Monday, June 30, 2008

Missing Link in 21st Century Classrooms (Live Blogging)

The Missing Link in 21st Century Classrooms: 21st Century Leadership
Christopher Moersch, Ed.D. and LoTi, Inc.

*Note: TONS of great stuff in the back of the room free from NSDC on training in the 21st century

Defining 21st Century Classroom- listed Partnership for 21st Century skills
Showed video from CoSN on 21st Century Superintendents- my favorite quote:
"Moving from good to great is such a quantum leap, technology plays a significant role."

5 C's of Instructional Leadership
  1. Cultivation- (Coach Carter) high expections are the key to everything; Ariel Community Academy (Chicago Public Schools)- every classroom is endowed with $20,000. By the time they reach 8th grade, they donate half their profits to charity. 88% of students exceed state standards in math. Students are exposed to the financial literacy curriculum starting in Kindergarten. Students are taught all aspect including international/global financial markets. 8th graders apply what they learn about marketing and business by writing business plans. Long term partnership with the community and businesses!
  2. Courage to Stay the Course- (Dead Poets Society) requires commitment to a plan-implementation cycle: Assess-Plan-Implement ( Sustain (HEAT walkthroughs); use systems thinking for your guide to continuous improvement
  3. Creating Solutions to Potential Barriers/Problems- (The Firm) (will show you how states have voted over the past few decades)
  4. Commitment to research best practices- (Freedom Writers) the difference between involvement and commitment is like a ham and eggs breakfast: the chicken was involved, the pig was committed
  5. Communication with all key stakeholders-(Braveheart) web 2.0 tools

Implementing the 5C's gets results. Loti Schools have research backing on test scores!


What is a network?

At last night's ISTE Welcome Session right before the keynote, we were addressed by and introduced to several of the people on the Board of Directors and staff. As this was the third year I have attended this session, I expected to get the quick run down of NECC events and such-informative but dry. I was thrilled to be mistaken.

Although we did have some dryness at the beginning, the NECC conference hired Brad Mongomery to be the Master of Ceremonies. What fun! His light-hearted sense of humor put the crowd at ease and he was able to do something most people cannot: get a room of several hundred people to have authentic conversation with each other. Through a series of exercises, we formed groups of 5 or 6 and responded to several prompts. Even those who do not like "touchy feely" were participating.

But what had the greatest impact for me was how he described what a network is. He did so by sharing what a network is not:
  • It is not "Hi. My name is..."
  • It is not "Here is my business card."
  • It is not "What can you do for me? What information can you give me?"

Authentic network is a relationship. It is finding about not only the professional but the personal aspect of other's lives. We bring who we are (which by the way is EXACTLY what James Surowiecki talked about in the keynote) and to be part of the network we have to connect on all levels.

So Brad gave the audience homework. Instead of asking the "Hi, how are you?" when you sit next to someone, you should ask "Outside of work, what takes up your time?" You may hear the question a lot this year at NECC but I hope you take the time to ask and answer! Create your own wisdom of the crowds. Create a network.

Thanks to my group of new friends from the session: Claire, Angelita, Dave, Benjamin, and Jose. It was a pleasure!

Creating a Personal Network in Second LIfe (Live Blogging)

Group presenting is the DEN (Discovery Education Network) council in Second Life (SL). None of them had met in real life until this weekend. They work together regularly in SL. DEN in SL was born in 2007.

Next Wednesday they will have a newbie event in SL. They bring in various speakers to present including Steve Dembo (teach42). They had a Halloween party last year. They have hosted 65 formal events but that does not include the many informal events in the DEN. Events are posted in SL, they have a Google group.

2007- 56 events with 566 participants

Communication anytime/anywhere- 24 hour professional learning

Create a visual of your network- post them for understanding

Second Life has the possibility to help students who are homebound but presenter said that she personally does not believe SL is ready for students.

Book: A Beginners Guide to Second Life- can only order online; Second Life for Dummies also very good

Looking for Wednesday workshop presenters- think about volunteering

Sunday, June 29, 2008

NECC: Opening Session (Live Blogging)

James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of the Crowds

Tap into collective intelligence

wisdom of the crowds + new tools = radical transformation

jellybean experiment- how many jellybeans in the jar?
  • no one person comes closer than the group guess
  • the more they do this as a group, individuals begin to get closer

Who wants to be a millionaire?

  • phone-a-friend
  • poll the audience (gets it right 91% of the time)

Racetrack example

  • prediction machine in action
  • look at odds- in the course of a season, crowd of betters can forecast the winners

Google- founders realized that there is a hidden talent beneath the surface

What does it take to make a crowd wise?

  • some way to group judgements (aggregate the information to get group decision)
  • diversity (the fundamental characteristic)-cognitively diverse in the way they approach and solve problems; best of the best group is out performed by the random group; other diversity (age, experience, culture, geography, discipline); less likely to make the same mistakes (homogeneous group: the more they talk, the dumber they become-echo chamber); appoint someone to become the devil's advocate (originated in the catholic church)-cannot have the same person as the devil's advocate all of the time
  • independence-want people to think for themselves; imitation works a lot of the time; have to get people to get beyond imitation; best group decisions come from conflict rather than consensus (differences of opinion can make us smarter-have a good fight; even if the answer is not your answer)

Technology allows more people to contribute and say what they really believe in their hearts.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Daily Links 06/26/2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Daily Links 06/25/2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Daily Links 06/24/2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Daily Links 06/23/2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Daily Links 06/14/2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Daily Links 06/13/2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Time flies...when did I get old?

Today I feel as though I am officially old. At 6:00 p.m. today, my favorite class (1st grade) graduated from high school. Our flower girl was part of that class. As I watched each of my former students walk across the stage, I could still see them as a first grade student. Some look the same only taller. Others were unrecognizable.

As the ceremony drew to a close, I thought to different is their first grade classroom from the first grade classroom of today? Sadly, I would say not much. Yet, as you stand outside wading your way through the graduates and their families, you can see all of the different ways these students are communicating. But we are not using it in most classrooms.

To the Western Alamance High School graduates of 2008, I salute you. To those who were in Miss Hamilton's (I wasn't married then...) first grade class, I am so proud of you. You are the best!