Spontaneous Professional Development

Tomorrow at the NJECC monthly meeting I’m going to speak for a bit about “Spontaneous Professional Development”. With the budget cuts in NJ schools this past year, many educators don’t have funding for PD. Our meeting this month will be about how schools are dealing with the cuts, what types of PD their districts are spending money on and of course, how we can harness the power of our networks to bring in free professional development virtually.

I hope I don’t put myself right out of business.

Here’s the slides I will be sharing along with a list of the resources I will be talking about. (Please leave a comment if you have others to add as we would all benefit from your resources.)

Feel free to follow the #NJECC hashtag on Twitter during tomorrow morning’s meeting.

Web 2.0 Smackdown at EdubloggerCon East

EdubloggerCon East 2010

Yesterday was the 3rd Annual EdubloggerCon East. Among the sessions facilitated during the day, was our Web 2.0 Smackdown which we streamed and archived. Here’s a link to the archive as well as all the links shared. Thank you to all that participated both in-person as well as virtually. Enjoy!

Instapaper http://www.instapaper.com/

Readability https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/46442/

yolink http://yolink.com/education/

SweetSearch http://www.sweetsearch.com/

Read 2 Me (ipad App) http://www.whatsoniphone.com/reviews/read2me-review

isock (ipad App) http://www.commonsensemedia.org/mobile-app-reviews/isock-talking-sock

Access My Library http://www.accessmylibrary.com/

Toondoo  http://www.toondoo.com/

Evernote  http://www.evernote.com/ (specifically for it’s handwriting recognition capabilities)

Delicious  http://delicious.com – (specifically using it to tag copyright-friendly images for student projects)

Packrati.us  http://packrati.us/

TutPup  http://tutpup.com/

Intel Thinking Tools  http://www.intel.com/about/corporateresponsibility/education/k12/tools.htm

IPEVO Point 2 vView usb camera – http://www.ipevo.com/Point-2-View-USB-Camera_p_70.html

Cast.org – The Science Writer – http://sciencewriter.cast.org/welcome;jsessionid=4987B5B2A1837E13741DC957D698372D

Connect The Dots – http://connectthedots.aldoshoes.com/

Voicethread Site License – Specifically for groups to manage accounts on Voicethread.com – using VT to give feedback for 200 students – great idea

Google Squared – http://www.google.com/squared

Paper.li – http://paper.li/

Twitter Tim.es – http://twittertim.es/

Mashpedia – http://mashpedia.com/

How Can We Help?

The "Fail Whale" made an appearance at the #140conf meetup

It was the last question asked from the audience at the #140conf meetup at the New York Times building yesterday in Manhattan. Just over 70 social media gurus gathered to listen to three members of the NY Times team speak and then a panel of educators (of which I was honored to participate in) moderated by Parentella.com founder Aparna Vashisht.  Liz Pullen, Deven Black and I fielded questions regarding how Twitter was being used by educators for professional development, with students, and as a social networking tool in education.

Here’s a link to the  Ustreamed recording of the panel if you are interested in listening/viewing the discussion that Aparna moderated. I think that many in  the audience were surprised at just how networked teachers CAN be. So I think that when Chris Kieff closed the conversation that evening with “How can we help?” we were right to answer with Donors Choose and to just continue supporting educators as professionals.

What My Droid Does – Part 1

My goal since I purchased my Droid at the end of November has been to use it productively. But let’s face it. Most people ask me what I can do with it? It’s pretty much been a conversation of how it compares to a Blackberry or an iPhone.

Here’s what my Droid does:

I’ve downloaded and installed the UStream app from the Android Market. Since I already have login credentials for UStream, all I had to do was type in my username and password on my Droid and I was live on UStream. It couldn’t have been easier. I contemplated inviting my Twitter network to see my dog, Jazz, but thought perhaps another time.

After I was done experimenting with UStream, it occurred to me that many people prefer using Qik. I checked and there is an app for that in the Android Market.

More and more educators are using Evernote. This is also available in the Android Market for free. I can leave audio recordings, take pictures, upload files, or type in text and it all syncs with my Evernote account.

WordPress for the Droid – There’s an app you can find in Android Market called “wpToG0”. From this Android application, I can moderate comments on my WordPress blog, publish posts, and work on drafts. It has pretty decent functionality when it comes to tagging, categories, formating and uploading images.

Layar – This is so cool!!


“Layar is a free application on your mobile phone which shows what is around you by displaying real time digital information on top of reality through the camera of your mobile phone.”

Notepad – “Note Pad is a simple text processor, which lists all notes in a linear structure. Users can only add, edit and delete notes.” This is so simple, yet when I’m parking the car, sometimes I need to jot down which level or which row so that I can find it 6 hours later. You can find this app listed at http://www.androidfreeware.org/.

Finally, I want to mention the free version of  Advanced Task Killer. I noticed that sometimes my Droid was a bit sluggish, so I researched it and it turned out that many of the apps I had been launching were still running in the background. I installed this application so that I could manage all my apps in one place. You can uninstall from here as well as exit out of any applications you currently don’t need running.

I’m always looking for new resources to add to my bookmarks and new apps to install on my Droid if you have any suggestions.

Did You Develop Professionally?

Image Source http://zcache.com
Image Source http://zcache.com

Let’s review the facts.

On June 22, 2009 I responded to Clif Mim’s Professional Development Meme with the following four summer PD goals:

My Goals:

1. Complete the last two video podcasts for the grant project I have remaining and submit them to the funding partners.
2. Record audio and or video of summer PD and upload to the CMSCE Rutgers iTunes U account for archiving.
3. Continue building the UDL4ALL Ning – add resources, build community, cultivate conversations.
4. Add to my iTouch the Future series of posts.

Now, before you judge me, stop and think about how hectic your summer has been. Think about all the time you spent with your family and friends. Think about all the work you did. Think about all you actually were able to accomplish.

Let’s cut to the chase. Here’s the breakdown of the excuses for not accomplishing any of my goals:

  1. I didn’t finish the video project because during my two-week vacation when I was going to work on it (this is funny, right?) I had to manually code the Center’s fall 2009-2010 catalog (link).
  2. The sessions I intended on UStreaming were in fact recorded, I even uploaded them to Blip.tv . But when I went to convert and edit them down to import into iTunesU I ran into all sorts of errors that I just abandoned after a while.
  3. I did add a bit to the UDL4ALL Ning but not as much as I had planned. I have no excuse for this one.
  4. Blogging about the iPodTouch apps became less of a priority for me as my interests went elsewhere. I bookmarked many great resources and explored many great educational applications this summer though.

Though I did not comply with the 7th rule of this Meme in that I did not achieve my goals by September 7th, I do feel that I have developed professionally. Sometimes our priorities shift. Things happen.

I’m getting ready to welcome a new cohort of educators into the Center’s 21st Century Learning Initiative. I’m looking forward to the 3rd year of the INCLUDE grant and helping districts use the UDL framework to help students reach their objectives. I’m looking forward to traveling around New Jersey and the country to various conferences to speak about technology trends in education and exchange ideas with fellow ed-techies.

I’m looking forward to ANOTHER great year. How about you?

Success at the Second EdubloggerCon East

Group Photo from EduBloggerCon East 2009
Group Photo from EduBloggerCon East 2009

Yesterday marked the second annual Edubloggercon East. We met, thanks to the Alan November team, at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel from 9:00 to 5:00. Our agenda was packed. I’m planning to blog about the session that I led on backchannels (Jeff Lebow UStreamed it and it is archived at EdTechTalk.com), but I need to meet with Liz Davis to finish preparing for our sessions at BLC09

The sites from the Web 2.0 Smackdown (thanks go to Steve Guditus for taking such great notes) are listed here:

Lee Kolbert shared bubblecomment.com

Joyce Valenza took us to Google to demonstrate Google Squared, the Wonder Wheel and “Show Options” in Google

Andrew Connelly from Glogster talked about the benefits of the Education version of Glogster at http://www.glogster.com/edu/ – check it out – up to 200 student accounts per teacher

Jim Walker shared the Firefox add-on Fireshot for taking screenshots and easily editing them

Raju Gupta showed us Socrato!

Andy Pethan shared Aardvark

Karen Janowski shared the Pulse Smartpen by LiveScribe

Emily Valenza shared Instructables

Lisa Parisi shared ImageChef for generating your own images with text on them – so cool!!

Beth Lloyd shared Xtranormal for taking your text and making it into a movie – take a look, it’s so much more than that.

Kelley Connoly shared Stixy

We took a look at YoLink

Darren Kuropatwa – talked about how WolframAlpha will change homework. (Students will have to explain why WolframAlpha used the steps it did to solve the problem.)

Liz Davis announced www.socialtecheducation.com

Thanks go to everyone who attended both physically and virtually – it was a fantastic day!

I Hope It’s Not My Last Chance

Tomorrow I will be speaking for the third and final time at the NJEA Technology Institutes at Stockton College. I’ve really enjoyed talking with New Jersey educators there. The feedback so far has been positive and the teachers seemed to have been enjoying their time in the digital storytelling, podcasting, Web 2.0 and SmartBoard sessions after each of the Keynotes I’ve been giving.

In a way, I kind of feel like this is my last chance. For what, I’m not really sure. Some of the teachers registered for all three of the July Institutes, some only one. Some that attended the two-hour hands-on sessions, didn’t attend the Keynotes. But I took my role as the Keynoter very seriously and put a lot of time and effort into the message I attempted to relay.

My first talk was on July 7 and was centered around the concept of developing a professional learning network. I set up a Twitter hashtag for the Institutes and with the help of my friend and colleague, Kevin Jarrett, have been able to UStream and archive each of the Keynotes. I was shocked and humbled when there were more educators in the UStream the first day than in the physical room.

During the second talk, I focused on what we could do to utilize all the portable equipment our students have access to. Of course many of our schools have some of these “boxes” on premises, but the focus of our time together was how to use what the students already had.

I’ve collected all of my resources on my wiki at http://sites.google.com/site/thumannresources/njea. I’ve embedded the Slideshares there. I’ve put links to all the videos I’ve used and the articles I’ve referred to. I’ve Tweeted as I usually do, yet occasionally the past few weeks, I’ve used the #NJEA hashtag where appropriate.

So, tomorrow, I feel like it’s my last chance to be a change agent for some of these teachers who I may not see again. They may not use some of the tools and techniques I referred to. They may, quite frankly, not be interested. But I’d like to think that many of them are.

Tomorrow’s presentation is about the 21st Century Classroom and the The Networked Student.  I am very fortunate to have such great resources to pull from. I’ll be sharing with these hundred educators Peggy Sheehy and Marianne Malstrom‘s No Future Left Behind video. I’ll also be showing some footage of some interviews that I’ve had with some students over the last couple of weeks. One other video I will sharing with be Wendy Drexler’s The Networked Student.

So, if you’re having your coffee tomorrow morning and can spare some time, please join us. We begin between 9 and 9:15 AM EST. I’ll Tweet out the link to the UStream. I am @lthumann on Twitter. Thanks again for your support.