21 Ed Tech Leaders You Just Have to “Meet”

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/.

Click on the image to view the presentation.

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.

I still needed more.

So I added another dozen names to the end of the presentation.

I still needed more.

But I am only really supposed to present information about 21 ed tech leaders who are advocating for the education community to effectively use technology to improve teaching and learning.

Theses are the 21 Ed Tech leaders I included in the 70 minutes I was given to present:

Larry Ferlazzo
Peggy Sheehy
Chris Lehmann

Lucy Gray
Steve Dembo
Darren Draper
Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

Patrick Higgins
Kevin Jarrett
Liz Davis
Bud Hunt
Bob Sprankle
Kim Cofino

Darren Kuropatwa
Tom Barrett
Sylvia Martinez
Dean Shareski
Lisa Durff

Cathy Nelson
Joyce Valenza
Mark Wagner

If you don’t see your name there, I sincerely apologize. I really am sorry.

Add it here by leaving a comment.

If you don’t see the name of someone you feel should be on the list, feel free to leave a comment with their information.

I hope someone shows up to hear me present. 🙂

My Web 2.0 Whirlwind Needs to Pick Up Some Momentum

Back in April I wrote a post the day before I was teaching a small group of educators about Web 2.0 applications. I was undecided as to whether I should completely abandon the eBoard I had been using as a resource in my workshops.  I decided rather than tackling that huge project, I would post the ten tools I was going to be sharing during the workshop that day and asked for your feedback.

During the workshop, I Tweeted out each tool as we went over it. Many of the people in my PLN were so generous as to share their experiences with the tools in their classrooms. I also asked the participants to help create a Google Doc and shared the URL on Twitter so that I could further include my PLN in the day.

Well, it’s time to get some momentum going as I prepare for not only tomorrow’s Web 2.0 workshop,  but as I beef up my Google Site for my sessions at the upcoming Google Teacher Academy on September 24 in Chicago and for one of the sessions I am facilitating on October 14 for NJAET’s Annual Conference titled 21 “Must See” Web 2.0 Websites for Educators.

Here is the Google Doc we will use during the workshop. I’m still working on the wiki pages. It took me longer than I thought it would. There are some blanks in the table and I’d like to add some graphics. (It’s a bit of a sore spot with my husband and my kids right now.) But since everything is always a work in progress, please let me know if you think I missed anything.

Thanks in advance for your help. And BTW – that day in April was the day I first met Christy Tvarok who ran full speed ahead with creating her own blog and bringing her school into the 21st Century – many of you have had the pleasure of meeting Christy F2F or on Twitter. Heather Johnson was also with us.  Heather is one of the Center’s consultants.  She is knowlegeable, energetic, and a National Board Certified Teacher, and this past year she has spent some time with me and her new PLN, learning the tools necessary to take good teaching and learning to the next level. I applaud her thirst for technology literacy! And finally, that same day I met Megan Smith who ultimately joined the Center’s 21st Century Learning Initiative along with 23 other NJ educators. Megan is emmersed in Diigo, Twitter and many other tools gearing up for the 2008-2009 school year.

Del.icio.us Gets a Facelift

The New and Improved Del.icio.us
The New and Improved Del.icio.us

Was I excited when I saw that Del.icio.us, one of my favorite social bookmarking tools, had undergone a major overhaul.  Besides the aesthetic changes, they also have added some new AMAZING features.

I’ve outlined some of my favorite new features for you below. If you are a current Del.icio.us user, you have to take a look for yourself to really appreciate the improvements. If you don’t currently use social bookmarking, please watch this video from the folks at CommonCraft to see how this Web 2.0 tool will be  beneficial for you.

The improvements that immediately caught my attention were:

You can now search a Bundle!! – I use Bundles in my professional development workshops, but I was frustrated that they were not searchable, so this is something that I was really hoping for.

They’ve changed the way the number of times something is tagged is noted. It’s now very obvious how many times something has been tagged. See the screen shot below.

Really know the people in your Network. See their Top 10 Tags in their sidebar and if you’re confused by their funky username – assign them a nickname.

Check out the video from the Delicious Blog Flickr Photo Stream and make sure to note that Delicious has officially changed it’s domain.

And to read about what’s new from Del.icio.us themselves, just visit their website resource at http://delicious.com/help/whatsnew.

What’s your favorite part of the new-and-improved Del.icio.us?

Gearing up for the beginning of a journey…

On Friday, June 27, teachers from four districts across New Jersey will gather at the Center for Mathematics, Science and Computer Education at Rutgers University to begin the first year of a new initiative I am pleased to be working on. These educators will spend the day getting to know each other and begin immersing themselves in online professional learning networks.

I’ve outlined the day as follows:

  • Topic 1: Why do we teach what we teach?
    • Grade levels
    • Subject areas
    • Areas of interests
  • Topic 2: Focus on the learning not on the tools
    • What skills do you need as an educator?
    • What skills do you need as an individual?
    • What skills will our students need to be successful in higher education and ultimately their careers?
  • Topic 3: Developing your professional learning network
    • Who do you want in your network? Why?
    • What will you offer to educators in your network?
    • What tool(s) do you want to use to develop your network?

I’ve collected some resources I’d like to share with the group:

Council of 21 Concludes its Year-long Study: Preparing Schools and School Systems for the 21st Century

You Tube – Did You Know 2.0 Video

Dangerously Irrelevant: Key Question

21st Century Learning: 9 Principles for Implementation

I’m very much looking forward to meeting everyone and participating in the discussion among this group of educators. Before we reconvene on July 28, participants will have a chance to communicate with each other via Twitter, Diigo and any other form of online networking they choose including Nings, wikis and blogs to define their vision for 21st Century Learning.

This I Believe…

“This I Believe” meme started by Barry Bachenheimer is patterned after National Public Radio’s “This I Believe” and is an opportunity to share one’s philosophy of education.

I’ve been tagged by my friend Liz Davis. Thanks for the invite Liz.

Before you read my list, check out this video from the author of The Digital Sandbox on TeacherTube called “Introducing the Conceptual Age of Web 2.0“. I really like how the creator lays out the differences between what was accessible to us on the Internet then and now.

I believe…

  • it’s better to identify the objective of the lesson before selecting the type of technology to use.
  • schools need to relieve teacher isolation by opening doors and loosening filters.
  • we need to nurture all learners – our students, teachers and the community – always encourage the opportunity to learn and grow.
  • one of our biggest barriers in education is time. Use it wisely.
  • that we should allow students to use daily supports when being assessed at a comfortable and appropriate stage of difficulty.
  • subjects should not be taught in isolation – when students can relate to the content they will be more engaged and committed to learning.
  • as CAST says, “Motivation is the essential engine of learning”.

There’s so much more I believe. But that’s where my thoughts bring me to now. In the meantime…

  1. Karen Janowski
  2. Kevin Jarrett
  3. Christy Tvarok


What are 2344 People Thinking?

As more educators in New Jersey move from 1.0 to 2.0 methods of communication, I’m thinking the need for a newsletter may begin to fade. Not that I would stop e-mailing it to our some two-thousand subscribers anytime soon. But it’s time to offer some options and to hopefully start getting some answers.

Many teachers and administrators that I’ve met with over the last few months have started to follow me on Twitter and have signed up for Google Reader or Bloglines to organize the blogs that they have begun to read. They’re open to moving forward into the Web 2.0 world.

CMSCE April 2008 NewsletterThe Center has been using their Listserv to communicate with NJ educators for years now. We use it to send out notices of special events, upcoming workshops and when I joined the staff in 2004, I began to send a monthly newsletter to the ListServ’s subscribers.

According to L-soft the ListServ was invented in 1986. Just two years prior, the CMSCE at Rutgers University was established to contribute to the improvement of mathematics, science, and computer education programs in New Jersey schools and in schools throughout the nation.

Many of you know I abandoned what little blogging I had done at Blogger and decided many weeks ago to start from scratch with Thumann Resources. I gave some thought as to the benefits of the Center’s ListServ subscribers reading the information I present to them in newsletter form in the form of a blog post. Here is what I came up with:

If you click on the http://Bubbl.us image, you’ll see a full screen version of it.

The yellow bubbles represent anything that both the newsletter and blog have in common such as the fact that both are written in html and are best viewed in a browser (such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari). Another commonality is that the ListServ will not allow any e-mails to go through with virus attachments and the moderator (that’s me) will not allow any comments to go through that are not approriate or related to the conversation.

The remaining bubbles focus on four major points:

  1. I have no idea how many of the 2,344 educators who subscribe to the Center’s ListServ or the additional thousands of educators who subscribe to NJSSI‘s ListServ (who I also send the newsletter to each month) actually read the newsletter. On my blog I can see how many people visited each post.
  2. Not only can I see how many people visited each post, but I can see how many times each of the links in the post were clicked.
  3. I can track where my readers are coming from. Did they come to Thumann Resources from Google, Rutgers, Twitter, the DOE?
  4. The only person who gets to see the reponses that subscribers submit to the monthly newsletter is me. Many of them are kudos and many others are requests for “a site that can help me with…” and “when will you offer the…” and of course “please remove me from…”, but the blog opens the door to readers being able to leave comments that other readers can read and respond to.

My favorite is number 4. I’m hoping some of you will comment on this post letting me know your thoughts about what I’ve written, what you’d like to share with other educators, what you’d like to see in the newsletter, or anything else you’d like to share.

The Web 2.0 Whirlwind

Someone said to me the other day, “A Web 2.0 workshop? You can teach that with your eyes closed.”

I know the comment didn’t come from someone truly immersed in Web 2.0 and I know they don’t have Go2WEB2O.net in their Google Reader or they would realize just how difficult it is to keep up with all the new 2.0 applications that come out on a weekly basis.

So, I took a look at the eBoard that I used the last time I taught Web 2.0 at the Center. eBoards has been how we’ve organized information for our workshops at the Center for many years now. We have a partnership with Seacliffe technologies and we give every workshop participant a free eBoard for a year when they attend one of our workshops.

So I took a look at my resource at http://web-two-point-o.cmsce.site.eboard.com. I wasn’t feeling the love. I had put a lot of time into it when I had used it last, but since then I had facilitated a half a dozen workshops in districts and a few presentations at conferences and had used various wikis and Twitter to provide the links to the sites.

Am I supposed to do a complete overhaul on this eBoard? For the teachers in NJ that have access to these resources – should I change the links or should I leave it so that they sign up for our summer workshops or again in the fall to update their web 2.0 toolbox.

I thought about it all day. I wrote my agenda, got together a few handouts (I try not to give paper in technology workshops, I prefer to give everything in digital form).

Here’s what I decided. Be honest. Tell me what you think and I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’m going to invite the (small) group of teachers to join me in a Google Doc as we create a list of web 2.0 tools we use during the day. This way they can make notes on each tool as we go.
Here’s the list of tools (I have 5 hours of professional development time)
1. Google Docs
2. iGoogle
2. Twitter
3. Skrbl
4. Del.icio.us
5. Bubbl.us
6. Tiny.url / moo url
7. Zamzar / converttube
8. VoiceThread