Thursday, July 2, 2009

National Standards

This is happening very fast. Questions need to be asked:

What should our schools' primary purpose be? Should it be to create a more efficient and docile workforce? Should it be to promote democratic citizenship with the ability to think critically, collaborate, and work as a team? Something else? All of the above?

Who is involved in creating the standards? Who should be?

See government site: Common Core State Standards Initiative

Check this article out in Education Week: "Expert Panels Named in Common Standards Push"

Other involved organizations: Achieve, Inc., ACT, College Board, NGA, CCSSO

Note that national educator associations such as NCTM, NCTE and ISTE don't seem to be included.

It is time to be vigilant and vocal.

Your thoughts?

“It is the supreme art of the
teacher to awaken joy in creative
expressions and knowledge.”

“Teaching should be such that what
is offered is perceived as a valuable
gift and not as a hard duty.”

~ Albert Einstein

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Back to Maine . . . Thinking More Globally

After a whirlwind five days at the NECC09 Conference in Washington, D. C., we'll be boarding the ACTEM bus this evening for the return trip to Maine. This morning I'm sitting in Ballroom B to listen to the Alan November presentation on Global Learning.

Points from November presentation:

• Teaching ethics is important.
• What information and relationships do we need?
• What skills can we teach today that will outlast the technology?
• Globalize the curriculum. Think globally, act locally.
• Dissonance captures students' imagination.
• Zoom in so can't see it all . . . want to see rest.
• Need to give different type of assignment if want to avoid copy/paste game. Design assignments where cannot plagarize.
• Pedagogy trumps technology. Pedagogy should be taught along side with` the technical skills of a new tool.
• Assignments should compare and contrast global views . . . re-contexualizing content.
• Awareness of points of view and critical thinking is very important.
• Who owns the learning? Students should own the learning.
* Every classroom can be globally involved . . . .tools such as Skype. (Skype in parents).
EPGY Stanford
• Engaging family is important.
• Every school should have a social network for sharing.
• Technology planning is not important. Ownership is. Who should own the learning? Who does own the learning?
• Classroom question walking out the door: "What just happened?"
• What do you do when you don't get it?
• host: to find number of pages of a domain
• Shifting Control to the Learner:

- Screencasting 12 Screencasting Tools, 5 Free Screencasting Tools
- Curriculum Review Bob Sprankle and Room 208
- How to find your own answers: Narrowing the Search: Create a Custom Search Engine
- Collaborative Tools Google Docs Collaboration with Google Docs
- Notetaking with recording devices (phones, laptops, etc.)
- Larger World, Social Responsibility Kiva Kivapedia
- Wikipedia, Creating classroom content wikis
- Teach children to work with other children. Lois Lowry, Number the Stars, see what other kids do on same topic around the world.

Monday, June 29, 2009

NECC Exhibition Hall vs. Blogger Cafe

I'm having a delightful time here at NECC '09. This morning I risked going to the exhibition which is a huge carnival of commercialism with vendors barking their wares. If I closed my eyes, it sounded very much like the cacophony of an agricultural fair, only with a digital edge. There seemed to be a royal battle between a variety of interactive whiteboard manufacturers. There was also a huge number of content management "solutions" vying for attention. Interesting. Having heard the phrase, "follow the money," I wonder about this royal battle between putting content into smaller and smaller boxes to make money and the concept of open software and open resources. How will it all shake out?

Right now I'm sitting in the Blogger Cafe which is a wonderfully open and collaborative environment where online friends have the opportunity to meet and talk face to face in an informal setting. No question that this is my preference to the loudness of the exhibition hall. But gosh, I do know the ISTE needs to pay the bills.

Highlights from NECC 2009

by Olga Laplante

I am at a wonderful model lesson here, at NECC in Washington. A bit of a preview, the Essential Question, "How do natural disasters affect people?", the current Project Coordinator of the TRC project as well as a former TRC Project Coordinator will guide students through an exploration of natural disasters around the world. Through email exchanges, students discover where and under what conditions natural disasters are most likely to occur, as well as the impact they have on humans. Particular attention will be given to natural disasters that impact their own lives and those of their corresponding ePal.

Try this wiki for more information, Great presenters, Amber Rowland, University of Kansas with Kari Stubbs. Check it out.