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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

NECC keynote session - Zolli et all

School statistics around the world - Dr. Francesc Pedro, US has much home Internet access, does not lead in educational tech in schools.  Unusual stats on computers at school and computers at home -- better at home.  But are they looking at laptops here, where home to school happens?

Varied presenters, extemporaneous speaking, most impressed by Elizabeth Streb.  How to loosen up education so creativity becomes the norm.  High bar set by Philadelphia - how does it actually work?  

Dr. Pedro, Language learning and the brain - start as early as possible - yet schools generally wait, sometimes all the way to middle school.

No physical evidence of differences in male and female brains (ha, here's a myth buster!)

"If we only had time for this in school ... we had time to think" - Mary Cullinane


Michael McCauley "Whole New Mind" by Pink recommended and "Dream Society" - look next week for a report on "Understanding the Brain" on emotions, foreign languages

Elizabeth Streb -

Mary Cullinane - Ask kids What motivates kids, trends, obstacles, what value, what environment

Zolli - - in which a man dresses up like a video and answers questions.  Mostly students view this.  Show what

**Funny alert - when Streb asked Cullinane if the offices at Microsoft were "Open Source" - Cullinane said they were "definitely NOT Open Source"!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Some Research on 1-to-1

I sent these links to Pennsylvania's Classrooms of the Future administrators. Thanks to Mike Muir for some of these:

From the One-to-One Institute, a collection of research.

The Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation is also collecting research on their site.

The Rockman, et al Anytime Anywhere Learning studies from the original AAL schools.

A thorough and promising report on laptop use and student achievement.

Missouri shows student achievement improvements.

I'll keep an eye out for other research as well.

edACCESS 2007 - keynote session

Here at edACCESS  at St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Delaware. Yesterday's keynote was virtual, by Marc Prensky and was on "Losing your digital accent." Things that resonated or made me think:

• The idea of how the light is now on for students. It used to be that students would come to school to learn about the world, and educators would show students the world little by little. He used the analogy of a clearing a window bit-by-bit to see the view beyond. Now, Prensky said, students already are in the world because of TV, the Internet, they already have knowledge and understanding of the world.

• That school is slowing students down. They have all this energy and knowledge and then have to slow down to enter the school environment.

* How students are bored so often in school and not engaged.

• How important it is to involve students, ask their opinions, include them. How many tech plans have been created without any student involvement?

• That teaching the traditional, lecture-based way does not work well with technology, and that technology actually impinges on this approach. This makes a lot of sense and when people say "I don't have time for technology" their shift from teacher as disseminator of knowledge to including more facilitation and coaching is still in process.  

This is a terrific conference, by the way, that involves ad hoc focus groups and gives an opportunity to find out about new approaches and issues and to take the pulse of technology at independent schools.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Love/Hate Relationship - Testing and 1-to-1

Some of us have this love/hate relationship with test scores. Yes, they're not going away, and we know many things are based on scores, not the least of which is funding.

But the kind of skills that students gain from 1-to-1, such as how to maximize their own learning styles, how to evaluate information, how to become autonomous self-directed learners, how to create content and publish to the world ... does not necessarily show up on standardized test scores.

The latest eSchool News, however, hints at some positive results coming soon. While not specifically about 1-to-1, the report coming out soon is wide and deep - 9 states, and talks about "student achievement" as opposed to test scores, exactly. Here's the link.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The big sky in South Dakota

I keep thinking about the big sky in South Dakota. It's so different than in the northeast. It seems like an ever-present element there and since back in New Jersey I keep looking up at the sky between the trees and it's just not the same. An analogy for possibilities - so many possibilities with a huge sky - you can see the weather coming, you can see the land more clearly, you can see the horizon.

It seems like Web 2.0 and the landscape for schools has all these possibilities, too. We just have to keep looking up and not have our heads down so much.

Here's the link to South Dakota's conference which also includes presentations. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

South Dakota 1-to-1 Laptop Institute

Interestingly, this was the first conference I've ever attended that was paperless, e.g., you got a thumbdrive with the overview, sessions, and all information. At first I was a bit stymied - I'm so visual - then hit upon opening the day's schedule, saving it as a .jpg, and loading it as wallpaper. Worked great, especially not being on a tablet.

So ... why doesn't Apple make a tablet again?

Yes, there's this third party product out there and here's MacWorld's review -  but why not a native Apple tablet. Schools would love it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

South Dakota Laptop Institute - Warlick session

Sitting here and listening to David Warlick and his session on Web 2.0. Really fascinating stuff, great presentation. Loved the story especially about the teacher in Canada who did away with his textbook (they were all stacked in the corner gathering dust) and instead had all the work as a Wiki. Here's the hook for teachers especially - when students aren't getting something he can actually go back and beef up that chapter. How cool is that. Wow. Differentiated learning on the fly. Then he described how Vicky Davis in Georgia does this but actually as the students write the chapters, themselves. David asked if the students made mistakes, yes, she said, but she didn't correct them unless really necessary, because she waited for the students to find their own mistakes.

Content - we are all creating it - we are all sharing it - we are all participating.