New Jersey is “In Tune” With Technology

conflogo2009

Tomorrow, October 13, the NJ Association for Educational Technology (NJAET) will hold it’s 22nd Annual Conference. Their theme this year, “In Tune with Technology” has led to some great session descriptions and I’m really looking forward to networking with the presenters (I’ve listed some of the sessions below).

I have two sessions to present tomorrow; one presentation style and one conversation / hands-on style. I’ve embedded the decks below and I’ll be Tweeting using the hashtag #NJAET09 if you want to follow along with me and anyone else who may be Tweeting from there as well.

“In Tune” with the 21st Century Student

Session Type: Presentation
Presenter: Lisa Thumann
, Sr. Specialist in Technology Education, CMSCE, Rutgers University

We have a framework for teaching students in the 21st Century. We’ve been told to combine skills, content knowledge, expertise and literacies, but how do we, as educators, help students master the multi-dimensional abilities required of them in the 21st Century? Join us in a discussion to learn more about how we can address the needs of our networked students.



“In Tune” with Your Personal Learning Network (PLN)

Session Type: Hands On
Presenter: Lisa Thumann
, Sr. Specialist in Technology Education, CMSCE, Rutgers University

Are you on Twitter or Plurk, have a Diigo or Delicious account set up already – but you are just not sure where to head next? Join us as we tap into the collective intelligence of the group to find information and support our network both online and off. Whether your PLN is overflowing or just starting to grow, this workshop will help you to mine your network to best suit your needs. Bring your big ideas, your hopes and your dreams and be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

“In Tune” Tech Tips to Create Activities for Community Interaction

Session Type: Presentation
Presenter: Ted Krulikowski
, Director, HELM Education Foundation

Explore ways students can participate in various community service projects using technology as a catalyst. Projects range from senior computing classes to interacting with community organizations and civic committees. Many school/community activities will be discussed and demonstrated.

“In Tune” with Centers from Heaven (K-5)

Session Type: Hands On
Presenter: Carol Cherson
, Thinkfinity Trainer, ETTC-Middlesex

Are you trying to develop centers for your classroom? Do you have at least one computer center?  Then this is the class for you. Using the FREE site, Thinkfinity, you will leave this workshop with interactive sites, lesson plans and ideas. This workshop will help you with every curriculum you teach now and in your future.

“In Tune” with Concept Mapping for the 21st Century Classroom

Session Type: Presentation
Presenter: Alexis K. Morgan
, Teacher/Special Needs Teacher, Camden City School District

From Shakespeare to science, Kidspiration and Inspiration can help students plan, research, collaborate and complete projects successfully. Learn ways to meet the diverse needs of students that allow them to organize and represent complex information in meaningful ways. Participants will also view the many uses of InspireData, an important tool used to develop analytical skills and strengthen critical thinking.

“In Tune” with Creative Expression through Digital Storytelling

Session Type: Hands On
Presenter: Dr. Nancy Sardone
, Assistant Professor of Education, Georgian Court University

Rediscover the art of storytelling using today’s digital tools. Digital storytelling is a tool to promote the development of digital and media literacy as well as the traditional literacies of reading, writing, speaking, and art that are foundational to all content areas. Learn the effective principles of storytelling, how to use (free) Windows-based Photo Story 3 software and digital media production techniques so you can guide students in their own creative expression.

“In Tune” with Digital Storytelling in the Elementary Classroom


Session Type: Presentation
Presenter: Susan Wahling
, ESL Teacher K-6, Westwood Regional School District

Discover Digital Storytelling, an exciting way for students and teachers to create their own stories, combining images, voice, sound effects and music. Especially powerful with ESL students, Digital Storytelling is an immensely creative tool that can be used with students of all ages.

“In Tune” with Lesson Plans that Rock (PK-8)

Session Type: Hands On
Presenter: Carol Cherson
, Thinkfinity Trainer, ETTC-Middlesex

Looking for FREE, innovative and interactive teaching materials aligned to NJ standards? Thinkfinity is a FREE educational resource. Bring your curriculum topics and leave with weeks of activities (paper and interactive) and resources to enhance every aspect of your classroom. Begin that new unit with lessons that rock.

“In Tune” with SMART Boards and Digital Learning

Session Type: Hands On
Presenter: Andrew Grefig
, Instructional Technologist, Tequipment, Inc.

This interactive session will focus on how to create engaging activities with the SMART Notebook software. We will explore how rich media, movement, color, animation, drag and drop activities and immediate feedback can be used to increase student engagement in a variety of subject areas.

“In Tune” with Technology: Media to Teach Reading


Session Type: Presentation
Presenter: Dr. Christine Davis
, Assistant Professor of Education, Georgian Court University

Explore well-designed online resources and streaming video clips of master teachers modeling essential reading skills including phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension and vocabulary. See the value of using online media materials to personalize and support professional development. Participants will be “in tune” with a wealth of technology-based teacher development resources to teach reading.

“In Tune” with the Fundamentals of Wikis, Blogs and Podcasts

Session Type: Hands On
Presenter: Ryan Evans
, Technology Teacher, Wanaque Borough Public Schools

The array of wiki farms, blogware and podcasting software can often appear intimidating and overwhelming. Take an analytical journey in the creation of wikis, blogs and podcasts. The focus will be on evaluating the major hosts and software, getting started (creating, designing and maintaining), adding users or inviting members, concerns about security and privacy, and practical applications for the classroom.

Get “In Tune” with Music Videos


Session Type: Hands On
Presenter: Heather Sullivan
, Technology Facilitator, Freehold Regional HSD

Animoto is a FREE web tool that helps you (and your students) make music videos in just a few simple steps. Discover how you can use this awesome and EASY tool in your classroom.

Google Sketchup: “In Tune” with Math

Session Type: Hands On
Presenter: Carla Hockenbury
, Computer Facilitator, Wm. Davies School

This is your chance for an opportunity to explore the basics of Google SketchUp and how it can be applied in your classroom. The program is especially “in tune” with math but also can be used in other subject areas. Google SketchUp is a free download from Google, which can be used alone or with Google Earth and the 3D Warehouse.

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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.

tweet1

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 Six Degrees of GCTs

You may be familiar with the game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”. The challenge of the game is to connect every film actor to Kevin Bacon in six cast lists or less. The game was developed in 1994 by some students at Pennsylvania’s Albright College. Today, it exists in several formats including a board game and a web site generator.

6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon Generator
6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon Generator

It all started in 1967 when  Stanley Milgram, an American Sociologist decided to test what he termed the “small-world problem”. He randomly chose a few people in the mid-West and had them send packages to complete strangers in Massachusetts. Each package had an ultimate target destination, which Milgram estimated it would take hundreds of exchanges to reach, but the experiment proved him wrong.  The packages arrived to their pre-determined recipients in (on average) between five and seven exchanges. According to articles published on Milgrim’s experiment,  his findings inspired the phrase “six degrees of separation.”

Lots of others have jumped on this craze though.  There’s John Guare’s play, Six Degrees of Separation which premiered in 1990. There’s also the movie by the same title released in 1993.

In August 2008, Microsoft set out to test the theory of the 6 Degrees of Separation. Using data from their Microsoft Messenger instant-messaging network in June 2006 (equivalent to roughly half the world’s instant-messaging traffic at that time):

  1. They looked at 180 billion different pairs of users in the database
  2. They found that the average length to connect two users was 6.6 hops
  3. 78 per cent of the pairs could be connected in seven steps or fewer

And then there’s the 6 Degrees of Wikipedia.

I choose to go from Google to Education and these were my results:

I would need only 2 clicks – – Google – – Ann Arbor, Michigan – – Education

6 Degrees of Wikipedia
6 Degrees of Wikipedia

6 Degrees of GCTs
There are now over 250 GCTs and we’re about to welcome 50 more. How are we all connected to each other? Before we used Social Bookmarking tools like Delicious and Diigo and Social Networking tools like Twitter, Plurk and Facebook would it have taken 6 hops to get to each other? Maybe. But I think we’ve got a really strong network of dedicated educators who need maybe two hops at the most to reach each other. I’m really proud to be part of such a strong community.

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By the way, for those of you who were asking about the video I created for my application back in 2007, the old link is active, but it doesn’t come up in any search queries. I’ve re posted it here.

What’s Your “P” in PLN Stand For?

My post from last week drew more attention than I anticipated. I developed the presentation 21 Ed Tech Leaders You Just Have to Meet for a session I was facilitating at the annual NJAET conference, but do to the power of online social networking, its audience was much larger.

I found the comments people left to be exactly what I was looking for. A few responded to my request to suggest other ed tech leaders to follow such as Wesley Fryer, Doug Johnson, Scott McLeod, Clarence Fisher, Cheryl Oakes and Stephen Downes.

Karen Janowski called me out on the fact that my list of 21 did not include any ed tech folks that focused on struggling students and Universal Design for Learning. I surprised myself with that one as I go to Karen for lots of support and refer people to her UDL Toolkit on a regular basis. Paul Hamilton, Brian Friedlander and Ira Socol also would have been great additions to my list as advocates of using tools designed for students with special needs to help the general education population.

But it was Miguel Guhlin‘s comment that got me thinking back to the process of selecting the 21. Though I did make sure to include some local educators as I was presenting to a NJ association, and I also wanted to provide a variety of areas of expertise so that I would have something in the presentation that was of interest to everyone in attendance.  But much of the voice of the presentation was in HOW I presented the information.

What does your “p” in PLN stand for? If you look at the big numbers, my “p” stands for professional. But when it comes down to it. The ed techies that I communicate with on a regular basis are part of my personal learning network. I had a story or an anecdote to say about pretty much every one of the 21 ed tech leaders I presented on October 14. There are a few on the list that I don’t have a personal connection with, but that I just learn so much from,  I had to share their story.

Do you separate your personal and professional learning network? I’ve learned in conversation that many of my colleagues are doing the same as me. They are keeping their networks on Plurk small and personal. They use Twitter to share resources and ideas.  We all seem to benefit from the social bookmarking in Delicious and Diigo and from networks there as well.

There are a few additional ed tech leaders that I would have liked to include in my original post from last week. Along with those I mentioned above, they are Jeff Utecht, Alan Levine, and Hall Davidson. These are three ed tech leaders I would like to meet. There are many more, I’m sure.

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.