Project 10 to the 100th

www.flickr.com/photos/81035653@N00/2242177289
http://www.flickr.com/photos/81035653@N00/2242177289

“New studies are reinforcing the simple wisdom that beyond a certain very basic level of material wealth, the only thing that increases individual happiness over time is helping other people.”

Project 10100

Project 10100 is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible. Google asks that if you have an idea that you believe would help somebody, to submit it to them. They are committing $10 million to fund up to five of the final ideas.

To submit your idea, complete this form and upload your 30 second video using YouTube or Google Video.

You can submit as many entries as you want.

Ideas must be submitted by individuals, not organizations.

Submit your idea focused on one of the following 8 categories (Pay attention to #8):

1. Community: How can we help connect people, build communities and protect unique cultures?

2. Opportunity: How can we help people better provide for themselves and their families?

3. Energy: How can we help move the world toward safe, clean, inexpensive energy?

4. Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem?

5. Health: How can we help individuals lead longer, healthier lives?

6. Education: How can we help more people get more access to better education?

7. Shelter: How can we help ensure that everyone has a safe place to live?

8. Everything else: Sometimes the best ideas don’t fit into any category at all.

On January 27, 2009, the public (THAT’S YOU) will select twenty semi-finalists from 100 of the project submissions. An advisory board will then choose up to five final ideas for funding and implementation.

What will the Advisory Board look for in your idea?

Reach: How many people would this idea affect?
Depth: How deeply are people impacted? How urgent is the need?
Attainability: Can this idea be implemented within a year or two?
Efficiency: How simple and cost-effective is your idea?
Longevity: How long will the idea’s impact last?

What will your idea be? How can you use this with your students to make the connection between their lives and their community, their country, or even the planet?

There’s about 20 days left. Click here to read more about Project 10 to the 100th.

What Do You Mean 30 Is Too Old for Facebook?

What do you mean I’m too old for Facebook?

You have got to be kidding!

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was making the 70 mile commute down to Camden City, NJ to teach a workshop called Technology for Tots when some, shall we say, immature, inexperienced, basic lack of diplomacy, intern on the radio ranted on for ten minutes about how nobody over the age of 30 should be on Facebook.

I had to pull over at the rest stop.

At the time I was not yet on Facebook. Since that day I have been meaning to sign up. Pretty much every day I answer these questions because I truly value social networking as a means of developing as a professional and relieving the feelings of isolation.

Plus there’s the Nings I belong to and Classroom2.0 and don’t forget e-mail. I’m on SecondLife, occasionally I Skype or ooVoo with someone. I recently even joined Linkedin.

So, a new contact in my PLN, Beth Ritter-Guth, shared a link in Diigo today that caught my attention and reminded me of that comment regarding Facebook. The link was to an article posted on the ReadWriteWeb. I was hoping that this article, Study: Women Outnumber Men on Most Social Networks would have the statistics on the ages of Facebook users.

Social Network Sites
Gender and Age Analysis of Social Networking Users: Social Network Sites

And there it was – the proof I guess I was waiting for – that I was not too old to join Facebook. Once I added up the women, men and the unspecified, I was ready to join the over 580,000 over-the-age-of-34 (TAKE THAT RADIO INTERN) Facebook users.

I am now registered. I was happy to find so many people in my PLN already on Facebook. It makes me truly wonder what I’ve been missing.

I might need to try another radio station or stick to listening to my iPod in the car.

The Google Teacher Academy Returns to New York City

I’m excited to pass along the news that the Google Teacher Academy is returning to New York City on November 18. Applications are due October 10.I’m truly honored and excited to be leaving today for the Google Teacher Academy in Chicago where I will be presenting on Google Sites.

I get the impression from the number of people who expressed interest at the NJECC meeting this past Friday that competition is going to be fierce! Google only accepts 50 teachers in each cohort, so take a look at my friend, and fellow GCT, Kevin Jarrett‘s post for some tips on how to apply. (BTW – I also posted the announcement on NJECC’s Blog.)

Below is the official announcement and invitation to apply:

Google Teacher Academy – NYC
New York, New York
November 18, 2008
——————————————————–
Applications Due: October 10, 2008
http://www.google.com/educators/gta.html
——————————————————–

We are pleased to announce that another round of Google’s FREE training program for K-12 educators is coming to The Big Apple! Outstanding educators from around the world are encouraged to apply for the Google Teacher Academy taking place on Tuesday November 18, 2008.

The GTA is an intensive, one-day event (8:30am-7:30pm) where participants get hands-on experience with Google’s free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, collaborate with exceptional educators, and immerse themselves in an innovative corporate environment. Upon completion, GTA participants become Google Certified Teachers who share what they learn with other K-12 educators in their local region.

50 outstanding educators from around the world will be selected to attend the GTA based on their passion for teaching, their experience as leaders, and their use of technology in K-12 settings. Each applicant is REQUIRED to produce and submit an original one-minute video on either of the following topics: “Motivation and Learning” or “Classroom Innovation.” Applications for the event in New York City are due on October 10, 2008. If possible, please use Google Video or YouTube to post these original videos. Participants must provide their own travel, and if necessary, their own lodging. Though we will give preference to K-12 educators within a 90-minute local commute of an Academy event, anyone may apply.

Learn more about the program and the application at http://www.google.com/educators/gta.html

The GTAs have been a wonderful experience for everyone involved, with 97% of all attendees rating the GTA as “outstanding.”

Here are a few quotes from GTA participants:
—————————————-
“The academy was everything I hoped for and more! I can’t wait to plan out ways to use the tools we learned about, to share my experiences with my colleagues and to re-connect with the other academy participants!”
—————————————-
“The focus on innovation in education, and not just about the tools, was right on target.”
—————————————-
“I appreciate the opportunity to be connected to a group of educators that are passionate about preparing students for the 21st century. I feel inspired and able to meet the challenges that lie ahead!”
—————————————-
“Until now, I had never attended a conference where I was so engaged and loving every minute of it.”
—————————————-
“This was easily the most important professional development experience I have ever had as an educator. World-class tools demonstrated by world-class people at a world-class facility. THANK YOU!”
—————————————-
“I love [the Google Certified Teacher community] for the ideas and inspiration that comes flowing to and from it…folks share professional development strategies (technology or otherwise) that have worked. It’s nice to have a variety of ways to assist others and having that variety also provides spice for those of us responsible for doing the providing.”
—————————————-
Feel free to send any questions to “gteachers@gmail.com”, and please spread the word to anyone who may be interested in joining us.

We’re looking forward to another great event!

– The GTA Team
——————————————————–
Google Teacher Academy – NYC
New York, New York
November 18, 2008
——————————————————–
Applications Due: October 10, 2008
http://www.google.com/educators/gta.html


Engaging the 21st Century Student

Marc Prensky at NJECC 9/19/08
Marc Prensky at NJECC 9/19/08

I had the pleasure of listening to Marc Prensky present at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of NJECC yesterday.

If you remember, Mr. Prensky was not feeling well when he arrived at NJECC’s Annual Conference last March and had to be taken to the hospital. After he was feeling better, he graciously offered to come back and keynote the organizations anniversary celebration which was held in Montclair State University’s 7th floor Ballroom. We had a gorgeous view of the University campus.

Marc challenged the audience with four questions asking volunteers to take a turn at the microphone to make one-minute statements about each of the following questions.
1. Are today’s students different?
2. What should our students know?
3. How should we teach them?
4. Is technology in class a help or a curse?

After listening to the audience volunteers, Mr. Prensky told us that In order to answer the first question we must first ask ourselves: Are people shaped by their environment? The 21st Century environment is all about change. Since technology is moving so quickly, we have to learn to deal with change on a regular bases. We need to learn to deal with the speed and magnitude of change. We used to have a good handle on what was developmentally appropriate for students. As students have access to more technology, they are exposed to more information. Students come to school with a larger knowledge base than they used to, yet they are still emotionally only capable of handling so much. So change means that the nature of education is changing. Prensky showed the audience the “A Vision of Students Today” video from Kansas State University.

With regard to the second question, Mr. Prensky spoke of teaching students skills and not tools. He referred back to the speed of change we discussed in the first question. Our students will be better prepared for their future if they have skills since the tools become outdated so quickly. He listed the following skills as being important and that “curriculum deletion” might be an option at this point.

  1. Teach students how to follow their passions
  2. Teach students about knowing the right thing to do
  3. Teach them about getting it done
  4. Teach students about getting things done with others
  5. Teach them about doing it creatively
  6. And finally, teach students about constantly doing things better

He recommended reading “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R Covey and spent a minute talking about why the book was on the NY Times best Seller list and then really urged the audience to read it.

The third question was responded to with another question. Is the time of the lecture over? Marc spoke about “A New Paradigm for Learning” where kids are teaching themselves with the teacher’s guidance. Children are already doing this outside of the school day. He quoted Albert Einstein who said “I never try to teach my students anything. I only try to create an atmosphere in which they can learn.”

Finally, as Marc began his conclusion, he asked us about the fourth question. He said that technology does not support the current way we teach. (I’m sure he was referring to a certain part of the teaching population and not those of use who are student-centered visionaries teaching our students skills and not tools.)

The answer to the fourth question was to let our students fly with it. Let them do the work and our job is to evaluate it. They are the researchers when it comes to the technology, so there is no need for us to create anything, but give them the time to figure it out themselves. This is the model of teaching that we should be striving for from now on.

Lisa Thumann, Marc Prensky and Ned Davis
From Left to right: Lisa Thumann, Marc Prensky and Ned Davis

Many of us Twittered throughout the day. Sharing our thoughts, ideas and comments on Mr. Prensky’s remarks and I was very interested in my PLN’s @replies. I was reminded of the remarks that were made after Prensky’s sessions at BLC08 this past July.

I enjoyed listening to Marc Prensky yesterday. He gave me a lot of food for thought. Though I was Twittering, and taking notes in a Google Doc, and taking the occasional picture, I was playing close attention to what he had to say and to the response of the audience. Take a look at the Doc if you’d like. It also includes my notes from the afternoon session (I apologize for not neatening things up, but it’s Saturday and I have a pretty lengthy to-do list [see previous post].) I’d be happy to discuss any of the four questions with you in more detail here, on Twitter or face-to-face. Just remember, like most people, I have a case of selective listening. I heard what I wanted to hear, most likely.  I probably focused on writing  the parts I agreed with the most.

I don’t know about you, but…

I’ve been feeling like I can’t catch up. Every time I think I’ve completed my list on Remember the Milk, I have five more items to add.

Bear in mind – I’m not complaining. The fact is that more educators than ever before are looking to learn how to improve teaching and learning using technology.

THIS IS FANTASTIC!

But there are only so many hours in the day and days in the week. Building personal and professional learning networks takes time.

It’s been a long week. It just started raining about 10 minutes ago. I have 25 minutes left to work until my children come home from school. But I wanted to end my day, and my week, thinking about three things that make my job so enjoyable and rewarding.

Betty Napoli from Galloway Township Public Schools sent me this diagram earlier this week. Betty was enrolled in my iPods in Education workshop this past summer. Her district has purchased 3 iPod Learning Labs with 60 iPod Classics and 60 Voice Recorders. She put together this plan based on her knowledge of the technology, what she gained from the workshop, and the discussion that she and I had with her colleagues after the session ended.image by Betty Napolis, Galloway Township Public Schools

image by Betty Napolis, Galloway Township Public Schools

An administrator from a different district hired me to teach an after school series on using collaborative docs with her staff. She had never used Google Docs before, so when I typed up the session descriptions for her, I typed them in a – you guesssed it – Google Doc. She has a Google Account now and she has since edited  the shared document.

And, finally, the last thing that I want to think about before I go into the weekend. A weekend that will be spent going to two birthday parties, shopping for ballet slippers and tap shoes, working on our Everyday Math books, trying to finish a grant I’m writing, spending time with my husband and two girls, maybe relaxing a bit is this.

I have a PLN that listens and responds. I share what I learn with them and they share with me.

I’ll be back tomorrow.

Preparing for the Next Google Teacher Academy

The draft of my presentation is due this Friday for the next Google Teacher Academy. I had fun putting together a Google Presentation on my topic, Google Sites, and deciding how I wanted to go about discussing this particular app with the next cohort of GCTs.

I know decisions are being made sometime this week on the chosen 50 and I’m looking forward to hearing through my PLN who they are. When the last cohort was announced in preparation for June’s Academy, the GCT’s Tweeted out links to their blogs and created wikis for informal pre-GTA gatherings. As my flight arrives in Chicago mid-afternoon the day before the GTA, I’m hoping this upcoming cohort is as socially forward-thinking.

Any-who… One critical component of my presentation on September 24 will be to share examples of how Google Sites is being used in the classroom. Please share with me either by commenting here or sending me an e-mail at lisa.thumann at gmail dot com with a link to your Google Site (here’s mine) and an explanation as to how you are using it with your students or how you use it as a current Google Certified Teacher or professional development provider. I would love to include your information in my list of resources on September 24 at the next GTA.

Thanks in advance.