The Networked Student

Edubloggercon yesterday was amazing, to say the least. Reconnecting with folks I hadn’t seen face-to-face in almost a year was wonderful and making first-time connections was priceless as well. You can see everything from the day including pictures, the Twitter feed and blog posts about the event by visiting the official Edubloggercon wiki.

If you haven’t seen the video that Wendy Drexler published about the Networked Student, please view it now. It’s excellent and was the catalyst for her session yesterday at Edubloggercon.

I’m still trying to wrap my brain around this concept of the Networked Student. It’s crystal clear in my head. But as I prepare for my presentations for NJEA this July, I’d like to be sure that I can express what is seems clear to me in a way that will make sense to classroom teachers. I’ll be talking with educators about shaping their classrooms and working with their students in our changing educational environment. We’ll be talking about 21st classrooms and what they look like. Perhaps we should begin with what a 21st century student looks like.

According to the video, the networked (or 21st Century student) should…

  • build their knowledge base
  • continually reflect
  • be portable
  • have access
  • share out

Keep in mind, if at this point you still have not watched the video, that it’s five minutes long and I just summarized it in five bullet points. So we could spend an hour talking about each of the points in the list. One of the points that we spent time discussing in the session yesterday was the fourth – having access. Is this wireless? Is this bandwidth? Is this two computers in the classroom versus a laptop cart on each floor in the building versus a 1:1 initiative? Don’t even get me started on the 1:1 initiatives (tablets versus netbooks versus Macs versus PCs).

So here are my take-aways  from the session:

  • students must have access in order for this to work
  • teachers must allow for self-directed learning. This is their learning environment – not ours.
  • students must be able to have some amount of power as this is NOT a passive learning environment – they must take ownership for their learning
  • it’s going to be messy – tough to organize – especially the first time

I think that we all know that change is hard. We also know that unless we commit to making change, it won’t happen. The fact is that there is uncertainty as to what jobs are coming down the pike. We don’t know what we are preparing our students for. So we need to create a model that they can carry into their adult lives.
I’m working on putting together some short video clips on what educators are doing in their 21st Century Learning classrooms. I talked with a college student, April, yesterday about how she felt that her high school, which she classified as a 21st Century Learning school, helped better prepare her for college. I almost jumped out of my chair in excitement when she explained to me how. If you want to know how, then — Please DM me on Twitter or find me at NECC and allow me to ask you a few questions about your classroom to share with educators in NJ. I’ll have my Digital Flip camera with me. Thanks in advance.

You Get What You Get and You Don’t Get Upset

http://www.babble.com/
Source: http://www.babble.com/

Several weeks ago I was with my husband at parent teacher conferences getting good reports about how the girls were doing in school. There were no big surprises. Our first grader has great handwriting, the kindergartener is an excellent reader. Our first grader is on the shy side, our younger daughter is friends with EVERYONE. Our first grader tends to be bossy, our kindergartener tends to be a bit immature. But the wise words that were delivered during the evening conferences that have stuck with me ever since, were those not of the teacher’s, but of my five-year-old.

You Get What You Get and You Don’t Get Upset

WHERE DID SHE HEAR THIS? Her kindergarten teacher admitted it wasn’t in her class. We don’t use the phrase at home. (Well we hadn’t. We do now.) She must have heard it in her own network of friends and teachers in the last year or so, but was able to use it appropriately when one of the children at her table didn’t get the color crayon he wanted.

Our letter read: The NECC 2009 Program Committee has completed its review of this year’s proposal submissions, and we regret to inform you that your proposal(s) were not accepted for inclusion in this year’s program.

Every effort was made to balance the program in the areas of content, topic, grade level, focus, and audience. Due to space limitations, many excellent proposals could not be accepted. We appreciate the time and effort involved in preparing a proposal, and thank you for offering to share your expertise with other educators.

Ok. So, now what?

Last night on Twitter, there was some wallowing (I was bummed that the proposals that @lizbdavis and I submitted together didn’t get accepted), some genuine anger towards the NECC-proposal-approval-process and thankfully, some kudos and congratulations.

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tweet2

tweet3You can search Twitter, if you’d like to see all the Tweets about the submissions. Just use http://search.twitter.com. Last night I only search for “NECC”. Today I searched for “congrats necc” and it made me smile.

Steve Hargadon, blogged about Edubloggercon2009 and NECC Unplugged urging everyone to sign up and participate in the conversations and present their sessions there. So if your session was rejected, you still have the opportunity to present in D.C. this June. Also, Vicki Davis blogged today about rejection and reminded us as educators that it is about the students.

Ok. So, now what?

For me? I’ll be at NECC09 as a listener, sharer, contributer, collaborator, however I can participate and learn. I’m looking forward to it. But for tomorrow I need to focus on the work I have coming up with teachers and students and the other projects I have going on.

Congratulations to those of you who will be presenting at NECC. I’ll give it another go next year.

The Sylvia Charp Award

As you are getting ready to take a week or so off for the holidays? When you have some quiet time to yourself, (I know, I know, who am I kidding?) reflect back on the achievements of your students, your school, your district and yourself. Think about all the wonderful things that you do or contribute to doing to help improve teaching and learning in your building(s) and consider applying for the Sylvia Charp Award.

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Nominations for this award only opened yesterday, December 15, 2008, and will remain open until March 16, 2009.

Sylvia Charp, was the editor-in-chief of T.H.E. Journal for 30 years until she passed away from serious injuries as a result of a car accident  in 2003. Dr. Charp was known for her countless contributions to the field of educational technology and her dedication to helping educators use technology with their students to improve achievement. 

To nominate your district you will need to submit three things via e-mail to charpaward@thejournal.com:

  1. A description of the district’s innovative technology program, including how this program met the NETS (http://cnets.iste.org/students/s_esscond.html) and a one-paragraph description of the technology planning process including a list of people involved.
  2. A description of the effectiveness and impact of the technology program, including evidence of impact on student achievement.
  3. A letter from the Superintendent and/or school board president supporting the application.

The winner will be notified this April. The award will be presented at NECC 2009, June 28-July 1, 2009 in Washington, DC. (The winner will receive a check in the amount of $2,000 to go towards registration, travel, and housing for two representatives from the winning district.)

Please visit T.H.E. Journal for more information about nominating your district or to read about the 2008 Sylvia Charp Award recipient.

Headed out to NECC 08

The Riverwalk in San AntonioSo much has happened in this corner of the ed tech world this past week.

On Wednesday, June 25, we welcomed 50 new talented educators into the Google Certified Teachers group. It has been great hearing about their experiences in Mountainview, CA and the knowledge and enthusiasm they bring to our group.

On Friday, June 27, I welcomed 24 New Jersey educators into the Center’s 21st Century Learning Initiative. Teachers from Chatham, Hamilton, Spring Lake and Camden school districts met at our Center on Rutgers’ Busch campus to discuss what we need to prepare ourselves to teach students in the 21st Century. I introduced the teachers to Twitter and Diigo and asked that they spend the next month immersing themselves in developing a personal and professional learning network and giving some thought as to what they would like to gain from their networks as an individual.

We meet again at the end of July.

Today, as I finished my Flipcharts for NECC, I watched the UStreams and backchannel chats of EduBloggerCon in San Antonio. I also procrastinated and it’s now almost 11pm and I have still not packed.

Tommorow – Texas and NECC 08!