Thursday, May 20, 2010

MLTI Summer Institute 2010

Digital Citizenship in the 21st Century ~ Raising the Flag!

by Bob Mcintire

Take a break from the pressures of summer chores and recreation for a
professional recharge in Castine at the 2010 MLTI Summer Institute
July 28th through the 30th at Maine Maritime Academy. The popular
professional development event is expanding, adding a fourth half-day
session this year and featuring an eight hour Google Workshop for
the day before the Institute.

Sessions emphasize hands-on, imaginative professional development
opportunities in all content areas. Educators in all grade levels
including adult education are welcome with focus on grades 7 through 12.

This year the presentations will encourage activities and resources to help answer to the question: “How can we model and promote ethical, responsible, and productive behavior among all members of our digital society?” The goal - connect to one or more elements of digital citizenship: etiquette, ethics, safety, savvy, presence, and productivity.

There are two special highlights to this year’s Institute; Wednesday’s keynote presentation and workshop sessions by Dr. Jason Ohler and what will be a jaw-dropping, ear dazzling performance Thursday evening by AudioBody.

Jason Ohler has been exploring digital citizenship, story telling, music composition, playwriting, and other forms of personal expression for over twenty five years. He has lead and been part of research and program initiatives in education and public policy aimed at helping kids, teachers and citizens use technology "effectively, creatively and wisely." His involvement covers a wide range of areas, including e-learning, empowering kids and teachers academically and artistically through technology, building learning communities through networking, community development, educational technology planning, digital storytelling, and telecommunications and technology planning always with a sense of fun and purpose.

Dr. Ohler is Professor Emeritus of Educational Technology at the University of Alaska having led the Educational Technology and Distance Learning program there from 2003 to 2008 and before that responsible for program development and management, teaching, on-line and on-site course development, training and research. His many publications including Digital Storytelling in the Classroom and Then What? Everyone's Guide to Living, Learning and Having Fun in the Digital Age have enriched and informed educators worldwide. Check for a bunch more stuff to make you pack your bags right now.

Thursday evening AudioBody will, to put it mildly, rock the house. Brothers Matt and Jason Tardy made their debut under the name AudioBody in 2004 with the album, "Sound. Motion. Theater.” Music from the album was quickly picked-up by internationally acclaimed film-
makers, EepyBird, and featured in two Emmy nominated videos depicting The Extreme Diet Coke and Mentos Experiments. BANG! They had the #1 selling album from the largest independent distributor in the country for a couple of months followed by countless TV credits including VH1, The Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Good Morning America. The
members of AudioBody have performed all over the world including the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, the Golden Phoenix Casino in Reno, NV and even The White House in Washington DC three times!

So what are they doing in Maine? They live here around Buckfield rumor has it. They couldn’t wait to come to Castine. We said, “OK!” And we promised gas money. if you dare!

Register for the Institute online at

Don’t delay! Act now and you will earn up to 14 contact hours just for learning and having a great time. “Call for Presentations” is still open at the time of publication at the same website. Got something great to share? RSVP!

More Fine Print - Institute cost is $140.00 per person, double occupancy - bring a friend. $190.00 per person, single occupancy – limited availability. Cost includes food. Such a deal! And a guaranteed good time! Check the website for other cost options. Bring a laptop, preferably a Mac with the current MLTI image or similar software and whatever other cool techno stuff you have.

The Google Workshop for Educators session Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning is a mere $85.00 single or $65.00 per person double occupancy, including lunch, dinner, breakfast and snacks. You can’t beat it!

Support for the MLTI Summer Institute comes from No Child Left Behind - Elementary and Secondary Education Act Title IID Enhancing Education Through Technology. Take advantage of the opportunity before it sails into the sunset.

Maine Tree Identification

The Maine forest is lush now. How about making a leaf collection?

Maine Tree Club
UM Cooperative Extension: Tree Identification
Woodland Owners: Tree Identification Kids' Page: Maine Tree Guide

Tree Leaf Collection
How to Press Leaves
Leaf Collecting & Crafts

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ASCD - The Whole Child and the CCSS

Is it just me, or does the ASCD endorsement of the Common Core State Standards after promoting the Whole Child philosophy seem incongruous? Would someone care to explain it to me?

The Common Core State Standards were written by Corporate America, including major educational publishing and testing companies . . . and with very little initial input from educators. It essentially commodifies students in the interest of financial gain.

Note that ASCD's "premier sponsor" for their Spring 2010 conference was none other than McGraw-Hill, which just happens to be one of prime movers in developing the CCSS . . . and has huge vested interests in the adoption.

What on earth is ASCD thinking? I, for one, am very disappointed that an organization that I had respected has gone down this road. Ditto for the NEA and AFT.

Again, would someone help me understand this seeming contradiction?

The Whole Child Blog
ASCD Works with CCSSO and NGA on Common Core State Standards Iniative

Rethinking Math Curriculum

by Olga LaPlante

I am very interested in math, I love it, in fact, but have no intimate knowledge of the ways it's taught in the US. What I have seen - quite superfluously - has done little to excite me (for one thing, your long division order is backwards, and ever more confusing) about the prospect of my son getting excited about it either. I have heard many a time from people of various levels of education that they "hate" math - around the world, not just in US - and have always been perplexed by it.

The talk I have highlighted here appeals to me - and resurrects the appeal of math to a wider audience. Given that in many schools, the wise solution to "raise test scores" is simply longer hours of teaching math using the same textbook in the same classroom of kids with the same teacher using the same strategies, I wonder if the success is guaranteed.

I have also read a number of posts on this blog about the math curriculum (Everyday Math being one of the most memorable) and math core standards (somehow, Everyday Math was mentioned in that post, too, hmmmm...) and wonder if the more experienced and knowledgeable persons would kindly offer their insight about Dan Meyer's attempt to teach kids about math.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Featuring the Work of Tera Ingraham

Art teachers in Maine are making wonderful use of online tools. Tera Ingraham uses WordPress to enhance her program in Western Maine. Check her wonderful site out here.

Featuring the Work of Karen Wilson

How can a 5th grade teacher make use of WordPress to develop a superb online presence in her community and beyond? Check out Karen Wilson's work here.

Karen shared her project last night at our learning and technology finale.

Steven Brill on Race to the Top

NYT: The Teachers' Unions' Last Stand

Education Week: Scoring Race to the Top: A Look Behind the Curtain

Essential Question: Who do we want in control of schooling in Maine and the U.S. ?