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Sunday, October 21, 2007

1-to-1 Resources

Posting resources that will be shared during a laptop roundtable this week, 10/26, at Tech Forum in Palisades, NY:

1-to-1 SIG and Wiki for ISTE members

Anytime, Anywhere Learning Foundation

Chris Smith of compiles 1-to-1 links:

Dr. Mike Muir’s 1-to-1 Laptop Learning Advocate

K12 Computing Blueprint – Resources for One-to-One

Maine Learns – Maine’s online learning community

One-to-One Information Services – includes case studies

Penn State’s Center for One-to-One Computing in Education:

Technology & Learning – The One-to-One Tsunami

The Irving Independent School District site on 1-to-1

The Lausanne Laptop Institute – A yearly 1-to-1 conference:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Dr. Mike Muir on Laptops and Test Scores

Dr. Mike Muir posts an excellent article for ISTE on laptops and test scores for the new ISTE 1-to-1 SIG that formed as of this past NECC. Dr. Muir has a terrific blog, was one of the architect's of Maine's program, has added a great body of work and resources to 1-to-1 and happens to be a really nice person as well.

Basically what Mike says is that improving test scores is all about great teaching and that placing laptops into a classroom without understanding this will make no impact at all.

He's so right.

Monday, October 8, 2007

K12 Online Conference - David Warlick's Keynote

Listened to David Warlick's keynote for the K12 Online Conference earlier today. First off, I just have to say that David Warlick has to be one of the nicest people you will ever meet and talk to, which is all the more remarkable when you realize he is in the business of challenging educators. This keynote gave yet another example of how he makes ideas accessible and real while gently prodding and challenging us all.

Many analogies made sense for me from his keynote - the first thing being the idea that if there are no boundaries and therefore no walls, where do we get traction? How do we orient ourselves? He talked about how he isn't entirely comfortable with speaking to a video camera sans a live audience and how he misses the "furrows in foreheads" and other feedback when giving a presentation. If we have no walls and no boundaries how do we know where we are, where we're starting from, where we're going?

He talked about the Orson Scott Card book "Ender's Game" (which I love - I read it as an assignment in grad school) and how Ender's soldiers learned to work within the constraints of no real walls or boundaries, and even used the other soldiers who had been rendered unable to move, as traction. (Note: a fascinating aspect of this book not mentioned by David is how Ender and his sister become these agents of change in society, using the Internet-like communication described in the book to influence politics. They were pre-bloggers!)

He also said his was the last generation to look at their own fathers and see their future careers and in a touching evocative way described how his dad would shave and put on his white shirt and tie his tie every morning and go to work. David instead works at Starbucks, or in his basement office or on airplanes or at schools and corporations all over the world. He said we educators are preparing our students for a future we cannot describe, because the world of work is now so different.

The idea of networks and how students and young adults use their networks is another fascinating discussion he touched upon. How when he and his wife were at college on his son's first day there, that he continually kept checking his cell phone, sometimes closing it, sometimes texting something - to his friends all over the country who also were just starting college. When David went to college he said goodbye to his friends, some of whom he never saw again. His son didn't say goodbye - he took his friends along with him. (Note: I keep thinking - who's in our networks - how are we connecting - Twitter and listservs and social networks keep me rooted and allow me to ask amazing people questions and they ... answer! Teachers, of all people, need rich networks because the nature of the classroom can be isolating.)

So these adolescents and young adults are creating their networks full of tenacles and they come to school - and school chops off the tenacles. He said it's because we want the students to be who and what we want them to be, and don't accept who they really are. Whoa on that one, and wow and other things. I keep thinking of how we were told to "chunk" information - but that I found a lot of kids don't want the chunks, they want the whole thing. Tenacles cut off. I am still thinking about that one.

David also talked about how students and adults are creating material and publishing it directly from the author, sans editor or librarian. How then to create our own personal digital libraries.

Information overload was another topic - how information is competing for our attention - and what does it mean to be literate today? How to shape and reshape information? How to safely make mistakes?

He said one of the most important things we have to teach our students is how to teach themselves.

It would seem we need to model that and show them how we are teaching ourselves as well.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

This Thing Called Twitter

I just realized that my last blog post was September 22 and today is October 4! This was not the plan I'd had after speaking with David Warlick this summer when he talked about how important and vital blogging was to him - and after speaking with Will Richardson recently when he said his blog posts come out of reading or thinking about something and are intentionally "thin" because there's always more to add and that's how blogging should be.

But I haven't blogged since September 22. Why? I feel like I've been blogging and keeping up with things and thinking about issues and participating and writing and ruminating.

It's the little Twitter that's making me think that.

Because now Twitter is becoming how I keep up and converse and it's more of a conversation, albeit it a disjointed cocktail party conversation, than my blog has been and more than posting on other blogs has been. More than an RSS feed. More than a PageFlakes page.

I've got Twitterific always in my back pocket - or in the lower right hand corner of my screen.

And I follow some people and a few people follow me.

And I find out about things like the live Weblogg ED-TV sessions Will Richardson, Steve Dembo and David Jakes conducted last night from a bar in Chicago before the Cubs game.

Or that Andy Carvin is on NPR in San Francisco - right about now.

And the latest news from the K12-Online Conference fed right to my screen. Realtime. Short, sweet, to the point, tweets from the twitterati world.

So I'm really enjoying this crazy little thing called Twitter.