed my life?

How had technology changed over my lifetime for the good and bad?

What is ACTEM and the MainEducational Technology Conference?

What role will technology play in the future of my students and my children?

What is are some of the legal aspects of the use of technology in schools and the law?

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