This Tuesday, July 14, will be the second of three keynotes I will be presenting for the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). As I mentioned in my post about the first keynote , I’ve set aside a section on my wiki for the slide decks and resources I’ll be sharing and I will be embedding the UStreams there as well. I’ve established #NJEA as the Twitter hashtag already and on 7/5/09 Tweeters in the Twitterverse began using the hashtag in any conversation related to these Technology Institutes.
Please consider joining the UStream one or both of the remaining Institutes. They begin on Tuesday mornings at 9:15AM EST. I truly feel these New Jersey educators would benefit from your input on how you use portable devices in the classroom. Tweet a link using the #NJEA hashtag, leave a comment here, join us in the UStream.
This will be my solution. I have been talking with many folks in my personal learning network lately about how to stay on top of things and have been mentioning that I am interested in the concept of cloning. Well…this is my temporary solution.
Don’t judge me.
Think of her as my version of Flat Stanley. I may send her to sessions with a few of my friends and ask that she be photographed so that I know she was there and then view the UStream later so that it was as if I was there soaking up the knowledge myself.
I may keep her in my laptop bag as a backup in case I have over committed myself. I may ask her to hold up my end of the conversation. I’ll just let everyone know that I’m feeling a little tired and quiet ahead of time (like right now).
The point is that we could all use a little help. I’m looking forward to being an observer, a participant, an assistant this go around. I leave tomorrow morning and arrive in DC by mid-afternoon. As I spend my time at NECC and Edubloggercon, these are the things I’ll be thinking about:
What will I take away from the time I spend face-to-face with so many from my PLN in Washington? How will I use what I learn to enrich what I share with other educators over the next few months and beyond? What can I share with them? What can I share with you?
Late this past Tuesday I was asked if I would put together a presentation for a group of high school teachers. The high school administration is working on making better use of the hardware and infrastructure already set in the building and they have set up a professional day with some 90 minute workshops on how to integrate web resources into the content areas as a way of renewing the buildings interest in matching the students needs. To kick off the day, the technology coordinator asked me to make a presentation to the 150 or so high school teachers that would “get them excited” about using technology.
If you’ve met me, follow me on Twitter or read my blog, you know it doesn’t take much to excite me about technology. This stuff is my passion. So I immediately recognized that what might be really engaging for me as a member of this audience on a Friday morning at 8am, might bore the heck out of a high school biology teacher who has no interest in technology whatsoever. Thanks invance for your continued support and assistance.
This I found a bit unnerving.
The other issue I was having was that I found out about this presentation Tuesday afternoon and was due in another district on both Wednesday and Thursday. So there wasn’t much time to prep anything. I mostly planned my slide show in my head and wrote notes at red lights while driving. And then finally, Thursday evening, was able to put my presentation together.
I’d like to share it with you. I wish it were later in the day so that I would be able to invite my PLN to join a backchannel and present with me, but I realize that 8am is very early. I may try to set something up on UStream if I get the chance once I am there. I will definitely be on Twitter, looking for moral support as I have to say that this is the largest group I have presented to.
Did I mention that this is the first district I ever taught in?? No, I guess I didn’t happen to mention that.
As Liz Davis I had great fun asking session attendees to dance with us at Educon2.1, I decided to play some music while everyone is settling down. I don’t quite have the nerve to ask 150 people to get up and dance.
I will introduce the video Pay Attention and then use this slide show to lead my discussion. If I’m not able to record it using UStream, I’ll have my iPod Classic with me so that I can record it that way as I’d like to go back and hear it myself. I’m very curious to see what improvements I can make on this particular presentation having had so little time to prepare.
Tomorrow, October 14, I’ll be making two presentations at NJAET‘s Annual Conference. Their theme this year is “21 Years Growing Up Digitally”, so I was asked if I was willing to make a couple of presentations related to that theme.
I’m fortunate to be co-presenting one of the presentations tomorrow with a friend of mine, Heather Sullivan. Heather and I have presented together before on Web 2.0 and I’m sure we’ll present again as we have a good time. We created a wiki for this presentation, 21 “Must See” Web 2.0 Websites for Educators. You can view the wiki at http://web2pointo.wikispaces.com/.
The other presentation is 21 Ed Tech Leaders You Just Have to “Meet”. When I agreed to present on this topic I had no idea how small the dumber 21 was. I Tweeted out a link to a Google Form I created (thank you again to those who submitted) along with a link to the published results here. I read through my Google Reader and looked at who was in my PLN.
Speaking of my PLN, I talked to a few of my Ed Tech buddies about the list I was putting together. Actually, Liz Davis alluded to our conversation recently on her blog when she wrote her Ten Tips for Growing Your Learning Network post. Everyone I spoke with had some similar variation of the list I was thinking of using. We all agreed that goin g back and reviewing my subscriptions was a good place to see where I got my most valuable information from.
So, you ask. What’s the problem?
The problem, for me, was that in the last 18 months I have met (virtually and face-to-face) so many intelligent, generous, and enthusiastic educators, that I hate to limit the list to only 21.
So, I decided to begin the presentation with six or so names the attendees might have already heard of.
“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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Teach students how to follow their passions
Teach students about knowing the right thing to do
Teach them about getting it done
Teach students about getting things done with others
Teach them about doing it creatively
And finally, teach students about constantly doing things better
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.
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.