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November Learning Conference

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 10 months ago

Building Learning Communtities 2007


My journey to the November Learning Conference in Boston will begin on Tuesday July 17th. My plans are to use this wiki page to store notes, thoughts, reflections, and such to have a reference that I can use to share what I learn. This is an exciting and challenging time to be in education, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to be in the middle of it all!!! The most exciting part of it is that my own children have the opportunity to be immersed in this digital age. Other tid bits can be found at my blog H I T -Hokanson's Instructional Technology.




Prep Day July 16, 2007

Printed out my boarding pass. Hey, I thought I should keep detailed notes! ;-)



Travel Day July 17, 2007

We got off to an early start from North Platte, Nebraska this morning (7 am Central) and headed for Denver, Colorado. I am with two wonderful elementary principals, and may I say I am throughly impressed with these ladies!!! They are proving to be valuable colleagues, and I am pleased with the opportunity I will have to work with them now and in the future.


We gained an hour as we passed into the Mountain Time Zone and eventually arrived at Denver International Airport and passed through check-in and security with ease. We hopped aboard the subway under the airport to our United flight, boarded and were on our way. It was a four hour flight, and it was fun to see the outline of the border between Massachusetts and the Atlantic Ocean as we flew into Boston.


After getting our luggage we caught a taxi to Newton and the Marriott where the Building Learning Communities Conference is being held. Unfortunately they had overbooked the hotel and had no rooms for us! We registered for the conference and then the Marriott has put us up at the Red Roof Inn in Framingham. We will be back at the Marriott in Newton with rooms starting tomorrow.


Newton and Framingham are just west of Boston, and the scenery is beautiful. Lush and green, with little lakes dotting the countryside. These appear to be old villages/counties, and the old architecture is blended in with the new. We will have the opportunity to go into Boston and Quincy Market tomorrow evening to see more of the "town."


I am exhausted at this point as I have travelled to and from from Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska, Colorado, and now Boston, Massachusetts in the past 30 days. Most of it has been on the road with all of my and my family's earthly belongings, and I am going to enjoy a nice, quiet evening before jumping into the conference early tomorrow morning. It is good to be here, and I hope you enjoy what I share as I learn and grow over the next few days. Peace!



Conference Day 1 July 18, 2007

*Special Note: I will detail my notes as I have time to reflect and type them!!! Please check back!


It is 5:41 am Central 6:41 am Eastern and we are at the Marriott for our early bird breakfast!


My "planned" schedule of workshops:

7:30 - 8:20 am Bill Bagshaw "Friday Night Skype"

Summary of tech tools that can be used to facilitate learning. Details to come! Excellent presentation with a theme of taking risks and engaging students using their technologies. A challenge to DO these things and not just think these are great ideas!



Depth of Learning and How Technology Assists

School Leadership (Don't be afraid!)


*Accountable (Give people permission to take risks.)

*Predictable (Trust)









*Engaged (With depth!)



"Students should take ownership of their learning."  Alan November Empowering Students with Technology



No Triangulation Allowed!  Students->Teachers->Parents

*Pick your role and DO IT!


Tools Available to facilitate student learning

*Skype:  knocks down walls, student engagement, school to school connections, free easy download.

-Friday Night Skype (After school to allow for time zone differences.)

-Example:  Conversation with Serbian students->bits and pieces led to meaningful discussion.

*Automating vs. Infomating (Key is supervision!)  Bridge the two!

*Blogging:  http://israelhistory.project.blogspot.com

*Wikis:  http://internationalconnection.wikispaces.com

-Use with Skype and blogs, engagement, collaboration

*Expose staff to a myriad of things->try them and use what works best with your students.  Send home meaningful homework:  "What do your parents think about global warming?"  Instead of worksheets!


*Second Life:  Example- Created a new front of the school in Second Life then did the real thing!  (Math, problem solving, collaboration, planning.)

*Situated Learning (Power of Experience!)

*Small group settings










*Promethean Boards


Systemic Change

-Not easy!

-People closest to challenge should make decisions.

-NO top down!

-Consider facility modifications.


Go to Ted Talks for resources and ideas:  http://www.ted.com/index.php/


"Every kid is born an artist."  Picasso


Imposed, short term targets (AYP) transgress creativity!


Goal:  Creativity and Innovation!!!


8:30 - 10:00 am Alan November Keynote

We are awaiting the Keynote!


Alan November:  Zach's Story

-The real issue is the issue of control.  Can we shift learning to kids?  Until we change assessment, teacher evaluation, and the role of parents in schools technology will lag.

-NCLB:  unintended consequences->creativity gap!

-The use of technology makes changes in our schools!


Superior Keynote by Dr. Tim Tyson: "The Gift of Meaningful and Significant Contribution." Details to come! Challenge: Collapse the distance between children and meaningful contribution!!!


Dr. Tyson's site: http://mabryonline.org/


Alan's Comments on Dr. Tyson's Keynote: http://nlcommunities.com/communities/pioneer/archive/2007/07/18/138855.aspx



-The Phantom Tollbooth->Perspective->young "awe" and "wow!"  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Phantom_Tollbooth

-Shake dust of of present perspectives!->Prichard, Alabama

-Daniel H. Pink:  "A Whole New Mind, Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future

-We need to use Project Based Learning!

-John Dewey:  100 years ago->"Active Learning."

-Who is doing all of the thinking work?  (Teachers or Students?)

-Students are increasingly thinking school is irrelevant.

-Working on work.

-Self directed learning, independent, relevant

-Connectedness, Meaningfulness, Authentic, Relevant

-Global distribution (student work online)->Reframes the image and nature of school and school work (Authentic assessment->no grade, it is done!?!)

-http://www.MabryOnline.org and iTunes

-Students challenge:  "What do you have to say?"

-The Concept of Childhood:  Are we allowing children to make a contribution?  (They used to work on the farm and contributed immensely!)

-When does meaningfulness start?  NOW!  What's on their minds?  "I cannot issue a challenge of this scale and then retreat from it!"

-Example:  Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

-"Collapse distance between children and meaningful contribution."


10:20 - 11:20 Chris Turek & Brian Mull "The Wonderful World of Wikis"

Brian Mull's Wiki notes: http://nlcommunities.com/communities/brianmullnl/



Audience member is sharing her example of a class wiki: http://archipelagos.wikispaces.com/ (That is awesome and cool!!!)


New thought: Posting content created by students on Wikipedia is a possilble opportunity for a global audience. (Content would probably have to be "local" in nature for it to "stick.")



-Pitot House article written by 3rd graders in New Orleans on Wkipedia.  A week later someone wrote an article about Bayou St. John and linked it to Pitot House.

-RSS feed can track changes on your wiki or other wikis.

-School wikipedia page (No page as of yet for North Platte Public Schools - specific schools?).

-Wikipedia:  Great source of current events, use references for citable source NOT the wikipedia article.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page


11:30 am - 12:30 pm Will Richardson "New Internet Literacies for Educators"

One of my heroes!!! This is good!


Will's Workshop Notes Wiki: http://blcnewliteracies.wikispaces.com/


Will shared the challenge of searching for and nurturing our own learning. In short, I think he is saying until we figure a few things out about all the technology tools out there for ourselves it is difficult to institute change. More details to come especially after I reflect on this.



-You don't have to be at a conference->you need a network!

-Engagement must take place beyond the project!  Project is not the end, what happens after is VERY important!

-The pedagogy (The art or science of being a teacher, generally refers to strategies of instruction, or a style of instruction.) has to change in that we don't just reprocess the same things we have always done!

-We need to empower students to take charge of their own learning and help them learn to sustain that learning.

-In the future (now actually) students will make their own changes and train themselves (networks allow that!)



12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch

Great lunch under the tent in the "Pavilion." It is raining but makes it nice and cool for me anyway!


1:45 - 2:45 pm Will Richardson "RSS: The New Killer App for Educators" or Bob Pearlman "Designing Secondary Schools of the Future"

I'm back for more Will! I use RSS, but I want to learn more. Your RSS feeds are your curriculum!  Find your "teachers" by subscribing to their blogs:  share, collaborate.  With a blog, identify your passion and use that as a topic to build upon and around.  Check similar sites via RSS and build your own blog.  Once you are comfortable, transfer this tool into your classrooms.

Will is sharing about how Delicious, Flickr, YouTube, and RSS can work together to get ideas for content you want to use in your classroom or to facilitate your and your student's passions!



-Google Reader is recommended as you have access to Google Docs, a Blogspot blog, e-mail, etc.

-Subscribe to Delicious and Flickr accounts via RSS.  Delicious offers links to sites that others with similar interest are using, and Flickr can be used to pull pictures of topics that are being discussed in classrooms.


3:00 - 3:45 pm Reflections with Alan November

Alan displayed a series of questions to help us review and reflect on the information and conversations we had during the day. One question essentially asked who should be in control of real change in education, and the majority of audience members chose students. Alan shared that yes this would be an ideal but it is not realistic. Students need us, as educators, to listen, guide, direct, and nurture their educational settings. We, educators, are keys in the success of students. We have the contacts, the networks, the influence to develop meaningful, significant systemic change. We are the change agents in this process, and we have an important responsibility to recognize, develop, and act on creating an educational setting that nutures what students can and want to contribute to our world. All of this requires action and not simply discussion or conversation. Dialogue is part of the process, but until we act change cannot take place.


Does your district have a case model for problem solving?  (Example:  Harvard Business School Case Model of Problem Solving)


4:45 pm Depart for Quincy Market



Conference Day 2 July 19, 2007


Professor Angela McFarlane



-"It is not true that given technology kids can do it on their own."


*Tensions between views of learning.

-Knowledge as deliverable

-Knowledge as constructable


*Direct Impact Model (DIM ;-)  Not enough use of technology.

-What is usually going on with students is self directed learning, they just don't know that.  Most of what they do on their own is banal and trivial.  Top 15% are okay, but most with access don't have a community or productive experiences.

-Meaningful learning disrupts:  teacher roles, learning behaviors, ideas and learning, models of knowledge.

-Work at school should mesh with work that studetns are doing at home (constructive experience).


Dr. Mitchel Resnick (MIT)

"A playful approach to materials."

Imagine -> Create -> Play -> Share -> Reflect -> Imagine ->

Scratch: http://scratch.mit.edu/



-Kindergarten style or approach to learning->new technologies are the blocks and finger paint.

-PicoCricket:  http://www.picocricket.com

-Scratch:  http://scratch.mit.edu

-"A playful approach to materials."


Photos courtesy of Ewan McIntosh from Flickr.com


10:30 - 11:30 Bob Sprankle: "Podcasting with Purpose

Web site:  http://bobsprankle.com/welcome/welcome.html


21st Century Learning Skills:  http://www.21stcenturyskills.org


Podcast People:  http://www.podcastpeople.com


11:40 - 12:40 Ewan McIntosh : "An Adoption Strategy for Social Software in Education"

Ewan's Site:  http://edu.blogs.com/edublogs/



*5 Points Strategy

-Identify key user groups (ie. librarians, student teachers, parents, teachers, principals)

-Identify and understand your key users and influencers

-Let key users evangelize (NOT TOO LONG!)

-Turn evangelists into trainers.


*TeachMeet roadshow

-Show video example->reverse engineer->challenge->how to implement

-Train entire school!  Groups of no bigger than 30.


*Emergent Behaviors

-Lead by example, reminding, mandate (NO unless needed!), personal and school benefits of adoption, compliment each other


*Thin slicing

-One part of the argument at a time (ie. blogging->why, how, etc.

-Use fear, share fears, to overcome together

-Don't overplan:  prepare to fail, learn, redo

-1991-2007:  16 year olds born when the web took off!

-2001:  5-6 year olds born when blogging took off!

-Chinese Math Video (YouTube)


-Wild Thing Video 4 screen (YouTube) http://www.compkid.co.nr


-Superhandz Video (YouTube) Mom has NO reaction!!!


-Things people say:  Stupid, Waste of Time, Useless (The kids don't see it this way!  They are in part motivated by the audience.)

-Feedback, comments, views, etc. are better motivation (ACTIVE AUDIENCE!!!)


*Emerging technologies:  new tech, blogs, wikis, RSS, etc.

-Why adopt?

-Audience (1 in 19th & 20th century, 30 for a display-30 students look at each other's)

-Share blogs with other classes, schools, the world!


*Mandate or Discover


*"Don't think, try!"


1:45 - 2:45 Dr. Tim Tyson: "The Blogging School"

Parent Dissatisfaction on Communication Indicatiors 2005/2006 Teacehers 32%/18%, School 31%/16%, Welcome 23%/11%, Informed 16%/16%, Goals 15%/10%

Used TypePad for school blogging (school account). Started allowing teachers to try it the first year, assigned it the second. Began using Moveable Type:  http://www.movabletype.org/ Teachers were assigned to blog at least once a week. Sent out an expectation to parents to check the teacher blogs! Parents became a resource for instruction once they knew specifically what their children were doing in school. Increased communication, via blogs, offsets the national media message that is oftimes negative. "Readers" can really find out what is going on at a particular school. Accentuate the positives of your school and what you want your school to become (leverage the technology to shape the instiution). Redistribute the workload throughout the school for the school blog/site (teachers, departments, principals, etc).



Conference Day 3 July 20, 2007

7:30 - 8:20 am Sue Loubser "Internet Safety:  Empowering Our Students

Excellent tips.



-Kids use internet more at home than at school.

-Parents don't get internet safety.

-We can only block at school.

-They figure ways around!

-Filtering does not teach anything, we provide no skills.

-"It is about intrinsically integrating acceptable use of all this technology into our children's psyche."

-Character development!



*Guidence Curriculum

-Message can be value based or social skills (Boys Town Social Skills for Youth)

-Establish ethical values.

-Educating NOT schooling our students (Teach skills for life!)

-Character traits, social skills training

-Responsibility (parental, personal, and community)

-Discuss behavior, use activities, role playing, books, etc.

-Communicate with parents:  rules to help children, safety.


*Teacher Education:  Professional Development

-Internet safety training required.

-Implementation strategies:  http://www.isafe.org (FREE Resource of online training!)


*Cyber Community

-Actions, responsibilities, obligations

-inappropriate places and actions

-NOT anonymous!


*Personal Safety Online

-identify and avoid danger

-interact safely

-think critically

-react quickly to uncomfortable situations


*Avoid Risky Behavior

-To be safe:  use careful screen names, minor details in profiles, use parent's e-mail address, physical risks (meeting online friends), passwords->you are responsible (don't give out passwords), peripheral information (20 questions DON"T ANSWER!!!)



-Traditional vs. Online

-Online:  male, 30-65, successful careers, college graduate, was married or currently married, had children of their own.

-How predators hunt:  chat rooms

-Isolating a child (what predators do):  chat room->check profiles->who is not being answered->private chat->asks "20" questions (asl, brothers or sisters, where is your computer, are you alone, location?)

-Grooming procedure about keeping secrets, sends gifts (web cam), asks for personal photos, desensitizes child, arranges to meet, threatens if they won't meet.


*What we need to teach:

-Recognize, Refuse, Respond, and Report


*Cyber Security

-Responsible maintenance, check computers at home


*Identity Theft

-intercepting commands, phone calls, e-mails


-key logging


-unsolicited e-mails


*Intellectual Property

-mp3s, videos (Stealing is stealing!)


*Cyber Bullying

-Tie to bullying program (social skills training)

-Stop Bullying Now:  http://stopbullyingnow.com

-Cyber Bullying of Teachers!

-After interent safety week or skills are taught, inform parents so they can add support.

-Ryan Halligan Story:  http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org/


*Parent Education

-Same topics as kids with a stronger message.

-Never forget information and resources are all around (law enforcement, community, etc.)

-Never be afraid to check your child's internet use.

-Never overreact!

-Help children to protect themselves.

-Everything digital can be manipulated (pictures change, etc.)

-Contact:  http://worldkids.net/schools/safety/internet/

-Communication is key!

-Use every learning opportunity

-What to do?:  contact e-mail provider, contact police, every message has a record of where it came from!


8:30 - 10:00 am Keynote

Dr. Yong Zhao:  Digital Citizenship in a Global Economy:  The Internet Revolution and its Implications for Education

New technologies have created a new world.


Start with problems:  re-imagine education

Redefine talents and academic success.

Reconfigure traditional institutions.



-Think critically about software study on tech and effect on math and reading (The scores didn't drop!)

-Technology redefines talents.  (Stairs created abled and disabled people, those that can go up and down stairs and those that cannot!)

-The Alphabet Versus the Goddess (Must read!)

-Industrial Revolution:  "What knowledge is of most worth."  Herbert Spencer 1859.  He said science and we have stuck with that for 150 years!

-150 years later:  international cyber wars, socializing virtually, Second Life merges the physical world with the real world, Gold Farming and digital produce:  digital farmers market, YouTube:  running your own show.

-Niche talents become more valuable.

-Chinese Back Street Boys (YouTube):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2rZxCrb7iU

-"As electrically contracted, the globe is no more than a village."  Marshall McLuhan 1964

-Global Integration:  Global Free Flow of Goods, People, and Money

-Our students are affected by global forces, altered clashes, and different value systems.

-We are preparing our students to live and work in a global economy.


*In Summary:

-Identities, nationalism, virtual, and physical

-Global reach

-Returning to the agricultural mode of production?  (Digital economy allows contribution.)

-Accept the role of the machines


*What knowledge is most useful?

-Daniel Pink

-Asia, Automation, Abundance are changing things.

-Information Age->transfer to Conceptual Age (Right Brain)

-Design, stories, etc.


*Digital Citizenship

-living in a digital world, making a living, creating (recreating) the digital world (HOW?)

-Acceptable Use Policies, Internet Safety, etc. (Social Skills Training)


*Valuable Talents

-Global Perspectives


-EQ vs. IQ

-Niche Talents and multiple intelligences


*Delegate work to the machines.  Let teachers do what they do best->Human Touch!


*Start with problems:

-Reimagine Education

-Redefine Talents and academic success

-Reconfigure traditional institutions


10:20 - 11:20 am Marco Torres:  "Lights, Camera, Learn:  Movie-Making Made Simple and Fun!

Student examples:  http://www.sfett.com/ican6/

Torres21:  http://homepage.mac.com/torres21/




*Student Presentation

-"We were just telling our stories."  (In reference to the title of the presentation calle "Social Justice."  The students didn't think about that it was social justice!)

-Rosa:  Focus on telling stories, NOT technology.  4 P's:  planning, production, presenting, and pheedback (feedback:-).  "Marco treated us like professionals."  "I wanted to make a movie instead of a paper so it would last longer than just in the classroom."


-Miguel:  Family paper was graded not on content or the story.  "I cried, it hurt so bad."

-Consuelo:  "We're tired of everybody talking about it, just do it!"

-Marco:  "Make them want to come back tomorrow!"


11:30 - 12:30 am Keith Krueger:  "Reinventing Technology in K-12 Education to Make a Difference

COSN:  http://www.cosn.org/



*UNESCO 2004 Study:  integration of technology in low early phase adoption

*UK Becta (4 year study)

-high level of tech will dramatically improve performance

-personalized learning through tech is key route to educational improvement

*Metiri Group:  http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/docs/education/Technologyin SchoolsReport.pdf

*Lester Thurow changed his view of tech from the 80s into the 90s (First felt tech would make no impact, came to realize tech makes a difference in improving productivity).

*EdTech Action Network:  http://www.edtechactionnetwork.org/

*Using Technology to Raise the Achievment of ALL students:  http://www.accessibletech4all.org/

*Stay Safe Online:  http://www.staysafeonline.info/

*Cyber Security for the Digital District:  http://www.securedistrict.org/


1:00 pm Board bus to the airport!  :-( and :-)  Conflicting feelings:  I want to stay and I want to go home and implement!



Return Trip July 20, 2007

Uneventful trip.  Good conversations with my colleagues about the benefits of the conference.





*Do we have a problem solving strategy?  (eg.  Harvard Business School Problem Solving Model)


*Where do we focus our attention?  (3 areas)

-Infrastructure  (BOE/administration->teacher generated->tech support)

-Content (standards)

-Practice (use emerging technologies to teach and learn->professional development->student engagement->self directed learning->contribute->share->sustain)


*Self directed learning is our goal.  How?

-Use emerging technologies that facilitate collaboration and contribution and to break down the "walls" of school:  blogs, wikis, podcasts, videos, etc.

-Tools to organize ALL of this info:  RSS, blogs, wikis, etc.

-Students:  What do you have to say?  Facilitate getting their voices out to the world!  Authentic, meaningful, relevant, connected learning; then, move them beyond the project!!!  Help and teach them to sustain their learning as they adapt and grow.


*Acceptable Use Policy is needed to encompass new technologies.  (Internet Safety issues must be addressed, taught, and practiced)


*Levels of Use survey is needed to get a handle on where to begin.  (First day for teachers, by building/grade level, design initial professional development based on this data and criteria.)





BLC 2007 Presentations

*There were several presentations I didn't get to attend but that interested me from the conversations I had with attendees and presenters.  The following list includes some of these presentations (Including some I did attend).


Darren Kuropatwa Learning the Guitar or Thinking About Innovation in Education: http://www.slideshare.net/dkuropatwa/learning-the-guitar/1

Darren Kuropatwa New Tools, New Pedagogies: What I Couldn't Do Now That I Couldn't Do Before?: http://www.slideshare.net/dkuropatwa/what-can-i-do-now-that-i-couldnt-do-before/1

Darren Kuropatwa New Tools, New Pedagogies: Develpoing Expert Voices: http://www.slideshare.net/dkuropatwa/developing-expert-voices-80147/1

Lauren Fee Leveraging Technology to Differentiate Instruction: http://www.slideshare.net/itsco/leveraging-technology-to-differentiate-instruction/1

Lauren Fee Communities of Practice and Web 2.0 Tools: http://www.slideshare.net/itsco/communities-of-practice-and-web-20/1

Bob Sprankle Podcasting With a Purpose: http://www.slideshare.net/sprankle/podcasting-with-purpose/1

Will Richardson Reading and Writing in a Web Connected World: http://willrichardson.wikispaces.com/


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